Simple upgrades can make all the difference

In the last week alone, we’ve done some simple changes that have increased the livability of Morgan by tenfold. Despite being anywhere near finished, our patio and living room exude feelings of relaxation and hominess that make us love our home even more. We’re kicking ourselves for not doing some of this sooner!

A Rug Makes a Room

I admit, we had purposely not touched the living room knowing we’d soon be ripping everything up — and thinking we’d get to this big project sooner than later. We now realize it’s been six months, and we have embarrassingly stored things in here we knew we weren’t going to use or keep (Red bench, you’re the main culprit!) and not fully set up. We didn’t want to waste time or energy making this space nice, when in reality that was completely silly — we spend a good 2–3 hours in this room every evening, minimum.

We originally thought the reason it wasn’t totally comfortable was because of the lack of lighting. We’ve been experimenting with many different floor lamps , and it’s kind of our move to purchase floor lamps, try them out for a month, and return them! #sorrynotsorry

Wow, I really wish I had a nicer camera ;)

One day on a mission to check out lamps at West Elm, we instead left with a sweet new coffee table, a piece that was nowhere near priority in the grand scheme of our project list. That aside, we went for it because it greatly improves our daily life. It has a pop-up table surface that will provide a bit of storage, and be used for dinners in front of the tv or a “desk” for my calligraphy. We actually aren’t that into the marble piece and think it’s going to make the piece more trendy than timeless, but love the rest of the design too much to skip.

The new purchase immediately felt fresh, and inspired us to set up the room a bit more. The box of frames has been there since we moved in — it dosn’t need to live in this room. Let’s just put the red bench into storage until it sells. Let’s roll out the rug, even if we may get a new one eventually.

My, what a difference it makes to put a rug down. All that, and an $11 plant from IKEA in the corner give this room some serious cool vibes. We’re thrilled.

Dining Al Fresco

We’re convinced what sold us on the “cheat sheet unit”, the first place we offered on, was the excellently designed outdoor space and the feeling of true indoor/outdoor living. It really created a sense of oasis, but also added about 300 square feet of living space.

Leave it to us to always find a way to use Christmas lights year-round.

We have master plans to tile the patio floor and do some garden lighting and landscaping — not only to enjoy ourselves but think it will be huge for resale. With hints of summer beginning here in Oakland, our immediate goal was to eat outside as soon as possible!

After researching outdoor furniture and quickly learning how pricey it was, we settled on the IKEA ÄPPLARÖ table — a steal at $150 with the bonus of the drop-leaves that can extend the table to fit up to 10. The patio is our dining room after all! We strung up our Christmas lights and VOILA! We have that perfect space for a dinner party. Leave it to us to always find a way to use Christmas lights year-round.

Knowing we have a lot more demo to do in the house (resulting in a heap on the patio), and a dog who hasn’t yet kicked her habit of hole digging, we held off on the major upgrades at the moment.

Our patio feels a million times better — even with the old tub still chilling in the back! The lights makes a huge difference too, and our home feels bigger at night as a result. Shout out to Kiera for helping to build the furniture, and to Josh and Mara for helping us christen it properly with lobster tacos and Coronas.

Here’s to many warm evenings on the patio!

Cheers to an epic first dinner on the patio!