How to Make Summer Spaces Work for Your Lifestyle

Design Advice
Summer spaces for a busy lifestyle

Summer Outdoor Living Tour…Part 2

A few weeks ago I shared our summer spaces with you.  Today I am back to talk to you about how to make your outdoor spaces work for a busy lifestyle.  Where you live, how much time you have to maintain your space, and how you use it are key factors to take into consideration when deciding what to do with your outdoor summer spaces.

I am joining 16 of my blogging BFF’s to bring you tricks and tips and beautiful tours of outdoor spaces, be sure to check them all out at the bottom of this post!

summer outdoor spaces that work for your lifestyle

Container Planting for Your Summer Spaces

Last summer my hubby and I created this planter out of an old WASHTUB.  Now each year I fill it with annuals that bloom all summer long.   Container planting is a great way to add flowers to your landscape without committing to the same perennials year after year.  The containers can be moved wherever you want them so, as someone that likes to rearrange everything, this works out great for me!

Repurposed wash tub into a planter

Low Maintenance Flower Beds for Your Summer Spaces

When we first bought our home, I spent time making a flower bed in the front of the house.  I had holly bushes, flowering bushes, yellow roses and each year I would add a new perennial.  Over the years it got to be a high maintenance hot mess.

This year in the front of the house we pulled out the pine trees that had started growing crooked, holly bushes, and the flowering bushes.  I left my coneflowers and irises and planted some dahlias. To inhibit weeds from overtaking my flower garden (I am not fond of pulling weeds, who’s with me?!) I put down a fabric barrier before putting in my mulch. There are lots of landscaping rocks to give the flower bed visual interest, but that’s it.  My husband and I both work full time so we don’t have time for lots of maintenance.  Perennials come back on their own each year, the fabric barrier keeps out the weeds, and the rocks fill in the empty space.

In the back yard we added more dirt to the flower bed next to the doors coming out of the family room, I planted some dahlias to go with my other flowers and then added plenty of mulch. Simplicity at it’s finest. Both of our flower beds get mostly sun.  Make sure to take note of how much sunlight your spaces get before picking out flowers to plant.  Now if I could just keep the pugs out of it!

Beautiful low maintenance coneflowers


Low maintenance flower beds

I just love lots and lots of flowers, but not the upkeep, and my hubby doesn’t like to have a lot of stuff to mow around in the yard.  So, this little border of day lilies is perfect!  It isn’t in his way when he mows and in the winter they disappear like magic, or maybe he mows over them…I am certain he will never tell. (insert winkie face emoji)

Yellow Day Lilies


Yellow Day Lilies

Outdoor Summer Spaces for Entertaining and Hanging Out

The best part about summer and summer spaces is entertaining or just hanging out.  If you do a lot of entertaining, then you need a space that will accommodate that.  Multiple seating areas and an outdoor dining area is probably on your wish list.

We rarely do any entertaining, so our deck is small.  Normally it is just the two of us and the pugs…oh and our newest addition, Roudie…the black and white, Jack Russel/Chihuahua mix.  We finally redid the deck after 2 years, following a room addition we put on the house.  I wanted a table so we built one that seats 4 and fits the size of our deck.  Just this past weekend I found lounge chairs on sale and got 2 so that I can lay out and soak up the sun on the rare occasion I find time do it.

Summer spaces for a busy lifestyle

I love sitting on the deck in the morning, while it is still cool out, catching up on email and blog type stuff.  I am not a coffee drinker, my pink cup is usually full of pop (I know, shame on me, not the healthiest habit in the world).  Of course, wherever I am, so is Puglsey…that’s him in the lower middle there.

entertaining summer spaces to fit your lifestyle

The questions to ask yourself when deciding on what to do with your summer spaces are:

  • What spaces do I want?
  • What are we going to use the spaces for?
  • How much time do I have for maintenance?

Be honest with yourself and you will have summer spaces that you love to be in and that fit your needs.


Summer Outdoor Living Blog Hop

Be sure to visit my friends below for more summer space inspiration

Anika Anika’s DIY Life  /  Sam Raggedy Bits  / Lisa The Purple Hydrangea

Kellie Gratefully Vintage  / Kim Exquisitely Unremarkable  /  Leanna Of Faeries and Fauna

Toni My Small Home Soul  /  Sherry Savvy Apron  /  Suzanne Shop at Blu

Debbie Chatham Hill on the Lake  /  Jordan Jordan’s Easy Entertaining  /  Nancy Cobani Bleu  /

Barbara French Ethereal  /  Jeanee Shepards and Chardonay  /  Patricia Old Things New Blog

Diane An Extraordinary Day  /  Kristy Steeple Chase Manor

Until next time,







Summer outdoor lounging and summer outdoor entertaining spaces





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  • Reply
    Sherry Cole
    July 18, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Suzanne, your outdoor space is so pretty and you have given me some great ideas on how to make my space work for me. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      July 18, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      Thank you Sherry! It’s little, but we like it 🙂

  • Reply
    July 18, 2017 at 10:46 am

    That washtub is gorgeous! I have a few, but I never thought of putting those kind of legs on it. They are elegant and rustic at the same time. I love…

    • Reply
      July 18, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      Thank you Kim! The legs are actually from an old chiminea that we had that finally fell apart. No sense wasting them!

  • Reply
    July 18, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    I like how you made your spaces work to your lifestyle. I also like nothing better than sitting out on my deck in the later afternoon when its warm. Puppy sitting in the shade hoping for the first excuse to bark at something. I can imagine you sitting out there with pug writing away. Its really chilled out relaxing spot and it looks nice and private out on the huge back yard.

    • Reply
      July 18, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      Thanks Leanna! The pugs do like to look for any chance to bark! Rabbits, a fox, the birds, especially the neighbors, lol! I do love that no one can see me back there 🙂

  • Reply
    July 18, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Wait! I want a funny colored cover for my laptop! Loving the lounge chairs.

    • Reply
      July 18, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      hahaha! We got it at Best Buy! I didn’t want to scratch my MAC…it cost way too much money 😉

  • Reply
    July 18, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    What a peaceful place you have designed for your family and the garden is lovely. I am a huge fan of the cone flower but have only had success with it in the wild. Your Wagon wheels and daffodils just really make a statement. And you know I am a fan of color. Your chairs are stunning. Do you really work out there on your laptop? I have been able to do that at the lake because we have a covered porch, but on my deck it is entirely to bright to see a screen. Keep enjoying the new space, oh and weeds? I plant ground cover, it takes over everything!!!

    • Reply
      July 19, 2017 at 7:05 am

      ground cover is a great idea! I had some in last year and it overtook some of my flowers…that did not make me happy so I pulled it out. My teal chairs are my favorite thing about our deck!! I do work out there, in the morning mostly, before then sun hits the deck 😉

  • Reply
    July 19, 2017 at 12:03 am

    Love all your tips!! I too love lots of flowers but hate taking care of them… and I am not too good at that anyway! Your day lilies look awesome!I love those wheels!

    • Reply
      July 19, 2017 at 7:06 am

      Thank you Anika!! The older I get the less energy and time I seem to have to take care of stuff, lol!

  • Reply
    Toni | Small Home Soul
    July 20, 2017 at 1:37 am

    I love your yard and all the beautiful flowers you’ve filled it with. The container on those curvy legs is awesome and those wagon wheels are ahhhsome. The chaise chairs make me want to put my feet up and sip some pop with you 🙂 Your sweet puglsey pooch is adorable 🙂

    • Reply
      July 20, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      Thank you Toni! Come on over, I have another pink cup waiting for you 🙂

  • Reply
    Barbara Chapman ~ French Ethereal
    July 21, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Hi Susanne!
    I love your outdoor patio! Now that we are out of our Big House and in our trailer and have only a small space, it’s actually freeing. I know what you mean about working full-time and trying to have a garden. They are a lot of work and I used to get really stressed if I couldn’t keep it up. I finally cheated and hired a gardener to help. 😉 It is nice just having some daylilies and other long-lived perennial flowers to maintain ~ just the right amount of gardening! It was nice being on the blog hop with you! I hope we can do it again sometime soon.

    Thanks for a lovely post and for sharing your gardens,
    Barb 🙂

    • Reply
      July 21, 2017 at 8:24 am

      It’s was great fun doing this with you!! And yes, stressed is the right word, I refuse to be that way anymore 🙂 Have a lovely weekend!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2017 at 12:33 am

    Love your patio, Susanne! Serious heart eyes here over those turquoise chairs! And I love your tips on making your outdoor spaces work for your lifestyle. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      July 22, 2017 at 6:05 pm

      Thanks Kristy! The turquoise chairs are my favorite! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jeannee Taylor
    July 22, 2017 at 12:45 am

    Such a lovely cheerful porch ! I love the bluebird !

    • Reply
      July 22, 2017 at 6:04 pm

      Thanks Jeannee! That was a gift from my daughter 🙂

  • Reply
    Sam @ Raggedy Bits
    July 24, 2017 at 4:48 am

    What a beautiful spot to relax and enjoy for you and your family! I bet there will be lots of time spent here this Summer! Love your wash tub planter too!!

    • Reply
      July 24, 2017 at 7:42 am

      Thanks Sam! I sure hope we get to enjoy it, it has been so hot here the past couple of weeks we have been hiding in the air conditioning, lol

  • Reply
    Sue at Blu
    July 28, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Susanne what a quaint little space! I love your flowers…they are all so stunning and thriving! And that table!!!! Whew! Sweet sweet space!

    • Reply
      July 31, 2017 at 7:49 am

      Thank you Sue! It is simple and made with love 🙂

  • Reply
    July 31, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Hey Suzanne, I need to follow your advice about being honest with how much maintenance I can handle. I always overdo it, then fight to keep up! I love your daylillies with the wagon wheels behind them! Perfect!

  • Reply
    Jordan Hansen
    August 1, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    These are some great tips! and I love container gardening too 🙂

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