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Happy Outdoor Living: Before & After

By 06/16/2013July 2nd, 201935 Comments


Happy Outdoor Living: Before & After

My sister Elizabeth called to tell me her husband had found a sectional for a great price for their patio. “We need pillows” she said, “And I’m worried that it’s the wrong size for the space.

Happy Outdoor Space: Before & After


“That’s because it’s right up against the house” I said. So after I moved it away from the walls, we went shopping.

If the furniture layout in your house doesn’t feel right, it might be because it’s crammed too close to the walls. The best Nate Berkus line I ever heard was, “Your furniture is under arrest!”, haha.

Happy Outdoor Living: Before & After

Guess where we found absolutely everything here.  HomeSense. A few hours later, it looked like this (above).


Well, almost. We found this mirror (above) that I thought would be perfect for the blank space above the sectional but it was the wrong colour.

Happy Outdoor Living: Before & After

  So after we spray painted it, we installed it above the sectional.

And the after again. Can you see the difference between the first after and this one?

My sister has a stunning, climbing rose bush in her garden, so I raided it for the photo.

Hope you had a great weekend!

If you would like to learn how to Specify Colour for Interiors, Summer School with Maria Killam is for you!

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If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk up to the front door, become a client. On-line or In-person.

Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones to get my complete step-by-step system on how to get colour to do what you want.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

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  • Cecilia K says:

    Wow, what a transformation, really impressive work. And the toys add a nice touch in the last picture! Thank you for sharing your talents and skills in the blog, always enjoy reading the posts even though I seldom comment (this could even be a first, not really sure). / Cecilia, Sweden

  • Kim says:

    This is absolutely wonderful, great colors and what a success story! Looks like the boys’ slide would even look great nearby with the blue and turquoise colors. Nicely done! Do you prefer certain brands of spray paints? I sure like what you did with the mirror, also.

  • mairi says:

    Maria, I adore the combination of turquoise and royal blue with the white siding. And it doesn’t compete with the garden colours.
    As a bird watcher I pay attention to glass and mirror reflections for the safety of birds and found a few simple suggestions here:
    I have unobtrusive decals on some windows in summer where the reflections have attracted birds in past and now they avoid them. Enjoy your new patio Elizabeth- amazing roses!

    • Barbara says:

      Birds sometimes hit the top of my large windows. Only the top part is uncovered by drapes (the drapes let in lots of light and are closed all the time) and I think they are seeing right through the window to the window on the other side of the house, or else are seeing the trees reflected.

      I think this mirror is small enough so that it will be alright. Wouldn’t want the little guys to come out and find a dead bird on the sofa. For me, this is very upsetting.

      Lovely outdoor room, Maria!

  • DY says:

    I assume all these pieces need to be kept covered in the rain?

  • Marié says:

    The sectional in front of the door is bothering me?

  • tara dillard says:


    The mirror on the wall.

    Disaster without something there.

    It’s all I ‘saw’ in the before pic, the blank wall out of scale with the furniture.

    Love what you did.

    Garden & Be Well, XO T

  • BillP says:

    I think that I would move the cube in front of the door to the other side of the sectional? Maybe I would move the coffee table to the end and put the square in the center where it could be used for a foot stool? I have a modular sectional like this and always seem to have an extra piece. It looks very pretty and colorful, though.

  • Becky says:

    Very bright and colourful! What wonderful ideas Maria

  • Susan S says:

    Whoa! Wow!

  • This looks great! Accessories make such a difference. What did you use to hang the mirror on the siding? It looks great.

    • Maria Killam says:

      2 plain old nails! I was going to go the 3M hook route but the clerk at Home Depot said it might be a problem when it gets hot! Maria

  • Teresa says:

    Love it! Is the outdoor sconce the optimal size?

  • The ball! Do I win? 🙂

    Everything looks fabulous. I love an outdoor living room, and with turquoise, well I’m in love.

    Sue xo

  • Design & Decor says:

    Absolutely beautiful! I love that you added the mirror. Most don’t ever think of hanging art work etc. to the exterior of a home however, I say, bring the outdoors in, and the indoors out..
    The colours you chose Maria are bright, cheery, and summery..if that is in fact a word!

  • Paula Van Hoogen says:


  • jeannie says:

    While I like the color combo and accessories, I could not live with part of the sectional being right in front of the door. I can see me banging my toes on it everytime I went in or out.
    If it has to be covered anyway – I would turn it another way or separate the pieces or make the short side work on the other end.

    • Maria Killam says:

      The sliding doors here are not used. There are french doors on the right side of the sectional that you enter into the house.

      • joanne says:

        I just knew there was a good reason for the sectional placement! If the door was used you and your sister wouldn’t risk it.
        Very cool – what would be even cooler would be if I was EIizabeth for a day.

  • Rhonda says:

    Beautiful, cheery transformation!

  • SandyCGC says:

    This is delightful, Maria. Obviously, in the before pic with the sectional pushed against the wall looks awful and, of course, the one cube that sits partially in front of the patio door isn’t most desirable, but it’s amazing how just moving the whole thing forward from the wall just a small amount makes such a difference. The cube doesn’t seem to block the door at all (looks like it opens from the other side) but if It really bothers, could just move it away from the couch and angle it a bit to look as though it was just pulled up or free-float it in the foreground of the pic on the other side of the coffee table. However, if it doesn’t bother your sister Elizabeth, wouldn’t angst over it. The entire after is very inviting! HomeSense should come over and shoot a pic for their outdoor ad brochure.

  • Fran says:

    Unbelievable transformation! Looks so inviting.

  • Connie says:

    Verrrry nice! I always have to laugh though, about the Pelligrino in photos. Am I missing something? Does this stuff taste any better than plain water? Are the bubbles the lure? Or are the bottles just pretty in pics? 😉

    I think your gorgeous decorating has inspired me to spray paint my pots in a pretty color that coordinates with our house color and privacy fence. The blue you used is stunning!

  • mimi says:

    What a beautiful and “happy” transformation!

  • Kylie Currell says:

    Wow! How beautiful and what an amazing job you’ve done! I love love love the mirror! It works so well.

  • M says:

    Very pretty, but of course everything looks better accessorized and it would probably still look just as nice up against the wall. I know you said you don’t use the sliding door, but even so, honestly it still looks odd to me to me that it’s in front of the door and I doubt I would like how that looks from the inside either.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Yes of course it’s the wrong size, it was not chosen by a designer (me) as noted in the first paragraph, it was simply accessorized by one.

      • M says:

        Yes I saw that, but didn’t realize one should expect attitude if not 100% in agreement with your choices. Will keep that in mind.

        • Maria Killam says:

          Hi M, My response was to everyone who was thinking the exact same thing 🙂 Maria

          • BillP says:

            It’s interesting that the glass slider is open in the first pic. In later pics, door is closed and it appears that the inside couch is pushed against the glass. I think that it is bad feng shui to have a couch against a door, though the vignette is pretty.

  • joanne says:

    A tree in the corner behind the sectional might look nice.

  • Maria

    That mirror was genius…color, scale….and the pillows perfection…I hope your sister isn’t offended but gawd it was awful befoe…she should have taken you shopping…nonetheless you fixed it!!

  • AlsoTracy says:

    I agree with the others about the couch sitting in front of the glass slider. Whether or not the glass slider is used, if I were her guest, it would make me feel anxious and detracts from the otherwise relaxing feel of the whole setting. (Maybe wine would help,) 🙂

  • chez says:

    Love the colors of the accessories. I also agree with others though that the ottoman in front of the door would bother me, even if the door isn’t used. It just wouldn’t look right from the inside. I’d relocate that one piece to the other side.

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