Courtyard Container Planting

By Kate Riley March 21, 2016

With spring in the air I wanted to share a special little spot in my backyard where I enjoy morning coffee or evening wine, it’s our courtyard just off the kitchen. I was invited by the Sunset Western Garden Collection to spruce up a section of my yard and this space was the perfect place.

courtyard containers

 outdoor fireplace plantings

Just like with the fall planting bed project, I selected a medley of plants on the Sunset Western Garden Collection website, they arrived on my porch and I took them out of their boxes and gave them a drink.

  sunset plants boxes

 jubilation gardenia box

Rather than buying expensive new planters I turned to a cheaper method. One of the easiest ways to make plastic containers look classier is good ol’ spray paint. Make sure you get one that works on plastic, some do some don’t.

 spray paint for plastic

To make inexpensive brown plastic planters and blue buckets work with my fern green and black palette I spray painted them with Rustoleum paint + primer.

 contrast plants

Often overlooked are dark leafed plants but I’m loving the ‘Purple Pixie’ Lorolpetalum as a contrast to the abundance of green leaves in the ‘Mountain Snow’ Pieris that is about to bloom in the black pot.

 sunset plants painted containers


On the fireplace ledge sits ‘Soft Caress’ Mahonia in the black containers and ‘Lemon Lime’ Nandina in the painted green buckets, the medley is lush to look at during the day. (On the rare occasion we light the fire at night I move them to the ground.)

 spray painted planters

Around the corner are containers of budding ‘Jubilation’ Gardenia and fragrant ‘Chef’s Choice’ Rosemary.

 rosemary gardenia

I made a few easy envelope pillow covers with outdoor fabrics found at Joanns, they are HGTV Hazy Days Citron and Tropix Vroome Fresco Night. The rug is the Alise Garden Stripe from Overstock.


  chair courtyard 

 pillows chairs bench

The loveseat and sofa I’ve had for eight or so years, they used to sit in the cabana on the upper patio but I moved the set the courtyard next to the fireplace, and the dining table to the upper patio next to the BBQ which makes more sense for entertaining.

 courtyard sitting 

 chairs pillows

I like to use a bench as a coffee table in this sitting area so I can set down a drink or prop my feet up. The slatted wood bench is from West Elm but it’s five years old and was looking weathered and shabby so I lightly sanded it and gave it two coats of Minwax stain in Ebony to refresh it for the season.

 ebony minwax stain

 black stained bench

 loveseat planters black bench


This spot is my absolute favorite place to enjoy a glass of local wine at the end of the day!

 glass of chardonnay 

 courtyard planters bench

Many thanks to the Sunset Western Garden Collection for supplying the plants and sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.


BOTB 3.18.16

By Kate Riley March 18, 2016

Hello! I’m excited to be traveling back to Las Vegas this weekend, I’ll be out in the desert for a few days getting started on demo on the interior of the second house we bought. The first outdoor project is already complete, we’ve had the pool remodeled in our absence by the same team that did the last one and it looks fab, I’ll share some pictures soon. This weekend is another round of ‘Best of the Blogosphere’ featuring some favorite spaces and creative projects, enjoy!

I love this tiny kitchen’s complete renovation featured at Remodelista, proof you can pack a lot of style into a tiny space.

 small kitchen remodel


Bravo to Kim at Sand and Sisal for her dramatic staircase makeover, such a fresh clean look compared to the ‘before’ and inspiring to those with old carpet on the stairs.

 painted staircase makeover


Make a modern hairpin leg desk to tuck into any space with Thou Swell.

 diy hairpin leg desk


Build a focal point wood crate frame with Sarah from The Winthrop Chronicles.

 diy wood crate


Construct this vintage inspired shelving unit with plans by Jaime at That’s My Letter.

 vintage inspired shelving


Build this DIY industrial cubby storage unit (both frame and bins) with Pneumatic Addict.

 diy industrial storage unit


Get organized with these custom fit DIY wood drawer dividers, tutorial by Christene at Keys to Inspiration.

 diy wood drawer divider


Make your own modern multitasking peg board with a step by step found at Miss Red Fox.

 diy peg board


I love this balloon chandelier by A Subtle Revelry, such a fun party decoration!

 balloon chandelier


Enjoy your spring weekend!