Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Patio Lights

Last summer we moved to this apartment, a pretty basic apartment in Los Angeles, not a lot of architecture detail, but definitely a blank canvas! 

Our landlords told us that sooner or later they were going to sell the land so that new owners can tear down the building and build condos, so we took this to mean that we could play! And we have! I will be posting some of our favorite before and afters in the coming weeks and can't wait to hear thoughts, reactions, and advice for next projects. Not that we are anywhere near finished, we call this apartment our "work in progress" and I suspect that our homes will always be "w.i.p." because we love to tinker and are those rare people who LOVE change!

First up: The balcony. The reason we moved into this apartment in the first place and the reason why we put up with leaky faucets, ceilings caving in (eek!), mold, popcorn ceilings, and terrible carpet. Ah, the balcony! We knew we needed to install lights asap as to really take advantage of our new outdoor space (and as fellow LA'ers know, outdoor space is a premium in this beautiful city). This project was completed last August.

Our inspiration was the wedding reception scene in the movie, 500 Days of Summer, did you see this movie? It was GREAT! But the wedding reception scene was so beautiful and really idyllic to what Mr B and I thought about "outdoor life in California" is supposed to be. Here are a few inspiration photos if you didn't see the movie (and see the movie already, its too cute):

So, we weren't sure what materials to use to hang the lights, we don't have and didn't want to install a pergola,    and it took a few different trials to find our ultimate material. 

First, we tried these "green sticks" from the garden section:

Mr. B and T!

Once they were up, the string lights were just too heavy:

Zip Ties, the new duct tape!
The lights we used from Target:

Funny story about the lights... Mr. B and I could only find two boxes in the entire LA area and they were sold out online, so we had T buy some while she was visiting Missouri and bring them with her when she moved out here. Score!
P.S. They are currently still sold out at Target (I just looked)!

Next we thought about tiki torches and would have the bonus of having the torches, but after measuring, realized the torches weren't tall enough for some of our guests to walk under without hitting their heads on the lights.

Ultimately, we found some great 8 foot wood posts at Anawalt Lumber for around 3 bucks each (we used 3 posts for the whole balcony) and are so happy with the results and Anawalt Lumber in general, its our new favorite store!

Happy Summer!

No comments:

Post a Comment