With the heat on the rise this week the last thing we want to do is think about sitting outside but in Joshua Tree we need to create a great space for our guests to eat and lounge! The good thing about the desert is that it cools off at night so after dinner you wouldn't mind being outdoors. Star gazing is a big thing out there. The night sky is actually visibly out there unlike our home in LA. 

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To refresh your memory: we have an existing patio in the center of the house, #9. Originally we were thinking this area could accommodate a couple lounge chairs or something small. Based on that, we were going to extend the patio area almost the whole length of the house at an angle facing the mountains. (All of this work was to be done by us in order to save $$$) When we were out there recently, we were standing outside looking at this area and we thought it was larger than necessary! The existing patio that we thought was too small actually seems sufficient but we're thinking of doing a smaller rectangle off the existing just to have something out in the yard. 

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Since we are nixing the huge patio, a table and chairs/benches may be best for the existing area and the extension could be for more of a lounge area with a table or fire pit. We like the thought of having a table in the existing area because around dinner time it gets enough shade that it would be comfortable to dine al fresco. When it's time to make smores (Random Tip: Try smores with a Reese's Cup in lieu of the standard chocolate. Game changer!) the sun will be down and sitting out in the open will be comfortable. 

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We're thinking something super simple for the dining area. A nice big table with some benches should be more than enough for a group of four. There is an existing block wall to help with passive heating and cooling which gives us a nice backdrop for something fun. Becky liked the idea of candles (battery operated) to create a calm but interesting design. Adding some greenery on that wall would be nice. Our dream would be beautiful bougainvillea, but that isn't realistic. The potted plants below is a fun idea too! 

For the lounge area in the open, the furniture should be comfortable. Paul found some cool chairs in a book that we're going to attempt to build ourselves. (yes, you read that correctly!) We have some leftover 2x4s from framing and demolition and thought it would be a good way to use the scraps instead of sending them to the dump. These chairs will take a beating from the sun so it's good to have something a little more inexpensive out there. 

We didn't go out to the house this weekend, but we did order the doors and windows so in the next few weeks those will be on site and ready to install. Right now, the contractor is working on a new roof, interior framing, and shear wall completion.  We are anxious to get the house secured and weather proof! Keep visiting for more updates and design.  

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