outdoor ideas

Now that our yard is landscaped, I've been dreaming up ideas for creating an outdoor room where we want  to spend our time. Both Nick and I love eating outside and with the fairly mild California weather, we can do so throughout most of the year. Right now the only thing we have is a  hand-me-down wrought iron dining set. However, we have a vague plan to try and outfit our outdoors by the end of summer/early fall. Usually patio furniture tends to go on sale at the end of the summer, so we're hoping to score some good deals on the things we want. Since this is not a immediate project, I've had time to gather ideas and inspiration from various sources. Here's some of our ideas for the yard: 
(click on any of the pictures to go to the original sources)
I'm in love with the colors and textures in this picture. I love how this space feels like an extension of the house, rather than a separate space. Definitely something we want in our own yard. 
We definitely want to build an arbor over our entire patio, since it currently has no shade and gets lots of afternoon light. This is a project for next Spring/Summer but it's certainly on the to-do list. 
I love the idea of a wood table with fun chairs for outdoor dining. Given our small space, we aren't planning a table this long. In fact, my father-in-law, Bob is in the process of building us a custom wood table for our patio. He is building us a 3 X 4 ft table to accommodate at least 6 seats. I've been scouting out cheap seating options to go with our table.
On the other side of our patio, we want some kind of conversation seating/lounging furniture. This is by far my favorite look of all the types of furniture that we've seen. Since outdoor sectionals are pricey (over $1K usually) we'll probably end up building our own version of this or something similar. 
We'd like to add rope lighting along the transition between grass and flower beds.
Lastly, I'm obsessed with hanging egg chairs and would love one in the corner of our yard, to swing in with the baby. This one from Pier 1 is $279 and I'm crossing all my fingers that it will go on sale before summer is over. 
Who knows how our yard will actually end up? We are excited to continue to let this space evolve and make it feel like another room in our house.

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