About catherine
Catherine is a CPA-turned-creative entrepreneur. She is the founder of Beginning in the Middle. an interior designer, photographer, writer, and business schemer.  She loves being cozy at home, miniature everything, and has a not-so-secret dream of living on an island one day.
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Before & After

Everything You Need to Refresh Your Outdoor Space


It seems like the warm weather is here to stay, and our dreams of gardening and backyard BBQs are finally becoming reality (cue happy dance). But this year is different than any other summer we’ve seen before — it looks like we’ll still be spending a whole lot of time at home, which makes it the perfect time to focus on sprucing up your outdoor space! Whether you’re looking for some outdoor DIY projects, searching for new furniture, or simply want to make a few small upgrades, we’ve scoured the internet for design tips, outdoor decor and furniture pieces we’re loving that’ll surely make all those summer days at home feel like the ultimate staycation.

Small Space? No problem.

We love the classic look of a bistro table and chairs in small outdoor spaces. They’re perfect for adding functionality to a smaller space where a larger table and chairs can’t fit.  There’s something about a smaller set that transports me to charming European cafes, and makes enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning with a pal or having a romantic candlelight dinner at dusk feel like a little escape.

Shop our small space finds

take the indoors out

We hear people talking about bringing the outdoors in, but why not the other way around?  One of my favorite tricks to creating an inviting outdoor space is to incorporate indoor pieces into outdoor decor.  Before dinner or your next backyard hangout, bring out some fun art, pillows, lamps, and planters to create a homey atmosphere in your backyard.  When we’re done for the night, we just bring it back inside.

Outdoor Sectional Source

Shop our indoor/outdoor decor finds

Light it up

Sure, nice furniture and professional gardening can look beautiful and all, but these things aren’t really necessary to create a space that looks beautiful and feels comfy.  Some of our favorite outdoor must-haves are the least expensive.  My go-to? Lighting!  A $20 string of lights can transform even the tiniest outdoor space into a cozy escape.  We did this in the backyard of our German Village Airbnb and our guests have been loving them.  It doesn’t just stop at string lights, though.  Solar landscape lighting, pendants, lanterns, candles… you can never have too many lighting options! Pro tip: Use Nesting with Grace’s puck light trick to turn any hardwired or plug-in light fixture into a cordless, battery operated fixture in minutes (it’s GENIUS).

shop indoor/outdoor lighting finds

Shatterproof dinnerware… Need we say more?

Shatterproof glasses and dinnerware have come a long way.  Opt for dinnerware and glassware that won’t break to keep your outdoor time worry-free. 

Shop our shatterproof dinnerware finds

Tackle an outdoor project

We love the challenge of an outdoor makeover (plus time spent under the sun!). Try installing pavers over old concrete, building a slated pergola, installing solar lighting (hint: it’s easy!), or adding some color with flowers.  These projects can transform your space in a big way and if you’re lucky, improve your home value, too. 

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Catherine & Bryan Williamson moved from NYC to Columbus, OH in 2013.  Beginning in the Middle is a journal of the couple's design and renovation projects, real estate investment and Airbnb hosting journey, travel, and other life happenings.



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I grew up in New Jersey and always had a dream of living in New York.  There was something about the energy of the city that drew me inOur journey started unexpectedly in 2012, when we decided to make a big move from New York to Columbus. The glamour of climbing the corporate ladder was wearing off, and we knew that renting an expensive small apartment and dealing with crowded subways everyday was not going to work forever. We wanted to start creating something for ourselves, and although we didn’t know exactly what that something was, we knew NYC wasn’t the place for it.

We decided on Columbus because Bryan grew up here, and we were intrigued by all of the development going on in the downtown area at the time. We drove through many of the neighborhoods and admired the boarded up old houses, most of which were built in the early 1900s, and started dreaming about the things we could do here.

I'm Catherine, and I'm the founder of Beginning in the Middle.

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