We are coming up on the four-year anniversary of living in this house.
We moved in right before Easter 2011. Since then, we’ve been slowly working on making changes, small and large, to transform our dream house into a home tailor-made for our family and lifestyle.
Creating an outdoor entertaining space has been on our project list since we moved in, and it looks like it is finally going to happen this spring.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally embark on this project, to see pins and inspiration photos come to life in our backyard.
As I think I’ve mentioned before, we have a good sized yard at the end of cul-de-sac. It backs up to a horse farm.
We often get visits at the fence from Chat, who sometimes will stand around for hours waiting for Jackson to come home from school to feed him apples or carrots.
We spend a lot of time in our backyard, just hanging out by ourselves and with neighbors and friends.
You’ll often find the adults lounging in lawn chairs while the kids play on Jackson’s swingset, horse around on the slackline, play disc golf or wage pool noodle lightsaber battles.
We’ve served lots of meals and snacks under those trees.
We do a lot of outdoor dining and entertaining, and we’re heading into that season now.
I’m done pretty well at creating a festive party atmosphere right in the middle of the back yard.
But I’ll be so glad to have a formal entertaining space with level ground, comfortable seating, some shade, a nice grill and outdoor food prep area, pretty plants and landscaping, and eventually, an outdoor fireplace.
The plan is to construct a large stone patio off our back porch. It will have a pergola, a grill island and a stacked stone fireplace that mimics the stonework on the front of the house.
My goal is to create a beautiful outdoor room that may well become our favorite room in the house.
I’ve been collecting inspiration for this project since we moved into the house, and I finally think I have a solid vision. (Be sure to check out my Yard Inspiration Pinterest Board for lots more ideas.)
I wish I knew the source of this photo, because it’s exactly the kind of mood and outdoor retreat I want to create.
While we would have loved to have built our outdoor room as soon as we moved into the house, I’m really glad we waited and didn’t rush into installing a patio.
As I’ve said before, I think it’s important to live in a space and figure out how it functions for your family and how you want it to function before going ahead with big, expensive projects.
Now, I have four years of backyard games, parties, gab sessions and gatherings to draw upon.
As important as a patio is to our outdoor entertaining plans, we definitely want to leave plenty of grass for relay races…
… and whatever other crazy games Jackson and his friends cook up. (OK, this toilet paper relay race was totally my idea. I can’t blame it on the kid.)
We also took our time to save the money to do this project the way we’ve always envisioned.
Even so, it will likely be done in phases, with the patio, pergola and grill going in first. We’ll probably add the fireplace next fall or winter, just in time for the chilly weather.
And a little while down the road, I’d like to add a potting shed/greenhouse/studio space/playhouse for me at the edge of our lot.
A girl can dream, right?
At this point, we haven’t broken ground on the patio yet. But there’s spray paint on the grass, marking the layout, and that makes it almost real. We’re waiting on final quotes and approval from our homeowners’ association, and we also need to make some decisions about materials.
I can’t wait to share this project’s progress with you. And of course, I can’t wait to reveal the finished, fully decorated space.
In the meantime, we’re going to have fun together making a mess of my backyard, working on projects and shopping for pretties for the space.