Alright, I’ve been trying to not think about spring for a long time. I keep trying to enjoy the winter (which I admit, I’ve been really good at this year). The last few weeks have been especially warm, and now that it’s back to stupid cold again, I just can’t. Spring needs to get here already!
Anyways, against my husbands wishes, I have been scheming about a dream patio space in our backyard. See more below.
Do you guys remember, back when we got the fence installed? We had enclosed a cement slab that had previously functioned as a parking pad and butts up against the garage. Prior to our new fence, this area had not been fenced in before. Being that we were a two car family it seemed like a waste of space to have a good chunk of our potential backyard space be spoken for by a parking spot. Instead we decided that it would be best to include it as part of our backyard (pretty or not) and have it be a fun play spot for the kids.
That was great and it worked just like we planned for the last few years. Howevs, last summer we noticed that no one was playing with their toys in this part of our yard anymore. It had gone back to being a neglected eye sore and we had very tentatively talk about it potentially becoming a patio some time down the road.
With my spring fever in full gear, I couldn’t resist making some plans, (aka goals to work towards)(aka genius ideas that we should definitely do). I always find it so useful to make some sketches, whether it be in a computer program or on paper. The plans will always change, but filling in some solid ideas before even starting a project goes a long, long way.
For instance, this plan doesn’t need to be executed all at once, instead it can be used as a map. When I sketched out the basement, I included my final version of the basement bath. When it came time to execute the plan, the budget couldn’t fit the entire bath remodel, but we had a solid plan, and it made it easy to know exactly where we were heading so that we could finish the project later. If we decide that this patio model is something we want for our backyard (which we should do), we could easily start to work on planter boxes, trellises, purchase an outdoor sectional, or install a floating wood deck, BUT we wouldn’t have to do it all at once if we know the plan. Rant over.
Do it! You know the hubby will come around….
We are on the same wave-length. I’m starting to think about fancifying our patio by the garage too! Is that IKEA outdoor furniture? I’ve also had my eye on those pieces. Last summer, I made a 7×7 foot “deck” in a dead-spot in our sideyard with the IKEA runnen decking. It turned out great and made the space polished and functional. It’s relatively inexpensive. I wonder how much it would cost to put that over your concrete pad, like right now and not have to wait (I bet you hate waiting like I do!). The only downside is you do want to store it over the winter, but it’s really quick to install and take down.
I’m def considering it! I’ll have to start filling in a budget and begin to see if this is something that is really possible. I have thought of using wood tile for this job, I’m doing a bit of research right now. There are a lot of options out there, but I think that it could be a very good way to go! Do you know if the Ikea tile has a way to finish the edge?
There are two sides (the snap-in holes) that will need to be hidden or cut off to look polished. You can see what I mean on the website.
I positioned one edge along our fence and was able to hide the unfinished sides with mulch. It’s not noticeable at all. The “snap” part is lower than the decking so it was easy to hide. You could also cut off the plastic snap edges, but that seems like a PIA. You could easily hide the edge with mulch from your bordering garden beds, too. I’m curious how the cost compares to a floating wood deck.
I am curious, would this area really function well for you as a patio? Would you walk all the way out there with food and drinks to hang out more than once or twice in the summer? It looks like it might be good sun, wouldn’t you want to expand your veggie garden? I do garden design for a living. Often people will put in spaces without really thinking about how they will function for the family over the next 5 years. Won’t your kids swing back and use the space for basketball or street hockey as they age a bit. I am certain you have already put a lot of thought into this outdoor project so no criticism meant, I was just wondering.
Hi Erin! Thanks for your comment. Good suggestions on the basketball and garden area, but we have a basketball hoop on the alley side and my two veggie gardens are enough for me as it is. We are still considering all of our options, but I do think that a patio would function well in this space. Our yard isn’t that large, and the patio wouldn’t be that far away from our house. You would have to walk across the lawn, but I don’t think that would be a deal breaker. As it is, we don’t have a good space to entertain friends in our backyard. We can pull out lawn chairs and sit around the fire pit, or we can all crowd in around the outdoor table, but neither of those usually feel very glamorous. Having an outdoor living room would be nice for us. That being said, I’m still floating the idea around in my brain, it usually needs to sit awhile before I really decide to pull the trigger on something. Thanks :)
Alison- I love your website! you have so many fun and creative ideas! I love your old house and all the fun updates you have made. ~ Your old long lost neighbor
Hey Lisa! Thanks for saying “Hi”! I think we might be neighbors living in the same city once again! Our house is in Kingfield, right outside of uptown.
Ah I am in the same boat – except we bought our abandoned 1930 bungalow 2 years ago and have YET to address the outdoors. I’m talking no patio, no deck, no curb appeal – just loads of mud, ha! I have to ask (and I hope you’ll share): what program did you use to sketch out the patio design? I’ve been on the hunt for one that will allow me to do everything I have in mind, and after nearly a year of searching, I have yet to find it. So hard to communicate my ideas to the builders (or even to the husband!) without a proper sketch… Cannot wait to see this space come to life and be inspired to finally tackle our own outdoor living situation.
Hey! I use sketchup, you can download it for free here. You’ll have to watch some youtube videos to figure out the ins and outs, but once you start getting the hang of it, you can basically create anything your heart desires. I could play with it for days.
Oh yes! Thank you so much! I remember trying Sketchup a while ago, but then I forgot all about it… Super excited to rediscover it, though – if it means I can make perfect 3D mockups like yours, I’m all in!
Looks nice :)
What are the dimensions you use for the horizontal wood on the fence? I would like to have something similar at my house