Looking back at all the posts we shared about our renovation, I’m SO GLAD that all of that dust and demo is in the past. And I just love living in the new house, and the way that our family has filled the space in the ways that work best for us. It was such a huge process (two years!), and we essentially gutted 90% of the house. And I always say that as long as I live I never want to knock down another wall. 😉
But! We still have a whole backyard that is waiting for some love! I actually love the bones of our backyard (can backyards have bones?), and it’s a perfect jumping off point for us — lots of grass for the kids to run around in, a patio space for entertaining, and huge 70-year-old trees that I just adore.
But the functionality and the aesthetic of it leaves a lot to be desired, and ever since we moved in I’ve been brainstorming what we should do back there. We did this quick and budget friendly DIY patio but really, that was a placeholder for our forever plans.
Earlier this year we had a landscape designer come and help us sketch out a few preliminary ideas, but we couldn’t quite figure out the final few pieces so we let the project sit for a while. Now I’m kind of ready to pick it back up and make a solid plan so that next year we can finally tackle it.
Also, shout out to these totally unstyled and hot mess photos of our backyard! This is pretty much what it looks like on an average day, pooper scooper and all.
I definitely have a few goals for the yard. First, I’ve always wanted a deck to step out on from the house exits. There are three exits from the house that all step out into a courtyard patio, and there’s an awkward small step down. It’s dangerous for kids and for the older members of our family, and I just have always wanted to eliminate that first step. So we’re looking at a Trex deck that would connect all three doors and serve as a home for outdoor dining, a fire table, lounge seating, and more. We also want to be sure to preserve the trees for as long as we can, so the deck would kind of wrap around that big oak, and create some additional step seating. Some areas of the deck would step down onto stamped concrete, and other areas would ramp down. The ramps would serve a double purpose — fewer steps for elderly family members, and a path that the kids can ride trikes or bikes or scooters all the way from the deck to the driveway and back again.
We also want to preserve a good amount of the lawn; we use it all the time for move nights, picnics, games of tag, swinging in the trees, and more. So we created the curving stamped concrete area to cut down a bit of the lawn that we have to water but also preserve enough to play on.
And to be honest, that’s where we stopped figuring it all out! We have plans to build a playhouse for the kids, and we also want to still incorporate the sandbox that Ryan built them in the corner of the yard, but we haven’t quite sorted all that out. We also want to preserve some but not all of the vegetation; the goal is to fill it with lots more of the banana leaves, giant bird of paradise, and bougainvillea to create a sort of tropical feel (as much as possible in the Central Valley!). I’m looking forward to getting rid of all of the brick and river rock — with the big trees dropping leaves for about half the year, it’s a mess to try to keep clean. So another goal is to make the yard beautiful but very user-friendly and low-ish maintenance.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if you have any ideas for the pieces that we can’t quite figure out yet! Or if you have any aspects of your backyard that you love and/or don’t love so much. Help us figure this all out! xoxo