Originally published in 2012, our backyard makeover remains one of the best things we’ve done to our house almost 3 years later! We use it during the warmer months and look at it everyday, so it was a good use of our time and money, to say the least. I’m republishing it as we look towards spring to hopefully inspire you to tackle some outdoor projects of your own – they really do give a great return and don’t have to cost a lot!
Hi there, friends! I can’t believe that I’m finally able to share with you our finished diy backyard makeover “deck-to-outdoor-rooms” project that we started way back in February of 2011. Yep, that’s a year and a half ago. I guess I don’t need to reiterate that DIY projects take awhile, do I?
We worked on it when time and the weather allowed, so even though it took awhile I’m IN LOVE with the results! It’s everything I dreamed about as I’d stand at our kitchen window and look at this:
What a waste of space – I simply could not figure out what to do with that huge expanse of wood. Look how lonely the pots look.
And don’t even get me started on the upkeep or expense of replacing it. I understand decks for houses that need them because of height issues – but this was just two feet off the ground. I simply didn’t get it.
Now we have this beautiful area. Ahhhh. Just makes so much more sense, don’t you think?
Here are a few before-and-after shots:
We had to place our dining set towards the end of the deck to try and get away from the western sun at dinner time. Now the step leading to the gravel “dining patio” makes it seem like the table and chairs belong there.
We had added an outside French door to our master bedroom when we did our big remodeling shortly after moving in which included the garage conversion and installing the double set of French doors to the deck as well. It was the door that led to nowhere for seven years. Ahem. Now it has a small deck and step like the entry deck and connects to the space with a gravel path. Sweet, right?
Before the house and deck loomed out over the yard instead of being a part of the yard. With the pathways and planting areas it now helps connect the yard to the house.
Here’s the view from the other side – and if these areas are “rooms” then this gravel pathway that connects everything from the mudroom door all the way to the master bedroom is the “hallway”. Or whatever you want to call it. 🙂
So, to recap, our huge deck became four rooms:
1. A dining area on a gravel patio with room for the grill and a new flower bed which holds, among other plantings, my new favorite shrub along with a concrete bird bath.
Which the birds actually use – sometimes when we’re out there. Major fun (OK, for us – remember we live in the country).
Oh – I’ve been wanting to mention that the umbrella still looks great after spray painting it summer of 2011! I thought for sure I’d have to touch it up, but I didn’t even need to. Just regular old spray paint. Amazing.
2. An herb garden with a path to the back door which is closest to the kitchen (you can go here to read about the transformation of the herb garden with before, during and after pictures). It’s been wonderful to be able to run out and clip fresh herbs for meals – and they do so much better for me in the ground that in pots.
Oh, and see the finial? Brian cut a piece of wood for the cap, we attached a wooden curtain finial ($6 for a pair) and then I coated them in a water-repelling stain. SO much cheaper than fence post caps – I couldn’t find any cute ones for less than $10 each!
3. A entry to the backyard. Connecting to the herb garden is what I refer to as the “entry deck.” We reused the posts and 4×6 beams from the original deck and added a wide step down to the gravel.
4. And finally the gazebo, our outdoor “living room.” If you missed it, be sure to read all about the gazebo makeover and get the whole scoop on how it changed from a weird shed-like oddity in the corner of the deck to a fun place to hang out.
So…can you tell how much do I like our new space? What about you? Do you think of your outdoor space as rooms?
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