Here is the view coming in through the gate on the right side of the house. There is a new stepping path of about 8 stones between the patio and the gate - which eliminates killing of poor innocent grass blades every time we go in and out of the gate.
Because of the aforementioned hill, we needed to dig down (and by we I mean some very hard working gentlemen...not me) which created this lovely little retaining wall. We (and this time I do mean me and my husband) landscaped behind the wall all by ourselves. You are impressed...I can tell.
We had most of this furniture set from Target on our deck before the renovation began but I ordered new cushions for it. Navy blue seemed like a good idea until the cushions sit out in the hot DC sun all day eventually becoming human skillets. We are going to get one of those big cantilever umbrellas to add some shade to this area to keep from becoming grilled cheese.
In the picture above you can see the little fire pit/table that I got - also at Target. We have used this several times since the beginning of the summer and it is awesome. It really makes you feel like you are on vacation. The only thing I worry about is a spark catching one of the trees on fire and burning down the entire yard...but what can you do? Also in that picture is a pretty red wind chime we just picked up on our recent trip to the Outer Banks. It sounds exactly like a buoy bell you hear out in the ocean and reminds me of my grandparent's house in Gloucester. Below is the view from the patio back to the house. As I mentioned in my last post, yes, we had the stone color and all the furniture match the house. I am THAT obnoxious. But I own it.
Honestly, it came out so much better than I thought it would. My husband really pushed to make it as big as it is and I was skeptical because our yard is the size of a postage stamp to begin with. But I am glad he didn't back down because it is incredibly useful to have several areas on the patio - including the table, the grill and the seating area. The umbrella I got from Pottery Barn and the table and chairs from Home Depot.
After the patio was done, our ugly metal shed looked extra awful. I ordered a new one from Home Depot which came when my husband was out of town for work. So I went ahead and assembled the whole thing myself and then painted. it. Nahhhh...just kidding. I just painted it - which by itself was a pretty Herculean task if you ask me. Just don't look at it too close or you will see all my mistakes. Shhhh.... And yes, it does perfectly match the house.
I spent a lot of time picking out all the plantings trying to find ones that won't die in the oppressive, soon to be August heat. So far so good (but I'll keep you posted on that one). I love this bright red one. I have no idea what it is but it's pretty. My mom is like a master gardener. Her entire property is perfect and every time my kids go there (especially my son) they come back saying how they wished our yard looked like hers. This was my best effort. If they want more, they are just going to have to get their MomMom to get out here and fix it!
We added these great solar lights we got at BJs around the permitter of the yard. They give off a nice glow at night - even if they don't light up the whole backyard.
And of course, the grill gets a place of honor on the patio. It is a giant hunk of shiny metal but it somehow doesn't ruin the view entirely. And we use it almost every night so it needed to be close to the house...and close to our hearts. (Just heard you gag).
They did a great job of incorporating the existing stairwell into the design.
Here are a few shots of the yard during construction. It was quite a job!
And here is the yard exactly one year ago today. What a difference! BEFORE...
Here is the back of the house as it looked in July 2013.
Here is the addition framed out in late August 2013.
With the Zip Lock system and roof on in September 2013.
Below are some pics of the house when we first bought it - 9 years ago this month. Crazy how time flies and how different it is now. I really loved this deck because it felt like an extension of our house. I don't love it more than that actual new part of the house which replaced it, but I did love it. We even put a tent over it once and had my son's baptism/Thanksgiving out there.
Notice the old ugly shed which actually didn't look that bad way back when...until Snowmeggedon pushed the roof in.
And now back to the way it looks today. We love it...hope you do to!