I did it!
Here are the photos!
Real photos, with a real camera, with some real effort.
This is our patio these days.
And I have not gotten over the shock, awe, and gratitude that come from being out there.
I honestly cannot believe we did this.
But we did.
It took us years, and for a long time it looked horrible. But then after the beginning of this summer, we hit the tipping point and it feels AMAZING out there.
I love to go out to the garden in the morning cool and feel the damp dew and hear the birds, while I help the cucumbers find their way up. It’s one of my new found favorite things in the world.
And I have also been throughly enjoying taking a book out in the early evening and sitting down to read (only to stop reading and just listen and feel) it’s absolutely wonderful. The birds all sing at dusk, and I watch dragonflies up really high in the air (I didn’t know they did that!), and the wind rustling in the leaves. I feel awed by it all. It’s like normal-magic that feels like oxygen for the thoughts.
Look I tried to be “bloggy” and style it a little. I’ve never actually eaten breakfast out here like this, but I have had a few very enjoyable cups of tea.
But this post would be terribly lacking without some good flash back photos.
I’ll tell some of the tale for anyone new.
The house came with this deck.
Weird angles and OVERGROWN landscaping (and still undergrown grass).
A HUGE dying locust tree, the deck cut around
The deck had this step up, just a couple feet from the family room door, so it felt like a tripping hazard and looked very odd.
Then we discovered that our family room, since it was an add on and flush to the ground, that it flooded in heavy rains. So we pulled the deck to create a better solution.
We found a broken sump pump underneath -- so they had tried to address it before, but over the years it got forgotten and aged out.
Plus Blake wanted something that would be more fail safe.
So for a while, anytime it really rained would would rush out there and throw a pump in the hole and hope our family room would stay dry.
Durning the year-ish wait, to figure out a plan, and get to the right season to do it, we got this beautiful look going.
We were pretty apathetic about going out to the yard.
Last summer we broke ground. Leveling the yard correctly and digging out our sunken patio portion.
We have a sump pump. But wanted a retention area for potential pump failure.
So all last summer Blake (and a few friends and family sometimes) worked his butt off and created this patio for us.
I really still can’t believe Blake was so willing to let me design this thing however I wanted (so long as we had the sunken area.) He was amazing and told me “whatever you think up I will make it happen.” That’s some special kind of love.
A friend spotted these chairs for me at ReStore for $10 a pop. And I was SO excited because that patio cost some money…furniture budget was low.
SO yeah -- getting there, but the yard was dirt and the house was dirty.
Those lights needed to be updated.
The cable wires were out of control from decades of re-wiring over and over again and never removing. And stuff just looked old.
I scrubbed and scrubbed. I cut off a million wires from the house.
Blake rewired new lights for me.
And I painted out the pipes and boxes and the porch posts.
I had thought this window could really use some shutters to give this spot some more dimension and scale and flare. And low and behold ReStore had some old metal shutters JUST THE RIGHT SIZE!! For $5 a pop. I painted them and Blake hung them.
I also painted the faux brick tin stuff chimney black. (You can see it’s faded pink-red up in higher photos) I didn’t know if I should do white, but I am beyond in love with the black -- SOOOO glad I went with it. It’s very classy and modern and understated. White would have called more attention to it’s faux goofiness. Black makes it kinda disappear at times.
And I painted the back door black as well.
The effect of these last little bits is the mind-blowing icing on top.
Remember how the side yard was terrible and I didn’t know what to do?
We had been given these three large pots from our old neightbor, I have three boxwood shrubs in there now. And it’s just right. I’m going to try and landscape between them as well, as time goes on.
I also would really like to stain the fence.
Remember when I showed you our family room view and teased how it was like a vacation view?
Honestly, now I feel like it is a vacation view.
I’m just seriously in denial that this is real life.
And I’m very happy to report that this room has stayed totally dry in all our rains since having this patio and pump in place.
I didn’t want to over-blog in one day.
I’ll to be back again with more story and details on the raised garden beds and plants.
PLUS I have a surprise to reveal -- the yard has more bang for it’s buck, that you don’t even know about! WHAT!?!
For now a couple last glamor shots
I hope you enjoyed my photography efforts!
I’m so happy I went for it.
What do you think guys?