Before & After | The Patio Reveal!

Hello friends, and welcome back to a new week! Before we jump into today’s fun Before & After post, I need to express my deepest gratitude for the outpouring of encouragement y’all have heaped on me during this college transition. (If you’re new here, we moved our son for his first year of college last week.) Your support gave me so much comfort and strength during that transition, and in the days since.

The move itself went smoothly, and the departure was as devastating as I’d feared. I can’t quite articulate my feelings yet, but this post gives you an idea. The response has completely blown me away, and I’m thrilled that we’ve started an important conversation about this stage of motherhood.

I hope to dive in to it soon, but right now my heart is just too raw. Let me know what you’d be interested in talking about…whether it be tips for moving in, dorm room set-up, or the emotions that come with it all.

But let’s get to the fun of today (distraction and keeping busy is the key to moving forward for me!)…the before and after of our backyard remodel!

To truly appreciate the transformation, we must start at the beginning! When we moved to this house nearly five years ago (how is it already that long?!), this little screened porch was one of my favorite features. But after our first Summer here, we quickly realized that not only was this tiny spot the only shade in our backyard (Texas sun is no joke!), but it was too small to really be useful (it only fit two chairs.) Plus, the black screens weren’t adding to the aesthetic.

We made do for several years with an abundance of umbrellas and varying seating areas, but we knew a remodel was required in order to get maximum enjoyment from the space. And there’s nothing like discovering rotting wood to jumpstart a project!

First step was removing the rotted frame of the screen porch, which immediately opened up the space. Then we extended the patio to make it larger and more symmetric with the house. (‘We’ as in the amazing contractors! This was certainly no DIY!)

Once the foundation was set, they built a cedar pergola over the new patio area, and extended it along the side of the house for an outdoor kitchen. The pergola is anchored to the house (not freestanding), but to stay on budget, we used a polycarbonate cover to make it weather-proof, as opposed to extending the roof line.

The patio stays dry, and the cover provides UV protection and keeps it cooler. We added ceiling fans for Summer and a fire feature for Winter, making this outdoor room usable year-round!

The pool was in desperate need of repair, too, so we replaced the pavers and waterline tile, and had it resurfaced with new plaster.

Once the construction was complete, it was time for the fun stuff…decorating! We divided the patio in to Living and Dining Areas, using outdoor pieces that could withstand the heat, cold, and humidity. I’ll let the pictures take over from here…and there’s a lot of them!

Everything is linked under each pic, and most of it is on sale!


Lanterns c/o | Table (Similar Options HERE) | Outdoor Bistro Chairs (also here)


Outdoor Bistro Chairs (also here) | Lanterns | Acrylic Pitcher | Acrylic Cups | Succulent Planter


Striped Ottomans c/o


Woven Placemats | Melamine Plates | Clam Shell Succulent | Succulent Placecards | Acrylic Pitcher | Acrylic Cups


Striped Tee


Woven Placemats | Melamine Plates | Clam Shell Succulent | Succulent PlacecardsAcrylic Cups

We used all faux plants on the patio, and love that they provide year-round greenery without water or making a mess! These ottomans are super-lightweight, and move around easily for additional seating in the living, dining or pool area.


White Outdoor Table (Similar Options HERE) | Outdoor Bistro Chairs

The pots are collected over the years from World Market and HomeGoods, and we opted for native plants that were heat-tolerant and low-maintenance. The tile isn’t necessarily recommended for water use, so do your own research! (We added two coats of sealant.)


Waterline Tile | Horizontal Fence | Cactus

To keep with the ‘low maintenance’ theme, we opted for turf instead of real grass for the small side yard. The dogs have no issues with using it, and we just spray it down with this solution every few weeks to keep it smelling fresh.


Stackable Egg Chairs


Outdoor Egg Chairs | Pillows & Table are old from HomeGoods

As for the outdoor kitchen, we chose a light-colored limestone with concrete top and matte seal. The appliances are all stainless steel, and we were able to utilize the gas and water lines already in place for the grill and sink. It contains a fridge, grill, pull-out trash/recycle, sink, drop-in cooler and storage drawers.

If we did it again, we’d eliminate the drop-in cooler (not needed with the fridge), and add an ice maker. The sink drains to the patio, so it’s rarely used either. The outlets are great for plugging in speakers and phones.

We’ll eventually add decor on this wall, too.


Outdoor Sconces | Towel Hooks | Basket | Turkish Towels


Chaise Lounge Chairs | Striped Lumbar Pillows

I polled you guys on Facebook for outdoor furniture recommendations, and Pottery Barn was the clear winner. Y’all spoke to the quality and longevity of their pieces, so the majority of our living area  is Pottery Barn, and so far, we couldn’t be happier! (It’s all on sale right now!)

I chose the Torrey All-Weather Wicker for the light wash, simple lines, and single seat cushion. All the covers are outdoor fabrics, and come off easily for washing.


Outdoor Sofa (Color is ‘Natural,’ linked similar) | Rug | Hammered Side Table | Palm Pillow | Geo Pillow | Faux Palm Tree


Outdoor Sofa (Color is ‘Natural,’ linked similar) | Rug | Hammered Side Table | Palm Pillow | Geo Pillow


Ceiling Fans | Outdoor Sofa (Color is ‘Natural,’ linked similar) | Side Chairs | Coffee Table | Rug | Hammered Side Table


Coffee Table | Rug | Faux Fern | Basket Tray | Striped Lumbar Pillows | Swivel Side Chairs

The coordinating side chairs are slipcovered, as well, and swivel a full 360-degrees.


Striped Tee | Rug


Faux Palm | Ceramic Planter | Wood Stand


Swivel Side Chairs | Striped Lumbar Pillows | Hammered Side Table | Faux Succulent | Acrylic Cup | Rug


Palm Pillow | Geometric Pillow | Outdoor Sofa (Color is ‘Natural,’ linked similar)

Fortunately we had space in the garage to inset the fireplace and TV, so they’re both flush with the brick. We opted for a ventless fire box to avoid the high cost of adding a chimney.


Recycled Glass Bottle Vase | Yucca Branches


Egg Chairs

If you can’t tell by the excessive amount of photos, I’m completely smitten with the space! We’ve used it every day this Summer, and can’t wait for cozy nights this Fall. It’s also the kid’s favorite hang zone with friends, so of course our son was less than thrilled we waited until his last year to do the project! Ha!

I documented the entire process on my Instagram Story, you can watch much of it here. Hopefully I linked everything, but let me know if you have further questions! Now, who wants to come over for margaritas!? Happy Monday, lovebugs!

[Shop Our Space]

 

*Photos by the darling and talented Mary Hafner. Pottery Barn product is gifted, but all product selections, styling, and opinions are my own!*

Leave a Comment

70 Comments

  1. Shelly wrote:

    Such an incredible transformation!

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
  2. Peggy wrote:

    Such a beautiful backyard oasis! It is perfect. I am sure y’all have spent many hours there making wonderful memories.

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
  3. Sandy wrote:

    WoW!
    Your little slice of heaven! Finding yourself out there before dawn and at dusk, no doubt.
    I could redo my whole house just on that coffee table alone. Very pretty house, Ms. C!

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
  4. kai wrote:

    Hi Cassie, I’m not going to lie, but when I found your blog, followed your journey and this college journey. I cried for you and your family because that special wording post is sooooo true. I know some say it gets easier. But, those holiday visits were just as bad as the departure day. I hope the busy days ahead will bring you joy over thinking of missing him. And wish you and your family happiness and lots if love😚😙😘💋🥰😘🌸🌺🌼🌸🌱🍀

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
  5. Betsie wrote:

    This space looks so great! This is very much what I would like to do with my back patio. Do you know the approximate square footage of your area? Also, is there anyway I could see a picture of the top of the roof and how it’s attached? I’m mostly interested in the pitch of the roof, my husband and I are having lots of discussions about that. Lol!

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      I don’t know off-hand, but I think I remember it’s around 20’x 40′. As for the roof, I just toured it on my Instagram Story, so you can see it from the top and underneath! Hope that helps!

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  6. Susan wrote:

    Your outdoor space is beautiful!! We are designing an outdoor kitchen for our new house. I’m curious which brand you went with for your grill and whether you have been happy with it or not. Thanks!!

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thanks so much, Susan! The brand of the grill is RCS, and we’ve been really happy with it so far!

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  7. Shay Shull wrote:

    Cassie! This looks AMAZING!! I mean…HOLY COW kind of amazing!!

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
  8. Chrissy wrote:

    Congrats. It looks great and extremely functional. Love the waterline tile on the pool.

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thank you!! I love that tile too, fingers crossed it makes it through a rare freeze!

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  9. Heidi Ferguson wrote:

    What a GORGEOUS new addition to your home! You did such a great job! So refreshing and welcoming!! No doubt that boy will come home more than you think with lots of friends to to disturb the peace! Lol! I know you’ll relish every second! I bet Lil Miss is already planning lots of fun slumber parties!

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thank you!! Yes, it’s the dance party spot of choice for her and her friends!!

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  10. Kim S wrote:

    I LOVE the way you decorate! Everything looks so fresh and happy and colorful. You have great style.

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thank you so very much!!

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  11. Susan S. wrote:

    This is one amazing transformation…well done!!!! We too have gone the ‘faux’ plant route in NJ..as we are away many summer weekends. Not going to lie…after one or two hot days, I come home to real plants looking close to death….even tropicals! I tried to convince my older daughter to put the ‘faux’s’ on her terrace when she moved in to her new apt. this spring. Of course no one listens to mama…and now the tropicals are infested with some BUGS!!! Yuck!!!! Yes…that Pottery Barn palm you posted in now in my shopping cart because my daughter will ultimately say, ‘Mom…fine, you were right. I should have gone with the ‘faux’ plant’, lol! Your son is going to thrive….all due to his upbringing. Your daughter will thrive experiencing being ‘an only child.’ It’s a win no matter how you look at it. Hang in there! oxoxo

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      You won’t believe how good the PB faux plants look!!!

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  12. It’s so beautiful! Is there anything you do to protect the tv from inclement weather?

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thank you! Not so far…the TV stays fully covered and is far enough from the perimeter so it doesn’t get wet. And the cover and fans keep the area from getting too hot, so no worries there!

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  13. Stephanie wrote:

    We poured a concrete patio behind our house this summer and are thinking about adding a pergola for some daytime shade. What type of roofing did you use? Is it a plastic material? It is hard to see from these photos.

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      It’s polycarbonate sheets, sealed with flashing around the edges. I just did a full instagram story tour of it, so you can see it more there. xo

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  14. Sandra wrote:

    Wow, wow!!! So pretty, love the transformation and all the elements of it. It is like your own vacation spot in your backyard!

    My son is entering his third year of college and I just want to tell you it gets much, much easier. I’m actually really exited for him this year and although we will miss him, it’ s not nearly as “raw” as having him leave the first year. It’s much easier and when you have a young man at home even just for the summer, you realize it is really good for them to be on their own to create their own life! Thanks for sharing your true emotions. I had no friends to lean on when this happened to me, as their kids are younger. I would have really benefited from your blog/posts on this topic a few years ago! xo

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thank you so much for the hope and encouragement!! xo

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  15. Renee wrote:

    Hi – Cassie! This looks like a lovely retreat! I’ve had my eye of the Pottery Barn Hammered Brass coffee table and now that it is on sale, I am tempted to pull the trigger. Can you tell me if there is a hollow opening underneath or is it enclosed on the bottom? I did not see any references to this on their website. Thanks so much! PS – My son left home 1.5 years ago and my daughter is a senior in HS this year. I get very choked up when I scrolled past your IG feed, but have to admit, I kept on scrolling because I couldn’t go there! From one mom to another, I feel your pain and send prayers your way.

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thanks so much, Renee!! It’s getting easier every day. As for the tables, we have the hammered side tables (not the coffee table) and they are open on the bottom. I’d assume the coffee table is the same, but can’t be sure. They are light-weight, yet sturdy! It’s Mr. SP’s fave new drum! 😉

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
      • Renee wrote:

        Thank you for replying – I’ll buy through your link! 😉

        Posted 8.21.19 Reply
  16. Reena wrote:

    Hi Cassie, your backyard looks amazing! In some pictures I see solar shades with crank bar. How are you liking those? Did you get them from any specialized places or purchased them yourself and got it installed?

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      We found those at Costco for like $70 and Mr. SP installed! We love them…perfect for blocking that late afternoon sun!!

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  17. Olga wrote:

    It’s beautiful Cassie! Did I understand correctly, the sink drains to the patio so you don’t use it? Do you mostly food prep indoors?

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thank you! Yes…to have the drain installed under the concrete was pretty pricey, so we opted to have it just drain out to the patio. (Hopefully that makes sense). So we mostly just use it to rinse our hands, wash out a cup, etc. So not really that useful!! We do all the food prep inside in the kitchen, then cook it on the grill and serve at the table. xo

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  18. Laura T wrote:

    Cassie,

    Fantastic job as always. I love how it looks so tied together but doesn’t look like some photo shoot space that you can’t use in real life. Brilliant how you brought all the spaces together including the fire place.

    I’m down for margaritas. Just let me know what snack you want me to bring.

    Laura

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thanks so much!! We definitely designed it for us and how we live. You bring the chips and salsa, I’ve got the margaritas! xo

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  19. Beautiful backyard but can we talk about college drop off. We dropped our son off in the midwest and I cried my way thru the Frontier Airlines cocktail napkins! Ahh… deep breaths. On a side note my son’s best friends are starting their first year at OU! They are from the Denver area! xo laura in CO

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Oh mama, I feel you!! I hope you’re feeling stronger today. xo. C

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
      • Jennifer wrote:

        Hi Cassie! The patio looks amazing! What process did your contractor use to get the the old patio floor to match the new concrete they poured? Thanks!

        Posted 8.20.19 Reply
        • Cassie wrote:

          Thank you!! Oh yes…the final step was a concrete overlay of the entire surface!! It’s a super thin layer of concrete they stamped and lightly colored. It makes the space look like a single surface, plus it doesn’t get hot or slippery!

          Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  20. Nancy H wrote:

    Cassie, it turned out to be just amazing! Love the blue and white theme! I bet you did enjoy it this summer!😍

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thank you so much!! We use it literally every day!! Either for coffee in the morning, dinner and movies at night, and all day on the weekends!

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  21. Bridget wrote:

    Beautiful! I may have missed it, but can you link your fireplace, please?

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      We got it at the same place that sold the outdoor kitchen appliances! Ours is a vent-free…not too many to choose from!

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  22. Virginia Cheuvront wrote:

    Very, very nice! How do you keep it all clean? Do you keep everything out all year? I’ve always wondered how these outdoor living areas are maintained.

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Well, we’ve only had the space completed since June, so haven’t had a full year of seasons yet. But it’s fully-covered and watertight, and there’s not much live greenery, so it’s mostly just dust. We sweep it out every few weeks. And yes, we’ll keep the furniture out year round. Hope that helps!

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  23. April Sharayko wrote:

    Yay, I’ve been waiting for weeks for this blog post. Your Instagram stories are what inspired us to redo our screened porch this year to more of a conversation area and we’ve used it a lot also! It basically feels like we’ve added a room to the house. Great job!

    Posted 8.19.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      I’m so happy to hear that, April!! Yes, we pretty much just extended our house!!

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  24. Lara Baker wrote:

    Beautiful!!! Really great use of the space – well done.

    Posted 8.20.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thank you so much!!

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  25. Kimberly wrote:

    Cassie, could you link the CostCo sun shades or send me a link please?

    Posted 8.20.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Hi Kimberly! Unfortunately, I found them in-store and don’t see them anywhere online! They were in the outdoor section, and around $70! And they are SO GOOD!! Hope that helps!

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  26. Lynette wrote:

    Everything looks fantastic! I want to know more about the pergola. It looks like there is natural light shining through the wood beams, but it’s all covered to protect from rain? Can you comment more on how the roof is constructed?

    Posted 8.20.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      thank you! the cover is slatted to allow light through, but a polycarbonate cover keeps it water tight!

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
      • Carrie wrote:

        Love it! We have a pergola and I’d love to add a clear cover to extend its usefulness. Does it get dirty? How do you clean it? We have so many trees overhead that drop constantly so I’m worried it would get grungy.

        Posted 8.24.19 Reply
        • Cassie wrote:

          Thanks Carrie! Well, we’ve only had it 6 months, so haven’t seen it go through a full year of seasons yet. But with the slight pitch, the hard rains seem to rinse it off. It’s also attached to the house, so I suppose we could walk out on the roof and sweep it if necessary. But the slats of the pergola are close enough together that you don’t see dirt and debris from underneath. Hope that helps!

          Posted 8.25.19 Reply
  27. Cheryl wrote:

    What a beautiful space!
    We just moved into a new place with a pool….what do you use for a pool cover? Safety is a concern when the ‘little people’ are around and I’d like to keep some of the warmth contained as it gets costly to heat here in the north. Our pool is also kidney shaped which can be tricky.

    Posted 8.20.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      We don’t have a cover for our pool. When the kids were little, we kept the doors auto locked with childproofing on them, and a house alarm that beeped anytime the door was open. Now that they’re older, they still aren’t allowed to swim alone or when we aren’t home. If we ever have friends with small kids visit, we’re in the pool with them the entire time.

      Posted 8.20.19 Reply
  28. KarenJ wrote:

    Beautiful space Cassie! Very interested in the turf since you say the dogs have no problem with it. I have a very small yard which is mostly pea gravel and garden bed and the dog hates going in it. Was thinking some turf might do the trick. Is yours anything special? Where did you get it?

    Posted 8.21.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      We went through a local turf company…they brought out 4 samples of grass to choose from, and we went with what we thought looked the ‘most natural’ Then they leveled the area, added a crushed granite material for drainage, and attached the turf. It looks so real!!!

      Posted 8.21.19 Reply
  29. jane wrote:

    Love the Egg chairs from Project 62 at Target but alas they are out of stock. Any ideas from anyone on where I might track them down? tried FB Marketplace and Ebay … thoughts or suggestions? love them tho wonder are they comfortable? 🙂

    Posted 8.21.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Oh shoot…the price was too good to last. Hopefully they’ll come back, because they’re good! I wouldn’t make them my main sitting chairs, but the are good as occasional, accent chairs.

      Posted 8.21.19 Reply
  30. Maureen A Donahue wrote:

    Hi – can you tell me what was done to the two different textures of the concrete to make them blend?

    Posted 8.21.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Yes! The final step was a thin concrete overlay over all the surfaces to make them uniform! It’s like stamped concrete! It doesn’t get hot and we applied a ‘no slip’ sealant to make it safer around the pool!

      Posted 8.21.19 Reply
  31. Pauline M wrote:

    Cassie, I have followed you for years and it has been really neat to watch your journey! I’m 100% obsessed with your patio! I’m curious, what are the dimensions of the rug? I’m basically going to duplicate everything! I love having your perspective because you understand this Texas heat that affects our clothing choices and outdoor living spaces!

    Posted 8.21.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thanks so much, Pauline!!! We def wanted this space to be functional year-round, so we made choices based on that! The rug is 8×10 and it’s amazing!!

      Posted 8.21.19 Reply
  32. Caroline wrote:

    Beautiful! Its funny to me to see that you will keep furniture outside year round but it’s understandable since you live in Texas (up here in Canada, you have to put away the furniture every fall because we get so much (SO MUCH) snow, it would be completely covered and even just one winter will destroy it all. It’s also so very cold that nobody hangs out outside from late October to mid-May. And I laughed at your son being annoyed that you waited until his last year before doing your renos. I was 19 when I left home and was 18 when I finally got a full bathroom in the basement (where my bedroom was) and the same year we got a pool in the backyard……….couldn’t have done it during the 6 years since we had moved in. Also, that turf has me confused. This is faux grass? the dogs do their business on it and the “business” doesn’t just stay on the surface and accumulate and smell? I no number 2s would be scooped but don’t you have to wash the pee? Faux grass is so foreign to me.

    Posted 8.21.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      LOL — I can see it would all be so foreign given how different our climates are!! We really only have 2 really cold months of the year (cold for us being around 40!), but even then, we’d be warm under blankets with the fireplace going. And since it’s fully covered, we won’t need to store anything. We’ll honestly use this space 10-11 months of the year, if not all year. Right now is the worst time to be outside since the temps are around 100, but thanks to the cover and fans it’s pleasant at night.

      As for the turf…yes it’s faux grass. But it’s professionally installed over a bed of crushed granite so it has full drainage to the ground below. We still run the sprinklers on it a few times a week to water it down, and every couple of weeks spray it with a solution to eliminate any bacteria and germs. As for #2, they dry on top like reg grass and we scoop it!

      Posted 8.21.19 Reply
  33. Emily wrote:

    Your patio is beautiful!! I hope you are doing okay this week. My daughter is going through rush at FSU and is sick and extremely homesick!! I keep telling her she’s going to be fine just get through this week. I’d be great (sad but happy for her) if I knew she was happy and excited to be at college so it’s going to take some time for this mamma!! I hope yours is enjoying his first few days.

    Posted 8.21.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thank you so much, Emily! I hope your girl is feeling stronger soon! Tonight is bid night at OU, so I’ll be up worrying for awhile! 😉

      Posted 8.21.19 Reply
  34. Shelly Savage wrote:

    Hi did you ever add decor to the brick above your grill? Would love to see it!

    Posted 8.30.20 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      We ordered some baskets to hang…they’re still sitting in the garage! :/

      Posted 8.31.20 Reply
  35. Gina Bowman wrote:

    If you don’t mind sharing, who did you use for your outdoor remodel? It’s awesome! Thanks!

    Posted 1.1.22 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Hi Gina! We used Bill Johnson, 469-877-9415…but fair warning, he’s SUPER chatty and a little rough around the edges. 😉 But his teams do good work.

      Posted 1.2.22 Reply