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!
Striped Ottomans c/o
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
The coordinating side chairs are slipcovered, as well, and swivel a full 360-degrees.
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.
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!*