When we were redesigning our outdoor space the most important thing we wanted to create was a space that felt quaint and cozy. We aimed for increasing the character and to feel like it could be original to our 1950’s cape. We didn’t want the patio to be too large; instead we wanted to create an intimate feel that would balance with the scale of our home.
Here’s a few before pictures to show you where we started. We had an old concrete block patio and walkway that had seen better days. The back of our yard sloped down (*side note: we ended up having to fill the backyard in with dirt to even it out as we updated our septic tank and leach field right before this renovation).
We enlisted a local landscape/hardscape designer to help us come up with plans and bring our vision to life. Our goal was to have a section for dining, conversation seating and a fire pit. His design featured blue stone walkways and red brick pavers as the hardscape that included inlays where the dining table and conversation seating would be as well as pea gravel on the fire pit area. The inlays show a change in brick direction which gives the appearance of a “rug” and added a design element that was subtle but added character. It wouldn’t be something recommended in larger patios since it limits how you can set up your furniture. But since we knew exactly how we wanted our table and chairs to fit, this was something we could include with little risk of changing our minds on furniture placement.
Once the hardscape was completed we focused on the landscape. To create a court yard feel we decided to build wood planters to house the boxwoods instead of planting them straight into the ground. As they grow we will trim them to create a hedge within the planters which will act as a screen of privacy and create intimacy in the space.
An issue that stood out to us was having the conversation seating up against the back of the garage. We felt it was an eye sore and thought it would the perfect spot to create visual interest by building a pergola and board and batten. Rich built this before the patio went in since we needed to put in footers to support the columns. This also created the perfect backdrop for our outdoor movies.
We have enjoyed many outdoor movie nights in our backyard space and are really happy with how all the renovations turned out. I will be working on another blog post outlining how we wired for the outdoor movie (before renovations) and all the products we use to view these outdoor films.