Sunday, February 1, 2015

Project: Backyard Oasis

One of the few things that I really missed when we left our old home was the backyard. It's odd too, when I think about it, because our new yard is bigger, has a larger pool and mature trees. But, I designed my old one and I miss it sometimes:

Even with all our furniture gone it looked amazing!
So I've focused my sights on making our new backyard just as awesome, if not more so. Here is the blank canvas I started with:

I mentally divided the space into three unique experiences: a place to eat, a place to read and a place to lay out by the pool:

Place to Lay Out:
One of my first purchases when we moved was a set of outdoor chaises. One of my pet peeves in the old yard was the uncomfortable feeling of sitting on a cushion that would get soaked while wearing my wet bathing suit. Our new chaises are sturdy and plastic which means that they won't hold water as I go between laying out and dunking in the pool. I got a matching table that opens to hold ice and drinks. I decided to use the area that gets the most sun for this zone so it is in front of the 2 windows (the workout room is on the other side) and closest to the steps into the pool:

Place to Eat:

I had already decided to put the dining table in the nook of the u shape so that's where it went. And it was fine except for 2 things: the ground is a different color from the rest of the yard which just grated at the OCD part of my nature. And secondly, it really needed some overhead cover (we're in Texas, y'all!). At first I started thinking about having a regular cover built like we had done at the old house, but then I got concerned about how dark it would make the interior of the house (Remind me to tell you about how much I love the sunlight pouring through the floor to ceiling windows). After some research we decided to go with a tinted  glass ceiling and we'll be getting a quote on that work next week. In the meantime, I added 2 outdoor rugs and I think they've made the floor discrepancy less obvious:

Now my ocd can be directed on the folds that need to work their way out of the rugs!

Place to Read:
I realize that by calling this a 'place to read' I have really minimized the purpose of this zone.  This is actually my zen corner to read, unwind and reflect.  This zone actually has 2 points- my Martha Stewart outdoor sofa and then 'the wall'. Here is the couch area:

It overlooks the pool as well as 'the wall'. Let me try and explain the wall.... when we first arrived, the wall had luscious plants that somewhat covered the utility boxes under that satellite (see the earlier pic of the blank slate). Once we had our first freeze they all died or hibernated and basically sloped over and turned brown. Then I tried to get a trellis set up that would cover the area but that didn't work.
Today we went to Lowes determined to find a solution. In the fence aisle we finally found it- bamboo!

This photo also shows you the entire layout of all the zones

Dean immediately got to work mounting it to the wall. It fit perfectly and covered the utility boxes. I then added some pieces from Pier 1 and now the wall is an amazing zen area:

And with that, our backyard is now an exciting place to be. Next week we should begin the process of getting a glass cover for the dining area so that should be the finishing touch!