An update on the summer backyard project we started earlier this summer: a paver patio in the shady area of our yard.
It’s been a couple months since we first broke ground on expanding our backyard for a fire pit patio. I figured it was about time for me to share our progress + update everyone on where things are at now. While we still have some work left to do, mainly adding in some landscape, I am so happy with the transformation of this previously unused space.
If you are new to the blog or need a little refresher, we installed a modern cedar pergola back in september 2015. In addition, we planted about 10 shrubs + 2 small flowering trees to soften up all the hard lines in our yard. Our plants are flourishing and the pergola has been everything we wanted.
However, the previous owners of our home, installed a 6′ fence approx. 20′ from the edge of our property. Ultimately, they cut our back yard up, creating a 20′ deep ‘dead zone’ between the alley behind our yard and the fence. For the past 2 1/2 years, this space has been home to 6 large shade trees + a ton of weeds. It was a total waste + ryan has wanted to push our fence back into this ‘dead zone’ for years.
After coming up with a plan for a paver patio, we built an inspiration board with the elements we wanted in the space. Since then, we (and I truly mean ryan) have done a ton of work; transforming a giant dirt/weed lot into a quaint shaded patio.
First up, we took down our old fence and built a new one. In doing so, we added an extra 400 square feet to our backyard. Ryan’s grandpa helped him + he was invaluable in getting the fence up quickly. We then pulled out all the weeds, rocks + junk in the ground. It was far-from level + the ground was insanely hard, so, off we went to home depot to rent a tiller. Ryan spent hours shoveling dirt from one side of the yard to the other, leveling everything out. We then laid down weed barrier before bringing in 3 tons of paver base for the patio to sit on.
Over the course of a weekend, our paver patio was installed with the help of ryan’s stepdad + my dad. Oh, and of course cohen wanted in on the action too. He assisted his grandpas by pushing the wheel barrow + standing on the pavers to ‘level them’. We also built a stone retaining wall/planter around the perimeter of the patio. Our plan is to fill the planter with small shrubs + flowering vines to break up all the stone + fencing. Last minute, we decided to build a simple wood bench to create additionally seating. This impromptu bench might be one of my favorite elements. Not only is it functional but it adds a little burst of color with all the bright pillows.
To finish off the space, it was time to bring in seating. Our hope is to get some wicker club chairs but to save money, we found some ultra-affordable adirondack chairs for now. Ambiance is essential so, we brought in an aluminum propane fire pit (which I built with my dad!) and some twinkling lights. Ryan strung the lights from our tall shade trees + at night, they are just perfection.
Most evenings are now spent on our back patio, cozied up to the firepit with a beverage in hand. We have also roasted dozens of s’mores with family + friends too. Honestly, the before and after pictures do not even do this area of our yard justice. It has truly become some of the most well-used space on our property + the highlight of our backyard.