Monday, September 26, 2011

Our new backyard!

travertine outoor hearth

Well, I’m kind of cheating. I’m not really showing a fall mantel for Layla’s party. Just a fall fireplace.

An outdoor fireplace. ;)

I figured I can show you the indoor mantel any time – but the final touches on the backyard and the new patio were made today, so I just couldn’t wait to show you!!

Is this allowed Lay? :)

I hope so! Cause it rocks my world!!!

OK, there are a serious amount of pics on this one, so bear with me. (And I thought the deck post had a lot – HA!)

Let’s start with the piece de resistance – the outdoor fireplace:

outdoor stone fireplace

We almost didn’t add this – at first it was just going to cost too much. But our landscaper worked with us and we figured out a way to make it happen.

And we are SO GLAD we did. It just makes the whole space – it’s the focal point, no doubt!

They used a travertine stone on the hearth and for the details on the front, instead of the brick on the sample we saw. He wanted to pull the colors from our house, and it does just that!

The stone works with the house too, and has some bits of grey and red tones that work with the patio:

stone patio with fireplace

It’s been raining on and off for days, and finally today it was just beautiful! As soon as I pulled out the camera, the sun went behind the clouds, again. (Some of the stones on the patio are wet – that’s why they are darker.)

Let’s check out the before and after shall we?:

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AWESOMESAUCE!!! ;)

We got all of the furniture on clearance at Menards and I LOVE IT:

red outdoor sofa

I think it looks SO much more expensive than it was – all four chairs and the sofa (we have a outdoor SOFA?!), were less than $800:

outdoor firepit

We got the fire pit at Menards as well (on clearance – notice a trend here?) a couple years ago.

All of the pillows are placemats from World Market – I also used them as placemats (who would have thunk it?) on the table set on the deck:

outdoor pillows placemats

I adore the colors and the designs – and that I can flip them around for a different look.

Here’s a little tour of the backyard – the before on the left, the after now:

 

We are trying to bring the grass back – it was covered with the deck furniture (while they stained) for so long, it pooped out. We had the drain spout put under the ground – which makes hubby VERY happy. He moved that thing every single time he mowed. ;)

They planted a winding row of burning bushes, which I LOVE, between our trees, and then a couple large arborvitae at the end for privacy. They are so tall and thick – I love them!

You can see how the patio looks from the yard from this angle:

I love all the thought they put into the design of the walls – it could have easily been a plain wall and we would have been happy. But they look so custom with the bullnosed detail around the bottom.

We planned all along to put the grill down on the patio, but in the end hubs wanted to keep it up on the deck. So I put the DIY potting bench there instead and now I think it’s the perfect spot!:

DIY pottery barn potting bench

That big black bucket is actually for fireplace ashes, but I keep my potting soil in it. :) Hopefully it will hold up outside – I may spray it with some kind of sealer.

Have the potting bench there couldn’t work better, because my plan all along was to use it for entertaining as well – now it will be a great spot for food, drinks, ice buckets, whatever.

You can see the fireplace from the back here:

It’s hard to see, but on each side of the fireplace are pee gee hydrangea trees. I got them for half off at my local True Value and I’m SO excited about them. Hopefully they will look something like this eventually:

image(source)

Isn’t that gorgeous??

Next summer they will frame out the fireplace perfectly. Can’t wait! :)

We especially love how the landscaper used the natural stone throughout the space – like in the landscaping above, and the stepping stones through the mulch:

And the “steps” up to the patio are large stones:

They make it feel like everything has been there forever!

Here’s a before and after from the other side:

IMG_6213

You’ll notice the garden is gone. It was a very, very sad day. I’m not kidding. They had to rip the cucumbers from my clutched fists.

OK, OK, it wasn’t that dramatic, but it was hard.  ;) I don’t know yet where I will put it next year, but I have a couple spots in mind.

You’ll also notice that there’s not many plants in the ground. That is simply because we just had to stop! (Our bank account was starting to freak out a little. OK, a lot. ;) ) We’ll budget for that next year. I can’t wait to plan all of the landscaping – I think the plants will make it even more of an oasis!

At first I wasn’t sure how to set up all the furniture on the patio, but I searched “outdoor fireplace” online and noticed most of them had the chairs set up like this:

I didn’t want the back of anything to be facing out, so this works great. 

And there’s still plenty of room to get around them, to the potting bench on one side, the firewood on the other:

The lovely folks at Wuslu.com sent these baskets too me, and this one was the largest. It’s just LOVELY as a firewood holder. :)

The massive mums were a STEAL – my BFF and I found out one of the local fruit farms offers $5 mums if you dig them up yourself. We got HUGE plants for so cheap – usually this size would cost (at least) $30! I plan to plant them later and we’ll see how they do next year.

I just love mums. I just love fall. Sigh. :)

Today the landscaper came out and cleared out a TON of the brush in the back – we didn’t think he would do that till next year, and it opened up our backyard SO MUCH:

I mentioned here that our next phase will be to clear all of this out, plant more trees along the back and mulch most of it.

This land is why we built our house here and it’s one of our very favorite parts of our home – if not our favorite. We have been so spoiled by all the green space and privacy. I absolutely love it, and now we have another 20 feet of yard to explore, now that we can get back there!

Since the last minute touches were finished up today, we celebrated by lighting a fire this evening:

It’s no surprise that the evening is the best time to enjoy this space. :)

We grab cold drinks, warm blankets, light the fire, listen to the crickets and look up at the stars:

And it really does not get any better than this.

I feel so lucky I could burst. I don’t know what I did to deserve this, but I sure do appreciate it. :)

I hope you enjoyed the tour of our new backyard! And I need to give a HUGE shout out to our landscaper and his staff – Bill at Eagleson Landscape did an incredible job. They did such an amazing job and took such pride in everything they did – especially the guys who put the stone on the fireplace. We were so pleased with every bit of it! If you are in the Indy area and need anything done outdoors – give them a call!

Be sure to link up your fall fireplace (mantels?!) at Layla’s – I can’t wait to see all the goodies! 

image

I’m such a rebel. :)

 

I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

81 comments:

  1. Wow! That's so lovely!!
    ~Envy~

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  2. Oh my GOODNESS - it looks amazing, Sarah! And I think it's safe to say that this totally counts as a mantle post ;)

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  3. Total awesomesauce! I've always wanted an outdoor fireplace and yours turned out beautifully xo

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  4. Absolutely beautiful! I would love to grab a blanket and curl up to a great book by the fire. What a great place to make memories with your family!! :)

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  5. Beautiful! Ok, I'm coming over to roast marshmallows in that fabulous fireplace! ;)

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  6. Gorgeous!! Great job and so glad you add that fireplace!

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  7. It looks fantastic!! Love how everything just looks like it's meant to be there! :)

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  8. WOW, AMAZING!!! Now that's a backyard, perfect for entertaining. What a lovely conversational area you have created. It's so cozy and inviting, great design!! What wonderful memories you will make out there. I'm excited for you! XO ~Liz

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  9. GIRL, it's gorgeous! I want to come and hang out with you! :) I love the furniture, the colors etc. Everything is beautiful! :)

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  10. It's okay to hate you right now right? :o) It's perfect. And pretty much blows my DIY fire pit out of the park. lol
    Crisp air, crunchy fall leaves, a bottle of red and a fireplace straight outta dreams. Well done my dear.

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  11. That fireplace, the whole patio in fact, looks like a dream come true! I would love to have something like that. Sigh... Congratulations and enjoy!
    (just a little worried about that gorgeous furniture...what will you do when it rains?)

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  12. Your outdoor space is just out of this world. So much space and so many different areas you can use. It looks wonderful! Hope you get to enjoy a bit of Indian Summer out there.

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  13. Sarah, what a wonderful rustic spot for you and your family to rest and enjoy! The fireplace is to die for!
    Very nice....
    Sandy

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  14. I love, love, love it!

    Jenny
    www.simcoestreet.blogspot.com

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  15. Your backyard is simply fantastic! What a cozy space. Your home is an inspiration! Thank you for sharing the tour with us! Blessings~ Tammy

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  16. Amazing backyard transformation. The fireplace is gorgeous.

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  17. So nice! This is what we all dream of!! Can't wait to see more pics next year when your landscaping fills in.

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  18. I would never come back inside! It is soooo beautiful, warm and cozy!

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  19. That is just gorgeous!!! So perfect for the fall and cool nights. Enjoy your time out there!
    xo

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  20. Wow! I would love to come and take fall pictures in your backyard...its awesome! Well done!

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  21. I am so envious! Our patio/pergola area has been in the stage of incomplete for several years now and I am SO ready to hire a landscaper to get it done for me since I can't do it due to health issues and hubby has no idea how to do what I want to have done. :/
    You've inspired me...and, of course, made me jealous ;)

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  22. Just beautiful... I love it! What a lovely, cozy place to spend Fall evenings.

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  23. It looks amazing!! Definitely could be right out of a magazine. You are going to really enjoy it and spend so much time out there. I want to come curl up in front of the fire with a latte and read all day...you wouldn't mind would you? ;)

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  24. This was so inspiring so glad you went with the fireplace truly beautiful

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  25. Wow - what a hidden gem! The fireplace is so unique with the stonework. I'll definitely file this away for future reference. What a great place for a fall get together.

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  26. Fall is my favorite time of the year. You have the perfect patio to sit and enjoy the weather with a cup of tea or evening with friends and glass of wine. I am coveting your patio :)

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  27. I'm trying really hard not to envy you, but it's not working out so well for me. ;) Your new backyard is to. die. for. Sarah! I love it!!

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  28. That fireplace is gorgeous!! That must be amazing at night! So fun!

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  29. That mum was a great bang for your buck! You can divide it into several and get even more luscious mums for next year out of it!

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  30. This looks amazing! The perfect spot to relax and enjoy fall weather.

    I have to ask, though. My husband and I would love to do something similar to our backyard, but doing so would take a big chunk out of our savings, which we aren't comfortable with. How is it possible that you guys just recently got out of debt, then suddenly a few months later have the money to do a huge project like this (without going back into debt)? I don't get it!

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  31. Look so nice & inviting.

    I always appreciate your detailed writing which helps the readers, even saying you looked online to check out furniture placement at the fireplace! I feel like I am learning so much from you. :) thanks
    Chrissy

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  32. It looks AMAZING, Sarah! I think I would just live out there!

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  33. That is awesome !!!!!...I know where I would be every evening.....looks wonderful!!!

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  34. OMG Sarah! I LOVE it!! It's amazingly beautiful. That fireplace is a show stopper. What a great addition. Your entire backyard looks soo lovely now. The landscapers did an awesome job. I'm soo happy for you! = )

    I think a Bailey's and coffee would be in order for around the fireplace this evening!

    ~ Catie

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  35. Ashley, we actually got out of debt in January, so it's been eight months. We paid for the outdoor projects along the way -- it's taken two months start to finish and we paid on it regularly. Because of our budgeting and planning, we will finish it up without touching our savings. Not paying on more than $125K in debt sure changes things!
    We don't do anything we can't afford, and put many things off because they didn't fit in the budget.
    And we are still debt free, proud to say!!

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  36. Wow, that fireplace is the stuff dreams are made of!!! I love it! And I definitely think it counts toward a fall mantel lol!

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  37. It turned out fantastic! Y'all are going to get so much enjoyment out of it.

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  38. OH! MY! GOODNESS!! It's AMAZING! BEYOND AMAZING! I really have no words and have yet to pick my jaw up off the floor yet! WOW! WOW! WOW!.....WOW! Side note: I remember your out of debt post. My hubby and I still use it from time to time for inspiration. p.s. I linked up a fire place mantel...it's just inside and pales in comparison to this beauty!! Yours is like a dream!

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  39. Awesome...everyone will be wanting to come hangout in your backyard! Just beautiful :)

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  40. I am on my way over. I want to lounge on that love seat near that oh, so beautiful fireplace. I want to watch the sun leave and the dusk take over while enjoying the autumn evening with the fire to keep me warm. Sigh.....

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  41. That is a gorgeous yard!! I would live outside if it were mine. You are so talented!!

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  42. Modest mantel with just the pumpkins, but the stone looks so cool to lean against. ^--^

    So good to spend some time outside and purr near the fire. *Mmrrr*

    http://phoebedancingcat.blogspot.com/

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  43. Where did you get your outdoor sofa? I've been looking for a set for quite some time and can't find anything I love. Thanks!

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  44. Love it! And the top of your fireplace can also be an awesome slow cooker as well. :) Just use disposable foil pans with covers. It works beautifully! :)

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  45. It all looks amazing!!! I must have your placemat pillows! Thanks for providing the source! I only hope I can still find some in stock!

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  46. wah-woh-wee-wah -- neighborhood party at sarah's house!!!! holy cow, it's so awesome...what a great investment. enjoy many a night out there my friend!

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  47. Wow Sarah! What a transformation. You must be in heaven cause that outdoor fireplace sure looks like it:)

    xo

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  48. Absolutely Stunning!!
    Great Job!
    xo

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  49. Now, that is what I call beautiful!! A fantastic job was done, and with the furniture looks marvelous.

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  50. Great job. Do you have a fire pit plus the lovely fireplace.



    Barbara

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  51. OMG, i love it!! It is gorgeous.

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  52. That is gorgeous! And I completely forgot about decorating my outdoor mantle (My indoor one has a TV mounted above it - boo!)

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  53. Absolutely love your outdoor area! You did a great job! Can I come visit? ;-)

    ~~~rhonda~~~

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  54. Wow, wow, wow, wow, WOW! So incredibly beautiful :) When's the party?

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  55. Please excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin! AMAZING! That fireplace is to die for! Such prefect time to have it finished and get to enjoy it on the crisp cool fall nights! Yeah for fall!

    I really need to update my outdoor furniture, it is a total hodge-podge!

    Enjoy your space- it will be such a romantic stay at home date hangout!(ps. I love the basket with the wood too!)

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  56. I love love love the pictures you have posted. Very inspirational!!

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  57. I am SO jealous! An outdoor fireplace is on my home bucket list, and yours is the exact style I'm looking for! It's so gorgeous, and you basically added another house to your total square footage! So unbelieveably fabulous!

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  58. I really like the fire pit, it looks so cozy!

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  59. Seriously, I just want to live in your backyard!! At least during Fall, with weather permitting :)

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  60. I would love to grab a blanket and curl up to a great book by the fire..Thanks for such a nice post...

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  61. I can't believe that furniture is from Menards! I'm speechless!

    When we moved this summer we left our fireplace. :(

    So there will be no mantle love for me. :(

    But Dave Ramsey would be so proud of our decision to downsize our space and in turn downsize our mortgage! :)

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  62. That is fantastic! I think it must be difficult to not stay out there all of the time! Great job.

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  63. Your outdoor living space is amazing! I could live out there! I am so jealous!
    Debbie

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  64. Gorgeous!!! What a treat that must be. Yowsa! So happy for y'all!

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  65. You lucky, lucky, lucky girl! Gorgeous! Love the huge mum's either side of the fireplace, all the pumpkins, gourds, fall colors....divine! Enjoy! I can dream....one day.....outdoor fireplace goes on the bucket list...;-)

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  66. OMGoodness! Your backyard is a dream...love that fireplace! We have a firepit that hubby built and we use it all the time. He even cooks on it! It makes the best hamburgers and hotdogs. Kind of like camping...lol. We are really going to use it this fall. Enjoy your new space! Kristen

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  67. It's amazing - I'm in the process of planning a patio. Just concrete - nothing this fancy, but I wonder what size your patio is?

    I want it to be big enough to be useful with seating and dining, but not so big that is breaks the bank. Currently I'm thinking of 15x16 and that is as small as I think I can go. A good balance of price and function.

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  68. WOW!! It's absolutely beautiful ~ :)

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  69. Of course it's allowed and of course it's BEE-YOO-TI-FUL as usual!!! Can we come roast marshmallows with you? ;-)

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  70. Just gorgeous!! The stone...everything is beautiful. Enjoy!

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  71. Oh wow, what an incredible transformation. I love the outdoor fireplace! Well done!!!

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  72. i soooo like to have an outdoor patio too. but i was wondering what if it rains?do you have to take all the furniture inside?or you just bought furnitures that are waterproof and leave them outside even if it rains?thanks!

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  73. It's beautiful and I am very jealous. I'm using it as inspiration.

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THANKS so much for reading!