Our deck, pergola and paver patio

June 18, 2012

Last year our backyard underwent a HUGE redo – we built a large deck on our sloping backyard soon after moving in years ago, but other than that we hadn’t touched it.

We finished paying off $125K worth of debt early last year, and this was our gift to each other for doing so. And yes, we paid cash. :)

We had a patio put in, a bit of landscaping (I’ve added quite a bit more this summer which I’ll show you soon) and our big splurge was this baby:

outdoor stone fireplace

These pics are from last fall, obviously. I love fall but I’m holding back on the pumpkins at least for a few more weeks months.

The patio and fireplace are truly a dream come true – I cannot express to you how lucky we feel every time we walk out there. We’ve realized this summer the oasis it really is – the trees that line the back of our yard provide a TON of shade on the patio, which is something we’ve never had out there!

paver patio with fireplace

We also had our deck restained (HUGE process), and added a gazebo we found on sale at Sears to offer more shade on the deck.

I had fun decorating the space last year:

fall deck

The gazebo is AWESOME – we can go out at night and shut the sheers and it keeps it relatively bug-free:

outdoor gazebo candelabra

Which is nice because mosquitoes LOVE ME.

This winter wasn’t as cold as usual, but dang, it was WINDY. The gazebo leans quite a bit now because of all that wind. It’s held up great otherwise, but everything just needs to be tightened up (which we just haven't gotten to yet this summer).

We have three different “rooms” on the deck, which is what we designed it for all those years ago when we had it built:

large deck different levels

The gazebo is a cool, shady spot during the day, but it’s most fun at night:

deck gazebo at night

We adore our backyard now, and have spent more time out there in the past nine months than we have in eight years. :)

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  1. What a great space! Your backyard is so beautiful. Such a great outdoor space to sit and relax!

  2. I love your outdoors gazebo and fireplace, they look perfect! Do you have fireflies where you are? They are the one (and only!) reason i'd ever leave my family and move out of California, I really would like my kids to experience fireflies. But for me, smores are a close second, so I could just do that too:)


  3. Thanks so much for hosting Sarah!! I absolutely love your outdoor space!! That fireplace is to die for!! Looking forward to meeting you this week at Haven!!

  4. Thanks for hosting Sarah! Since it's too hot here in AZ to enJOY the outdoors (it was 115 Saturday!!) I shared my Olioboard OnLine Outdoor designs + a FL Patio redo I did. Hope all is well - THX again for hosting. tweeted & shared link on FB :)

    xo Lynda

  5. All these outdoor spaces you have created are beautiful! Best of all, you have them paid for and can enjoy them guilt free! ~ Maureen

  6. Oh my GOODNESS! The gazebo lit up is SO FUN! I have two boxes of Xmas lights I was lookin' at today wonderin' if I could find someplace in the backyard for them. Clearly I need to!
    Thanks for such a fun party every month. I have WAY too many yard posts (Hi, my name is Mindy and my drug of choice is plants.), but I managed to restrain myself and only link up two. :o)

  7. Looking forward to getting a lot of ideas for our hole in the ground!.
    I linked you to tomorrows post

  8. Thank you so much for hosting, Sarah!! Your outdoor space was one of my favorite projects to watch last year. It is so perfect! We lived in Indy about 10 years ago and tried to create a bit of a backyard sanctuary ourselves.

    Now we live in the Caribbean and I turned our rooftop patio into an extra bedroom. Definitely our new favorite space.

    Looking forward to Haven!!

  9. WOW! Your outdoor space is amazing! It basically checks off my wish list. - that fireplace and gazebo - oh boy! love. i could join the party and show everyone a great before picture of a sad outdoor space;)! but i don't have any afters. maybe next year!

  10. Thank you so much for hosting this! I can't wait to look at everyone's awesome spaces...and of course, yours is stunning. That fireplace is like a dream come true. :-)

  11. Wow-zers...wow-wy... WOW!

    What a lovely backyard and such a blessing of a place to relax, get-away or fellowship with others.

    LOVE it!

    Thanks so much for hosting!

  12. You have my dream yard! Love, love, love it!! I had the same gazebo up until last summer when Hurricane Irene decided to whisk it away :(.

    Thanks so much for hosting this party! I put up a thumbnail, but for some reason there's an 'x' under the pic. I'm sure it's something I did wrong so forgive me, but I'm new at this.

  13. wow stunning! I especially love the gazebo all lit up at night. I just want to come over there right now! My new home has a lovely pool area but sadly no yard so I'll be fawning over all the links at your party. hugs, Sally xx

  14. You will want to redo your deck when you see, http://5thandstate.blogspot.com/2012/06/room-thats-view.html, or get more decks !

    Love all my terraces & patios but her inspiration there was over-the-top.

    And not expensive....mostly.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  15. Sarah, thank you so much for hosting these parties! You attract lots of great links to your parties, and it's a privilege to participate. I'm linking up a post about my new front porch and a post about my screened porch updates. Hope it's okay to link two posts!

    I do love your outdoor patio space and I know you're really enjoying it. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  16. After seeing your outdoor space, I think I am going to pass. Yours is right out of a magazine!

  17. I hope that one day I will have a patio that is as amazing as yours!!

  18. Your back patio looks amazing!! Especially lit up at night....i think i would be out there every night with my glass of wine if i were you:)
    One quick question...you mentioned that you get a lot of wind, and we live in Northern Kentucky where it gets crazy windy sometimes too. I noticed that you have a chandelier under your gazebo, and I too have considered putting one up under our pergola, (and some drapes too) but I was concerned with it breaking in the high winds or the drapes getting destroyed. How do you find they hold up? do you have to take them down when stormy?
    I'd appreciate any advise you would have to give!!

  19. Thank you so much for hosting! Your outdoor space is beautiful! I was hoping to link up my backyard as well but my husband decided to dig half of it up to enlarge the pond!

  20. Especially love the lighting in your gazebo! I'd like to do something sorta similar with our covered patio but we're just not out there after dusk very often.

    We just finished replacing a big set of windows with a new patio door and revamping the Master Bedroom. This week, I'm dressing up the planting areas with new plants and lots of fresh mulch.

  21. I have some great outdoor spaces, but my daughter is getting married in four days so I will pass on joining the party. I love your deck and yard............so cool. Also, am a big fan of your blog. Congrats on paying off the debt.....

  22. Thank you so much for hosting this great "outdoor" party! I am working on my yard a lot these days and I look forward to getting some more great ideas!

  23. Thanks for hosting, Sarah! I linked up to share preview pics of our new outdoor space! We are moving to Central Arkansas in early July. Can't wait to see inspiring photos from your party! :)

  24. Hi, Sarah! I love the gazebo and that it keeps the bugs out! Do you mind mentioning what brand it is, and how it stands up? Are the lights string lights that are plugged into an outdoor outlet? The patio looks great!

  25. Love your blog AND your outdoor space! I just started blogging this weekend, so my page is very amature. Thanks for the link party!

  26. Thank you for hosting, and for sharing your beautiful outdoor space. And a BIG pat on the back for paying for it--cash, no debt! Awesome!! ~Zuni

  27. Sarah, your outdoor "room" is wonderful. LOVE the fireplace! I'm joining in with my porch...just added a link back to the par-tay! Looking forward to meeting you at Haven! :)

  28. I'm always in awe of your back yard! I can only dream of having something like this one day! Currently we have a tiny front porch, and live in a semi-rural area with lots of bugs and dust, so we don't do much out there. BUT I dream of the day...

  29. This looks awesome! I can see why you have spent more time outdoors. I am currently working on our outside and deck area. I have slowly this spring been working on it, I don't have the after pics just yet! I have a graduation party on July 8th and that is my deadline to complete. Thanks for the inspiration!

  30. I want to come live on your deck!!! I would spend every free minute outside if we had a space like this!

  31. Love your gazebo! I included your gazebo (my inspiration) in my most recent post on MomHomeGuide.com about my dreams for my backyard patio. Today I checked out a sale at Target on gazebos (they are majorly discounted now), but I don't think those gazebos have the sheers that yours does.

  32. Absolutely gorgeous outdoor space! I love the gazebo with the screens. I had one at my old house but my husband refused to take it down and move it again.

  33. Sarah, your outdoor space has evolved into a gorgeous place to hang and relax.

    Have a great time at Haven!! =) Wish I was able to make it. Maybe next time.

    ~ Catie

  34. Sarah, I have put the linky button for your blog on my blog 4 times and 3 times it disappeared. Still there for now!

  35. That looks amazing!!! I love the lights at night especially! So inspiring as always!

  36. I've seen that outdoor fireplace somewhere before (Pinterest?) - it's fantastic! The gazebo looks great at night too with those fairy lights.

  37. OOOHH your deck is absolutely stunning! From my end, it looks like a living room OR a hotel lobby. And yeah, the gazebo rocks! You can hold all sorts of gatherings here in daytime or nighttime. Or if that’s not possible, this deck is more than enough for a relaxing night for the family. Thanks for sharing your ideas and talents with us! :)


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