You don’t have to have a huge yard to enjoy it! Here’s how we’re making the most of our suburban backyard pool and patio space this summer. And how you can make the most of your space too.
We live in the suburbs of one of Canada’s two most expensive cities, Toronto. The other city is Vancouver, and technically the two are tied for most expensive this year. Anyway, the reason I bring that up is that as I was styling and photographing our suburban backyard for this post, little by little feelings of insecurity started to creep in. I kept picturing my Instagram friends’ backyards with sprawling yards and trees and ginormous pool houses and comparing them to our small-ish yard. But the fact is, we don’t live where they live. We have the biggest mortgage and house we can afford, and probably a little more than, if I’m being honest. We have to live here, for Dean’s job (a job which we are thankful for). And I adore this house (as I have with all our homes) and its pool. I love the small yard…and lack of yard work. I like our neighbors and that we’re close to everything. And I love looking to the left of my desk at the sparkling aqua pool water (did I mention I LOVE the pool?). So, I’m pulling up my big girl pants, remembering to be grateful for what I have and making the most of our suburban backyard pool and patio space with a little help from our friends at Wayfair!
How to Make the Most of a Suburban Backyard Pool and Patio Space
When you have a space large or small, one of the best ways to make it work well is to create zones. This applies to areas inside the house, but also outside! In our backyard, we have a few zones.
Zone 1: The Pool
This is obviously the largest portion of the backyard and the focal point all in one. Everything else has to work around this. You may or may not have the same type of landmark in your backyard, but you will likely have one larger feature to work with. Fortunately, the pool doesn’t need any styling. I just have to keep it clean!
Zone 2: Utility Area Beside the House
The pool was already here when we bought this house. The very first owners of this house had it installed in 1999. I’m assuming the deck and fence are circa that year too. Unfortunately, earlier this spring, a huge section of our fence beside the house blew down in a storm, as did a lot of people’s. Which means all the local contractors are now working way behind schedule. We keep getting told 6-8 weeks until they can get here, so really who knows when it will be replaced. This zone is NOT pretty at the moment. Due to the broken fence as well as not being able to plant anything until the fence is fixed, it’s not my favorite space (except for the part about it keeping the pool going!). Once the fence is repaired and we have some budget again, we plan to build some sort of privacy fence or shed to hide the pool equipment and a couple little gardens where the concrete is cut out. It will be much prettier to look at then!
Zone 3: BBQ
I think this is Dean’s favorite spot out here. It is, of course, where his ginormous bbq is located. We recently moved it here to allow for more seating space in other areas. He got it as a Father’s Day gift a few years ago and adores it. He even polishes it!
Zone 4: Pool Deck Seating Areas
We’ve created two of these spaces – one in the corner by the fence and another tucked into the corner by the house, near the bbq.
In both seating areas, we have upright chairs that we moved with us from the old house, as well as plants (both real and fake!). In the one conversation area near the BBQ, we’ve placed an oversized, bean bag style ottoman from Wayfair. It is so comfy for propping your feet up on, or sitting on. It dries really quickly too – so rain or wet bottoms fresh from the swimming pool are just fine! Dean likes to chill here with his friends when he’s BBQ’ing.
This wee corner space gets the afternoon shade, so it’s great if you’re looking for a cooler place to sit. My parents and mother-in-law like this spot when they visit.
Zone 5: The Deck
Dean and I keep toying with the idea of taking down the deck and making a patio space level with the pool deck. But that requires a lot of work, which we don’t have time for right now. Until then, we’re making the most of it with things we already had paired with a few new pieces. This is the biggest single area in the backyard, aside from the actual pool. Here we’ve placed our main conversation set atop a geometric patterned rug, accompanied by a huge black umbrella. Of course, we’ve filled the space with decorate-y things like wood and rattan solar lanterns, black and white striped pillows and other pretty outdoor things. My favorite part of this space, besides the view of the pool, is the privacy lattice we attached to the fence. It adds some zero maintenance greenery, which is perfect for this black-thumbed girl. The deck is my favorite place to sit and just rest. Something I try to do frequently in the summer months when its nice outside! ‘Cause goodness knows, winter is long enough in Canada!
Zone 6: Practical Things
Okay, this isn’t exactly a zone of it’s own. But it is important. For us this ‘zone’ includes the hooks for towels (which I’ll likely bring indoors later in the season because I love them so much) as well as an outdoor wall clock for keeping track of the time – so we don’t have to traipse into the house dripping-wet to look at one of the clocks inside.
Backyard Video Tour
Here’s a little video tour, to give you a better idea of the space.
Enter to Win $1000 Gift Card from Wayfair
If you’re trying to make the most of your backyard space on a budget, here’s how you can spruce it up! Spending time outside is our favorite summertime activity. Share your @WayfairCanada decorated outdoor space on Instagram for a chance to win a $1,000 CAD gift card.
1. Follow @WayfairCanada
2. Upload a photo of your outdoor space here before 11:59 pm EST Tuesday, July 31, 2018 for a chance to win.
3. Use #CASummerWay
Fine print for your FYI: Enter before 11:59 pm EST Tuesday, July 31, 2018 for a chance to win. A winner will be selected at random and announced after Wednesday, August 1, 2018 in the comments. Once announced, the winner has 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The winner’s profile must be public for the duration of the entry period. Contest run and administered by Wayfair Canada. Home Made Lovely is not responsible for prize selection or fulfillment.
Do you have a backyard space you love, even if it’s less than ‘Pinterest-worthy’? What is your favorite part?