Have you read the brand new book all about home, Home Made Lovely?

Our Patio Before and After

Back when we looked at this house (before buying it) one of the things I really loved about it was the cute little side yard behind the garage.

Because of the cedar bushes that line the perimeter of the back and side yards I could envision it as a cool and private place to spend hours just hanging out in the summer time.


But after years of neglect it was more than a wee bit run down.


We didn’t have any time last year to make it look pretty. We basically just plopped down our patio set from the last house and called it a day.  And then we never sat back there because we were always running from one sport to the next.


This spring however, I really wanted to perk it up and make it beautiful.

Dean wanted to rip up all the patio stones and make it level and perfect. I just wanted a quick fix to enjoy the space this summer. Guess who won that battle for now?


The first thing we did was rip out the dilapidated fence. Initially we thought we’d replace it, but after running into a bit of a budget constraint and living without a fence for a little while, we decided we actually liked the open feeling not having one created.

Instead of a replacement fence, we focused on creating a unique garden wall for shade, privacy and interest.


We built a trellis (tutorial coming really soon!). We planted all sorts of vines, climbers and a few herbs (dill, parsley, rosemary and stevia) too.


The biggest drawback is that the plants currently need watering everyday. But I’m already thinking of a self watering option for next spring.


To make the space more inviting we did some heavy trimming of the cedars and other unruly bushes. We installed a bug zapper too (those cedars come with many mosquitoes at dusk!).

We were also given a perfect hand me down conversation set by a very sweet friend (thanks, Rach!) that got dressed up with a new lantern and metal orb. It now sits at the end of the flagstone path that meanders through the grass (put in by a previous owner). It’s definitely one of my favorite spots to sit outside.



With all the updates we’ve been really enjoying the patio and side yard as I suspected we would. We’ve hosted our family small group, a girls night, campfires and many dinners with just the five of us.



It’s not a fancy or expensive space. But it is a major improvement and we look forward to many more hours spent out there this summer.



Do you have a patio? What about a favorite outdoor space? What is a must-have for you for enjoying the outdoors?

I'd love it if you'd share:

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I'd love to chat with you in the comments!


  1. Lauren @ Mom Home Guide says

    Can’t wait to see your trellis tutorial! I really need some privacy for my home’s patio!

  2. Lauren says

    We are buying a new house and we will finally have an outdoor area to tackle. I definitely got some ideas from your space. It looks fantastic. Im so excited to get started.

  3. the cape on the corner says

    ooh, i love that pathway to that conversation area, and the trellis. we just put in a recycled brick patio, and now that it’s all styled up, i am loving being out there. who am i kidding. i love standing in my sunroom, just looking at the patio, lol. enjoy!

  4. SharonFromMichigan says

    Oooh, love your patio and relaxing area. We worked on our patio and I would love to spend time out there – except – we have a nosey neighbor who always manages to poke his head over the fence and talk for hours. We won’t sit out there when we see he’s out in his yard. We planted shrubs along the fence line, but now we have to wait for them to grow!

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