When we first came to check out the models, never intending to move, one of the things that sucked me in was the outdoor space. Here in Colorado, we are blessed with the most awesome weather. That probably sounds crazy to an outsider who thinks of CO only in terms of snow and skiing, but while we can go very low (and usually do a few days a year), we have very nice, temperate weather (random 60 degree days in the middle of winter!), tons of sunshine, and the most gorgeous summer nights – crisp and perfect. In short, perfect to be outside. A room like this just extends your enjoyment of our great weather, taking that little nip out of the air.
Add into it, the fact that this yard is significantly bigger than our old one, and I’m actually pretty excited about decking out the back yard.
So back in January, when the snow was still flying (we were actually skiing at the time), and the ink had barely dried on our sales contract, I saw a screaming deal on an outdoor patio set (above) for the fireplace area, i.e. outdoor living room. I ended up buying it sight unseen. It arrived a few weeks later. By then, we were in the throes of staging/moving and all I could do was toss it in my sister’s garage and hope for the best. To this day, I still haven’t seen it. Here’s hoping I like it as much in person next week as I did in the online photos because I don’t think it’s going back now …
This area will also need some ambiance. I plan to achieve that with some string lights, and possibly this fun sign from Dot and Bo.
To keep the area cool when necessary, we have a few ideas. We had the area pre-wired for a fan. This is nice as well because it keeps bugs away. We also just saw a house where the owners had installed DIY low-pressure misters along the edge of their patio. That was a nice feature, but I’m not sure about the extra added moisture. We are also considering making – just saw a great tutorial on this - or buying curtains to hang along the outward edge of the porch both for shade and privacy.Since we will also likely be having our outdoor movie nights here, so this could be a good surface for the projection screen if we choose wisely.
The dining area (to the right in the photo), is pretty boring in my mind. We have a very serviceable table for six that we will not be replacing. The one thing we will eventually do to this area is add a fan above, both for the chill factor, but also for bug control!
The rest of the backyard is a complete blank slate. This is both thrilling and terrifying to me … I am not much of a gardener. Overall, I want to keep it pretty simple, plant wise. I know what I like … hydrangeas, honeysuckle, sweet peas, daisies, sunflowers, shade trees and a bit of grass, but I know squat about keeping up and maintaining that stuff. So vegetation wise, we will see. I’m talking to a landscaper we work with.
One thing I know I want is an outdoor shower. The house we rented in Hawaii when Tabby was a baby had one and it was great! Happily, it’s a pretty inexpensive thing to do when we are doing plumbing for sprinklers anyhow. There are solar solutions online for around $100 or we could have hot water plumbed out as well. I think it would be awesome for hosing off the kids and the dog!
I’d also like to have a nice little secluded spot for the kids. I’m not 100% sure what it can be. We have space, but not a ton and we are also bound by HOA regulations … and of course time and money. I have found a bunch of cool, but not crazy playhouses and I think it would be lovely for them to have something like this. They’re not going to be interested for too much longer!
We will also, possibly foolishly, put in some raised beds again. We’re not great gardeners as mentioned before, but we have had some success with the few things that you can pretty much just dump in the ground and leave, including: herbs (these go in pots with drip lines), tomatoes, raspberry bushes (along any fence with a little water) and strawberries.
I am most excited for the kids to be able to just go outside and play. Tabby in particular loves just sitting on the ground, checking out bugs (many of the same ones that make her scream in fear indoors) and “getting some peace and quiet.” And it will be great for Ben to have a place to run out all of his excess energy!