|Backyard the day we closed on our home|
|Side yard the day we closed on our home|
For Easter this year my mom and dad bought the children a play structure. At that point we knew it was time to get to work on the backyard. We had contemplated just cutting out the "grass" in that part of the yard but we really wanted something nice. The existing patio was a 10' x 10' slab of concrete that was only big enough to hold the barbeque and a bistro set. My original idea for the patio was to just extend the concrete with pavers to the hill that holds the sound wall (our property backs up to a freeway, hence the sound wall). We consulted our neighbor who works in landscaping and concrete. He quickly sold us on taking out the small existing slab and pouring a larger concrete patio. That conversation more than doubled our initial budget, YIKES! But we knew we wanted something that we could be proud of and not have to re-do in a few years so we shook hands with him. The first step was to rototill the grass and dirt again and again so new sod could be laid. Then our neighbor and his crew framed out the new 20' x 20' patio and poured the concrete. We decided to go with stamp and two colors which I think makes it look like a million bucks! It did add to the cost but I really think it was worth every. single. penny.
After the concrete was cured and we could walk on it the playset was constructed. Altogether it took two days to build. My husband and his buddy worked on it the first day and he and day completed it the next day. It wasn't that bad really. I would never have paid what the hardware store wanted for them to construct but that's just me. I'm pretty cheap when it comes to certain things. Um, like things I can do myself. =) Next we laid the sod and brought in the bark for the play area. I was kinda nervous about the bark. With Libby having just turned one I didn't know if she would try to eat it, or if it would produce slivers. I had also heard that it can attract termites and cats might do their bidness in it. I did a bit of research online and found a product called Replay made from 100% recycled rubber. The reviews for it were excellent. Supposedly it doesn't lose its color after a few years and it's made mostly from recycled tires. The downside: it's pricey. At almost $8 a bag and 22 bags later we decided a thin layer of it would work for now. We'll add more in a few months.
|Closeup of a piece of "bark"|
|Side yard. We extended the grass further than it was originally|
In those beginning stages of planing our backyard I started looking for new patio furniture. There are so many beautiful sets out there. And they can be EXREMELY expensive. I found a set right away though from Ikea that I just fell in love with. The Applaro Series was gorgeous. I had my heart set on Applaro throughout the whole project. Then I saw this one:
And I knew it would be perfect. It's all weather wicker with a lovely storage table. $300. Three hundred dollars. Seriously. And the cantilever umbrella was $100. I am dead serious. We are planning to put up some sort of permanent arbor at some point, probably in a few years. So the cantilever umbrella works for now. There is sooo much room on the patio too, it's unbelievable!
|My Favorite View|