Jun 10, 2014

House Tour: Outdoor Spaces

The front of our house.

Come on in!

Or, actually, let's stay outside!

But before we wander around the yard, let's chat a second. Today is a huge day. It's ICP Awareness Day. I posted on this yesterday and would absolutely love if you would check out the post and learn about cholestasis. An itch during pregnancy can kill! So educate yourself!

And after that little PSA, let's wander.

Today on our home tour we're looking at our outdoor spaces. So far, you've seen our very child-centric family room, our kitchen, and our in-process dining room in this fun linkup with Andrea at Momfessionals.

Tripp and Davy loved watching the tree removal and the stump grinding!

As I mentioned on Friday, I'm a bit embarrassed by our houses total lack of curb appeal. We had a dead tree removed last week and so we have a gaping empty space. We have two dead bushes immediately in front of our front door. They got just enough new growth this spring we thought they might come back, but at this point it's clear they are dead. The squirrels ate my outdoor cushions and since I no longer can sit and enjoy the front patio, I completely forgot to replace them. Our grass won't grow under the tree - although a green weedish thing is. I didn't plant a single flower this spring/summer. We need mulch like whoa. (Actually this really needs taken care of ASAP to help keep things alive over the Texas summer!). Basically, our outdoor spaces are a mess!

We'll start in the front.

Our front door is framed by dead bushes and the pots I painted in 2008 that aren't big enough for their location and have chipped and worn. It doesn't help that they don't have flowers (or enough soil to easily add flowers!).
The bright spot of the entry is our pretty SMU paver.

To the right of the front door is the big front patio.

It's sort of odd to have such a large, non-covered patio in the front of a house but it is what it is! Pre-kids, I enjoyed sitting out here shaded and secluded by our towering (now missing) tree. The furniture currently can't be sat on because it has no cushions. Stupid squirrels.

In the bottom left photo you can see the huge gap left by our huge tree.

Now that you've all seen the used-to-be landscaped but needs work front yard, I'll impress you with the backyard. It's roughly the size of a postage stamp. The previous residents did fit a full-size swing set back there, but not much else. This house was built in the 1970s and it's 40 years of life, no one has put a shrub, a flower, a tree, anything, in the back yard.

The game room opens onto a small concrete patio that houses our oversized grill. We should have measured the patio before buying that behemoth because it takes up the whole space. Well, maybe not the WHOLE space. Also on that patio is a collection of random unused pots.

The grass in the side yard is lush and green, but immediately off the patio it refuses to grow.

Despite it's small size, the boys and the dog all love running around out here. But the boys favorite area is the courtyard. In the bottom left photo above, the courtyard is down that raised concrete path. You can also get to it from the sunroom.

At one point the courtyard was a cute romantic spot with a bistro table for two, the hot tub, hanging lamps and lights strung. Now it's all baby. It is still home to our hot tub, but the strung lights now act as a clothes line for hanging cloth diapers. The bistro table has been replaced by a picnic table. It is finished off with a playset, a pool, and a water table.

We are out here almost everyday playing. It is contained, baby safe, and most of it is covered/shaded from the afternoon sun. Also, I can sit in the air conditioned sunroom and see every inch of it while the boys go in and out (On non-water days. I'm too neurotic to be inside if the water table or pool have water.) Basically, it's a perfect play space.

I have foam mats under the water table and the spot the pool goes because the wooden deck can get slick. I love the carpet under the playset and have thought about moving it to the front patio and putting foam playmats under the playset instead.

I called our dining room a work in progress. Our yard, needs work. But honestly, it isn't next on the project list. Hopefully by next spring we will at least have addressed the empty hole from the dead tree and removed the dead bushes. I have lofty goals thinking we'll do all that by spring!



  1. I would love to have a courtyard someday AND a hot tub... that is a fantastic combo. With the shade, it is the perfect spot for the boy's water and picnic table. What a great use of space for your family's moment in time!

  2. Wen we bought the house we didn't understand the courtyard, then we added the hot tub and painted the deck and it became a favorite space!