With the exception of a few tile selections, hardware, and some mirrors, almost all of the major details of our new casa have been chosen and now we are just patiently (sometimes) waiting for everything to come together! (Please don't remind me how similar the above photo taken yesterday looks to this one from two months ago-- ha!) In the meantime, as we countdown to October, I've taken to dreaming about what we will do with the yard once it's complete. Our yard is not huge by any means. It's definitely a city-sized lot and we traded yard square footage for walkability and proximity to downtown, but there's still so much I would love to do with it. We have a pretty large covered back patio that I imagine for lounging and conversation, but I'm hoping that the back yard in particular is a place the kids can call their own, but we can still enjoy aesthetically. (I have this re-occuring vision of me cooking dinner in the kitchen, but still able to see them playing and getting along like perfect angels in the backyard-- ha!) Keep reading for what we are hoping to incorporate and please, please, please let us know if you have any Austin local landscaping recommendations or any landscape/hardscape recommendations in general. (We are a little out of our element here!)
1. I would love to include a stone path that leads from the driveway to the front door. Possibly from the street, too? I love these rectangular shaped ones. I imagine our front yard to be grass instead of rock with smaller rock beds and succulents possibly along one or both sides of the entry way as you approach the front door.
2. This is the view from the largest window in our master that looks out to a little backyard nook that is really only visible from our master and if you are standing at the other adjacent corner of the yard. It's not visible from anywhere else in the house, so it's not ideal for kid stuff since I like the idea of being able to keep an eye on them from the kitchen or living room. I think it would actually make a really intimate and cozy feeling outdoor dining area, but I go back and forth between that and just creating some really pretty landscaping that we can look out on from bed. I love the idea of a combination of succulents and rock or crushed granite with a mix of fescue grasses and smaller trees. I love olive and lemon trees, but I think they both need more sun than they would get back here so we will likely find another spot for those. It's not pictured in this board, but there will definitely be a bougainvillea situation somewhere in this yard! (If it's not totally obvious yet, my hope is to create our own little piece of Southern California in our backyard.)
3. Our whole yard is in need of some major privacy and I'm still figuring out how to best do that. You can do a 6 foot fence or a 7 foot fence if you get the neighbors' permission which would be a good start. I like the idea of bamboo, though Aaron keeps saying it will take over your yard and attracts rats. Is this true?! Anyone have any experience with bamboo? Any other ideas for creating privacy?
4. This is a picture from the playroom of what will be the future atrium / sitting area (not covered). You might remember from this post that the atrium was one of Aaron's three non-negotiable priorities that we each got to choose. Our plan for this space is painted concrete tiles with a very loungy sitting area. We've actually chatted about an outdoor ping pong table here, too! We would also like to do a smaller version of the front stone path that leads from here to the backyard to make those spaces feel more connected.
Below is a view of the backyard from the second story so that you can get a feel for the space we have to work with:
The view of the backyard from the covered patio and living room here. Most the things below that we want are pretty self-explanatory. I just can't seem to organize them in my mind as far as where they should go / what makes the most sense.
5. I would seriously be down for any of the below versions of fire pits. It just looks so cozy-- especially since we actually do get a little bit of a winter here, at least compared to what we knew as winter in Los Angeles.
6. This goes back to my vision of me cooking dinner and watching the kids play-- they're always playing in their play house! My dad built one for my sisters and me when we were growing up and we used to practically live in it! (Side note: It had a sand box at the bottom that we convinced ourselves we could turn into a hot tub with some garbage bags and a water hose. We were suuuuuper smart, even at a very young age.)
7. Doesn't this below situation just look so picturesque? But where does it go? At the back of the yard below the trees? (That's kind of where I imagine both the kids playhouse and the fire pit going so this would make a third thing vying for that prime real estate.) Or is it a swing built into the back covered patio or secluded off of the master nook (which wouldn't leave space if we wanted to do a dining table back there)?
8. Back to that privacy thing: One side of the yard has a normal 6' fence, the back of the yard has a chain link fence on our side and a 6' fence that is in terrible condition to the back and just a chain link fence on the right, so we are in need of pretty much a whole new fence.
Other things that we are thinking about: Where will the grill go? Do we do a whole built-in kitchen? If so, where? Do we need a pizza oven? Of course not, no one NEEDS a pizza oven, but that sure does sound fun! Any backyard advice for us as we start down this journey?