This spring we took on our front porch and front yard as a One Room Challenge, and we LOVE the results. On the last few cool mornings (because it’s still the dead of summer in Nashville right now) I’ve sat on the front porch with Hank, coffee, and emails to start my day. I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to find me out there every day this fall until it’s just too cold for my southern self.
Since we (and literally everyone else on the planet) have been spending more time at home this year (understatement of the century), we’ve had more time to plan projects and work on them on the weekends. I’m lucky to have married someone whose energy levels and love of projects match mine. We’ve got so many projects in the works, but I want to clue you in on a pretty large project that will take lots of weekends in our future. We’ve decided to tackle our backyard, and make it into a living space that’s as comfortable and welcoming as the front porch.
Over the course of the next year or so, we’re going to work on creating a private outdoor living space in our backyard that will be great for us, socially distanced small group get-togethers, and eventually hosting large groups again. Oh, how I miss filling our home with people and food and drinks and laughter and memories. It’s been six months since we’ve had a game night, a pot luck, a cocktail party… anything. I’m grateful to have gotten to use our porch to spend time with a handful of girlfriends, but we’re ready to expand our outdoor space. Here are the before photos–I forgot to take them before we started some projects and bought the pool, so please excuse the mess! We also need to pressure wash this whole deck/patio situation again–with all these trees it needs to be done several times every summer. Ugh. And it just rained, so everything looks worse with water and leaves. Oh well, that’s what will make for some really great transformation photos once we’re done, right?
Right now, our backyard really isn’t bad–it’s got beautiful mature oak, river birch, black walnut, and magnolia trees, an eight foot scalloped privacy fence, a deck, two patios, a bike shed, and Jonny’s “workshop” shed. All great elements–when we bought our house we fell in love with the backyard–but I’m excited to revamp the whole thing and make it really amazing. I’ve put together a mood board to give you an idea of the moody, neutral, eclectic backyard feel we’re going for:
Here’s what I’m thinking (in a more concrete way):
- Stock tank pool (obviously)
- Spread gravel around stock tank pool/firepit area to make a more clear delineation between yard and patios
- Eventually, we’ll build a deck around half the pool that will cover the pool equipment and connect with the sidewalk and upper patio. See photos and plans below for reference.
- Build a firepit on lower patio
- Buy/build an 8-10 person outdoor dining table for upper patio
- Paint the shed to match house.
- Definitely need a hammock under the magnolia.
- Flagstone patio under the magnolia, which is so dense that no grass will ever grow there.
- String lights. Of course.
So it’s easier for you to tell what we’re talking about, here are the general plans Jonny drew up (in order: current, with stock tank pool, with deck)
First thing’s first: We’re starting things off with a DIY that’s become really popular, especially in Nashville: we’re making a Stock Tank Pool! A little digging on Pinterest will have you falling in love with these charming farm-equipment-turned-urban-pool DIYs. There are lots of blogs about them, and we’ve pieced together our plans from several DIY blogs, not the least of which is based right here in Nashville: Stock Tank Pool Authority. We’ll build the pool first, and then when the weather gets colder, we’re planning on making it into a hot tub, so we’ll be able to use it year-round
We’ll be starting the stock tank this weekend, and weather permitting, we’ll have it up and running before Labor Day Weekend, which will still be hot enough in Nashville for a pool day. I hope I’ll be able to share a full DIY step-by-step with you after we get it all together! If you want to see it in real time, head over to my Instagram stories to follow along.
Thanks for joining us on another DIY adventure!