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A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

Backyard Check Up: Creating a Game Plan

With our new, comfy deck furniture, I've been spending a lot more time in the backyard. The BIG renovation happened two years ago [I still can't believe it's been that long!], and other than putting down pinestraw yearly, and my determined mother attempting to salvage our lawn [it's never grown much due to all the shade, and it took a serious beating from the renovation], we haven't done much to the backyard. This post is acting like a to-do list for me, and a reminder of what potential this space has.

Standing in the yard looking toward the house, it looks quite lovely.  My favorite exterior renovation tip was adding the privacy lattice panels to the deck. Living in in-town Atlanta means you're almost certainly very cozy with your neighbors, so it's been nice to not stare directly at their homes, makes the deck feel more cozy. One mistake I made was not matching up the privacy panel on the left with the right.  I wanted a view of our dogwood tree, but now the panel on the left is bowing.  It needs that extra jog to keep the tall screen sturdy and straight. 

We also have a bit of a no-mans land between where the deck ends and the fence begins. The gigantic tulip poplar on the neighbor's property has a massive root system that takes up most of that space, so it really isn't an area we can plant or place anything.  Essentially, it becomes the spot where my sweet dogs love to bark at the neighbors. The heap of random fences going between our properties is so unsightly and I've been DYING to replace it. I'm imaginging a new fence with a gate sealing off that area from the dogs will do the trick.

I think we did a pretty great job planning for the steps to the deck. Beyond the steps and this little gate is actually a parking pad, so we can park and lock away a car if we're out of town. I'd like to continue the pavers from the pad along to create a pathway through the gate and to the back of our yard. The trees along the fence also need to be trimmed up so we can actually walk through the yard without having to duck, while still getting the much appreciated privacy they provide. Finally, I left this raised area in the yard open with the plan to build raised planter beds.  It's a little too shady for tomatoes [we're trying, but so far no luck], but it does have enough light for other veggies that are a bit more delicate. 

I'd planned on placing panels to cover up the bottom of our deck [since the dogs just LOVE to run around and get muddy down there], but we just didn't have it in our budget two years ago.  Now, I'm ready for it to look clean and polished.  I'd also love to create a proper spot in the yard for this patio set.  I have plans to do a painted wash on this set and give it even more of an English cottage garden feel. 

In the fall I plan to transplant and divide the plants in my shade garden [currently it's exploded and a little too squished together] and spread them along the side yard. There's a makeshift brick ledge along the side which really won't be necessary once the plants are in, so it's something I'm looking forward to clearing out!

I had high hopes for a fire pit area with the old tree stumps as seats back here, but it just didn't work out.  The stumps are covered in mushrooms and mold and need to get rolled on out of here! Plus, the deck is large enough to have the firepit set up there, so I'm not too sad about losing this spot.

Finally, like I mentioned before, I'd like to continue the paver path all the way to the back of the yard, and potentially over to a studio space...?! I'm approaching my midway point in my studio lease, so I need to decide what next year will hold for me.  Will I continue renting? Will I purchase a loft live/work space? Will I build a studio back here and run A Simpler Design from the house?  Three very different scenarios, and I'm still not sure which one I'll go with, but I'm weighing my options over the next few months. Stay tuned!