My parents always said they bought the house we grew up in for the yard. We were lucky to have nearly an acre of yard and we lived right in town…a small town, but it was still unusual. The yard was an extension of our living space and we enjoyed it every season of the year. We had dinner on the patio nearly every night of the summer, jumped in the leaf piles in the fall, built snow forts in the winter and picked the flowers in the spring.
For the past couple of years, I have lived in apartments with no outdoor space and it didn’t really bother me, but the minute we started looking for a house, I thought of all of the magical times my family shared in our yard when I was a kid and added it to the top of my “must have” list.
But as we were house hunting, size, location, and budget took priority and we ended up buying a house that did not have a yard at all. Instead, we had a shared driveway situation that pretty much eliminated the chances of us spending any time in our outside space.
Nothing at all against our neighbors, but the thought of the neighbor driving in and bringing in their groceries while we just sat there trying to enjoy a cold drink didn’t scream “outdoor oasis” to us. We were dreaming of a more private outdoor living space as well as a place for our little pup to run free, and we got to work on resolving this issue almost immediately.
We’ve already done a ton of work to create our outdoor space. Starting with some really big things, which included ripping out the concrete, putting up a cedar fence, and laying down sod. And some small things, like painting our front door a fresh teal color.
Inside the fence is where all the goodness is…or will be. Michael put in a gravel path with built-in drainage and garden beds. He also hung string lights, which might be the most simple and magical part of the yard.
Maybe the best part of the yard reno is the addition of a small cedar shed. It’s nothing too fancy, but now all of our power tools and camping equipment has a home, which eliminates a lot of the clutter we were dealing with inside.
Michael has done the bulk of the work out here and the yard is in pretty good shape. We are just about ready to tackle the next big project, which will be bringing some indoors out and making our patio into a magical outdoor living room!
This post was written for the Collected Eclectic blog.
Collected Eclectic was a passion project focused on recording the process as Grace and Michael van Meurer transformed their builder grade home in to something special.
124 blog posts were published between 2018 and 2021. Explore the complete Collected Eclectic archive here.
Learn more about the project here.