Goals for My Outdoor Living Areas

outdoor living

Goals for My Outdoor Living Areas - roomfortuesday.comI’m pretty sure spring is finally here in Utah. You can never get too excited too soon because one minute it snows, then it’s 70 and sunny, then it rains,…you get the point. This nice weather has been super distracting. Even though there is plenty to keep me busy with our kitchen renovation, the only thing my brain wants to think about is our outdoor living areas. It has been really fun to see what type of landscaping is growing and blooming. Since we moved in December, we weren’t really sure what the landscaping situation would look like at our new house until spring. We spent last weekend cleaning everything up, raking, pulling out dead plants, and mulching. Things are looking really good and the potential has me very excited! I wanted to talk through my hopes, short term goals, long term goals, and what you can expect to see in regards to our outdoor living spaces this spring. Click through to read all about it and see how things currently look (before we mess with it)!

This is the first home we’ve moved into that actually has landscaping. In both of our previous homes, we’ve had to demo everything outside and completely start over. Our first house was an overgrown disaster- it took an excavator to pull the Jumanji-sized ivy off of the home (it was so bad it grew down the chimney, through the fireplace, and back out the windows). Our second house basically had nothing salvageable. The plants, trees, and grass were all dead, brown, and dried out. This house feels like a dream come true in terms of outdoor living and landscaping. It already has gorgeous landscaping and looks really nice. I’d love to tweak a couple things, but I honestly pretty much love it as is.

Goals for My Outdoor Living Areas - roomfortuesday.comThe outdoor living spaces here are going to be a different kind of challenge. Emmett and I were chatting about how excited we are that we can actually use our outdoor areas immediately after moving in. They’re livable. Even better- they’re in great shape and we can eventually turn them into beautiful spaces that are more representative of our aesthetic, on our own time. I’m going to break down each outdoor area below, with my thoughts & plans…

FRONT PORCH

Goals for My Outdoor Living Areas - roomfortuesday.comLet’s start in the front… the front porch is pretty large, but my textural planters are already helping the vignette feel a little better.

SHORT TERM GOALS:

  • Add planters (obviously that’s already done).
  • Buy a better door mat that is more appropriate in scale.
  • Add another set of smaller planters to better balance the door & columns.

LONG TERM GOALS:

  • Replace the door.
  • Replace the door casing & millwork.
  • Replace the sconces.
  • Replace the house numbers.

Eventually, I’d like to totally transform the way the front entrance looks. It currently has a 90’s vibe and feels pretty dated. I’d also love to paint the exterior white (or whitewash the brick)! Who knows… maybe some new black windows? We’ll have to see how things play out and where the budget needs to go.


GARAGE

Goals for My Outdoor Living Areas - roomfortuesday.comThis garage is everything we’ve ever dreamt of… it’s honestly a must for our renovation. It doubles as parking, a place to store tools & equipment, and our workshop. It has been a game changer using this space to keep projects on track- even when the weather is bad. Although it’s amazing from a functional standpoint, I have big plans for the aesthetic. Right now it looks pretty basic and boring.

SHORT TERM GOALS:

  • Add a planter between the doors.

LONG TERM GOALS:

  • Replace the garage doors.
  • Replace the exterior lighting.
  • Add a trellis.

I think our garage could be really charming! I already have the vision in my brain and am looking forward to the day I get to execute my plan.


BEDROOM BALCONY

Goals for My Outdoor Living Areas - roomfortuesday.comThis is probably my favorite outdoor area as of now. It’s also the space that will need the most work. There is a big 12′ x 11′ balcony off of our master bedroom. I didn’t realize how much I loved this space until spring came along. I leave the sliding glass doors open and let the dogs run in and out. I’ll find Cash out there sunbathing. The views are gorgeous and I’m thinking this might be the first area I tackle outside. I can’t wait to sip coffee here in the morning or wine at night in my pajamas and watch the sunset. It’s really a special spot.

SHORT TERM GOALS:

  • Clean the railings, columns, soffit, and ceiling.
  • Paint the floor.
  • Paint the brick.
  • Add outdoor drapery to the side (to block the view of the neighbor’s yard).
  • Buy an outdoor area rug.
  • Add outdoor seating.

LONG TERM GOALS:

  • Structurally reinforce / rebuild the lower columns.
  • Replace the subfloor.
  • Install floor tile.
  • Update railing.
  • Add a ceiling fan.
  • Replace the doors with larger sliding or accordion ones.
  • Install gutters for proper drainage.

This balcony actually needs rebuilt. Is it going to fall down? No, but it could definitely use some reinforcements. One corner is a little squishy and the existing floor has water damage. It’s safe to walk out there, but I certainly wouldn’t host a party or have multiple people hopping around. Our home inspector basically said, “It’s fine, but I’d replace the subfloor and beams within a year or two”. I have big dreams for this space and really want to install new doors that capture more of that gorgeous view and give us a true indoor / outdoor master suite.


BACKYARD

Goals for My Outdoor Living Areas - roomfortuesday.comSpeaking of the bedroom balcony, this is a view of the backyard looking down from there. The backyard snakes all the way around the house. Given our elevation and location, we have three tiers of boulders that serve as a retaining wall. The dogs love hopping up and down these and playing chase. Our yard is basically like a doggie playground and they’re constantly zooming around back there… that’s the reason for the trekked out grass. I didn’t get photos of the other sections, but they have more fenced grassy areas to play in too. I’m just thankful we have a backyard that is big (and flat) enough to be fenced for the dogs. Lots of homes in our neighborhood / area do not because it’s too steep. I’m planning to divide the main backyard (what you see above) into two sections… a lounge area and a dining area (under the pergola). Let’s chat about the lounge area first.

SHORT TERM GOALS:

  • Buy outdoor speakers
  • Add lounge furniture (sofa, comfy chairs, side tables, fire pit or fire table)

LONG TERM GOALS:

  • Maybe tile the space? Emmett is totally against this, BTW.

The concrete is really nice and is in great shape… it just feels boring to me, so tile isn’t going to happen anytime soon. I do love the fun curvature and think a curved outdoor sofa could be a unique way to section off the space.


PERGOLA

Goals for My Outdoor Living Areas - roomfortuesday.comI’m planning to use the same dining set we’ve used the past two years…. you can see it here under our previous carport. It has held up really great and I still love it, so why not?

SHORT TERM GOALS:

  • Pull the rest of our dining furniture out of the shed and put together the dining space.
  • Roll out an outdoor rug.
  • Install string lights.
  • Add a buffet / console table.
  • Install some sort of shade fabric to the pergola.
  • Add some potted plants.

LONG TERM GOALS:

  • Again… maybe tile the space someday?
  • Build an outdoor kitchen (built-in grill, etc).
  • Plant some sort of creeping plant that could crawl up the edge of the pergola or cover the top.
  • Install permanent outdoor lighting & replace existing sconce.
  • Install a flower box under the window.

This area truly has a ton of potential and it should be interesting to watch it evolve over the next few years! I’m REALLY wishing for that outdoor kitchen or grilling station, but in the meantime- I think it’s going to make a beautiful setting for summer dinner parties.


BACK ENTRY

Goals for My Outdoor Living Areas - roomfortuesday.comLastly, let’s chat about the back entryway. These french doors lead into our formal living room, which is currently covered in that mountain of boxes I showed you last week in the kitchen reno post. We use these doors about a hundred times each day, letting the dogs in & out as they please. I HATE these doors. Not only do they look ugly and dated, but they’re broken. You really have to wiggle it and pull upward to get them to shut properly. I just think this balanced vignette has so much potential and replacing these doors are a must.

SHORT TERM GOALS:

  • Add some plants.
  • Order a longer door mat.

LONG TERM GOALS:

  • Replace the doors (and maybe even the windows).
  • Potentially tile.
  • Replace the sconces.
  • Install some flower boxes.

Obviously we just moved in four months ago and things take time… I’m envisioning these projects to span over years. That’s just the reality of home renovations- indoors and out. Regardless, I’m excited to tackle some small projects this year outside and I’ll welcome future opportunities to tackle the larger ones. As for right now, I feel like we have an incredible blank canvas, can take things at our own pace, and begin enjoying these outdoor areas NOW. I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions in the comment section below!

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