I’m excited to share Snowberry’s newly renovated back patio … decked out for fall.
Last week my easy fall table setting offered a glimpse of the larger patio area … and today it’s the whole enchilada.
I know, I know … you’ve probably moved on to Christmas. And I will too … the day after Thanksgiving.
Next week I’m sharing my Thanksgiving table – set for four.
Don’t you love it when a project comes together? When we bought Snowberry, the backyard was in bad shape. The original brick patio was covered in moss and I nearly slipped on it three times before we closed on the house. The back lawn was a swamp and the hot tub housed a family of rodents. Ewe.
Our original plan was to embrace the brick and clean it up … as we did in the front garden area. Unfortunately, drainage issues required the brick to come up. We elected to replace it with stone.
I’ll devote a later post to the entire outdoor renovation including the materials, plants and furniture we used.
Enchanting Planting in Orinda, California designed and installed our landscape. I can’t recommend them highly enough.
Here in Northern California early fall feels a lot like summer. This year was unusually hot, and we’ve been enjoying our new outdoor spaces for a couple of months even as the work continues.
Last week it suddenly turned chilly, but no worries … with a fire pit, cozy blankets and newly installed twinkle lights … we’ll continue to push the envelope on outdoor living as long as we can.
So, without further ado … Snowberry’s back patio!
Seating & Conversation Area
Of course, we wanted our outdoor spaces to feel like an extension of the inside. To that end we added two sets of French doors leading to the back patio.
All our patio stone was custom cut from larger flagstone pieces and the edges were distressed by hand. We love the uneven, irregular look.
In the seating / conversation area we initially planned a fireplace with chimney, but somewhere along the way decided a fire pit made more sense. And, it allowed us to add a beautiful water feature where the fireplace would have been.
It’s sort of funny to be planning these spaces with entertaining in mind in the midst of a pandemic. We started off the year thinking we’d be finished with the interiors and landscape by August and hosting an open house in early fall.
Obviously that didn’t happened and who knows when we’ll be able to have that party … but we’re ready!
In the meantime, we’re enjoying wine, spritzers and my favorite fall cocktail around the fire as often as possible.
Pippa and Maggie are loving it too!
I was so excited when we were finally able to bring our new Restoration Hardware sofas out on the patio. These are from their Provence line … we opted for the luxe version with a deeper seat cushion because you know my motto … ‘life’s too short for an uncomfortable couch.’
I needed to spiff up the sofas, so I bee-lined to Target for fallish decor. I particularly love these brick colored sweater pillows and sage throws. I’ve been back to Target twice for more throws because … can you have too many?
Get the Look!
If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much fun the squirrels are having with our pumpkins. Until this week, they focused on the pumpkins in our front yard. Having finished those, they’ve turned their attention to the back yard. And, the white pumpkins I placed along the top of the retaining wall are no more. Squirrels are messy eaters and they scattered pumpkin innards down onto the BBQ counter and into the basin of our water feature. Jim is not amused.
To the left of the seating area is our outdoor kitchen. Given space constraints and the proximately of our real kitchen we skipped the fancy stuff and stuck to the necessities. A BBQ and sink.
Jim loves to BBQ and he loves DCS … this is his fourth DCS grill. He says we’re never moving again … so it will also be his last. We chose a fairly good sized sink. In the past we’ve used smaller, bar-size sinks. The larger sink allows for cutting boards and platters to fit inside and doubles as an ice bucket for drinks. It’ll come in handy post-pandemic, when we can have people over again.
We’ve moved our outdoor table around a couple of times trying to find the best spot for it. I think across from the BBQ makes the most sense.
Get the Look!
The hillside behind the house brings so much water flowing down (yes, even in drought ridden California) and the lawn was a swamp most of the year. Our landscape project included major drainage work and we replaced the lawn with a gravel path and plantings on either side.
Two little dogs live on the other side of the fence. When Pippa and Maggie hear them, they race down the pathway and all four dogs exchange pleasantries from opposite sides of the fence. It’s hilarious.
I’m in love with our new outdoor spaces and sad that summer – and the warmer part of fall – has come to an end.
I can’t wait to see how the gardens fill in next spring.
Here’s the view looking back toward the patio.
The major work was over about a month now it’s just ticking off the finishing touches. Path lighting, string lights and boxwood topiaries in the oversized pots … all should be wrapped up this week.
We have two spaces that are still a work in progress. The small courtyard between the house and seating area is a conundrum. I’d love to add a round coffee table and four club-style chairs in this space but I’m not sure its big enough. On the other opposite side of the yard our new raised beds are empty. I hoped to get a winter garden started, but it looks like I won’t get to it this year.
Spring will be here before we know it and these spaces will get sorted out then.
In the meantime, I’m hoping for a late fall warming trend and more nights spent out around the fire pit.
It’s been fun to watch our project unfold. I’m grateful to the talented and hardworking team from Enchanting Planting who transformed our small, nondescript backyard into an outdoor oasis. Wait until you see what they did in the front!
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With our outdoor spaces (nearly) complete, I feel I can finally exhale. Snowberry has truly become everything I imagined it could be when we first pulled into the driveway on a drizzly Sunday nearly two years ago. I love it when things work out.
Fall is my favorite season and I want to hold on as long as I can. If you feel the same way, check out all my fall themed posts.
As always, I appreciate your visit and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!
This post contains some affiliate links at no additional cost to you. Please read my full disclosure policy here.
Unless otherwise noted, all photos in the post are by Monica Vargas Photography.
Jennifer Howard says
Juliet- This is just gorgeous!!!
Thank you so much, Jennifer … we’re just thrilled with it! xo
Leslie Watkins says
Juliet! It’s perfect. I love that wall and water feature. The outdoor kitchen is delightful. Those couches and fire pit, so inviting. Beautiful job!!
Thanks so much, Leslie! We’re thrilled with the way it came together. Ironically, our weather took a turn for the cold and wet. Ugh. Who knows, next week it might warm up … no matter, as long as rain isn’t coming down we’ll be out there wrapped in blankets! Hope you had a great weekend! xo
That water feature is just stunning. And the sound of water is sooooo relaxing !! Well done !!!
Thank you, Robbin! I do love the sound of water … moving beyond the fireplace idea really did work out. Happy Sunday! xo
I too debated between outdoor fireplace vs fire pit, and have to say our fit pit has proven to be perfect for our lifestyle. Something very casual and cozy about putting your feet up right near the fire. Wishing you many happy times spent around your fire pit.
You’re right, it’s a lot cozier … and probably warmer. A fireplace with chimney looks amazing … but at the end of the day it’s all about comfort. Sounds like you’re getting a lot of enjoyment out of your fire pit and I know we’re going to feel the same way! xo
Simply Beautiful! The sofas, fire pit and water feature are perfect. I think I would never go inside!
Sandy – you would definitely come inside … its gotten very cold and wet all of a sudden. Ugh! Timing is everything right … we finished up just in time for the first frost and rain. But, thank you … even with the furniture covers on I love looking out and seeing it all done. Happy Sunday! xo
Carol Karl says
What an amazing transformation. It looks fabulous.
Thanks, Carol … it’s been a long time in process but worth the wait. Happy Sunday! xo
Stunning! Great work, Auntie Juliet!
Thank you so much, Michael!!! xo
LA CONTESSA says
I might be over before I AM INVITED!Just ignore the woman curled up on one of the TWO sofas…………you have created a little slice of HEAVEN!
It will be hard to ignore that soaked and frozen woman on the sofa! I’m laughing … everything is finishing up just as we have our first frost and rain. Timing is everything, right?! I look forward to the warm and dry day the Contessa graces me with her presence at Snowberry … we’ll enjoy tea and gluten free something by the fire. Hope you had a great weekend. xo
So beautiful and an amazing transformation! YourThanksgiving table set got four, will be so cozy!
Ha … hopefully, not too cozy. We’ll have to social distance!!! Thanks, Jane … can’t wait to show it to you in person. xo
You did such a wonderful job on your landscaping, especially for the space allowed. Additionally, a fabulous job on the exterior and interior decor. You have an exceptional eye for design. I love seeing your home!
Oh my gosh, Jill! You’re so sweet … thank you. This is not my first rodeo … and I’ve made lots of mistakes, but I enjoy the process. It’s incredibly gratifying to receive your comment. Sometimes I look at something for so long I wonder if it’s turned out ok, or I’ve just acclimated to it. I’m so happy you’re here at Make Mine a Spritzer! xo
JUliet, OH my gosh! I may need a private tour! Okay we have large terraced walls and we have talked about adding a stone cap to tidy it up. What is above that stone wall? Your patio layout somehow reminds me of mine. We have little little patio off the kitchen and every year I try something different. And I never thought to move the kitchen and grill to our wall. And the water feature! Please post a private tour for me from leaving your kitchen to walking out!
Oh and those couches? Where? xo laura in CO. Email me please when you get a minute!
Hi Laura … I’ve love to make a private tour for you … or do a walking tour and post to stories. It won’t happen this week as the entire area is filled with the contents of our garage. We’re having the floor epoxied (and its going to rain – ugh) and then cabinets installed. I can’t even walk int he areas around the sofas. But to try to answer some of your questions … there is a steep hillside above the stone wall. We were able to gain about 4′ of patio space by removing the two tiered retaining wall and replacing it with the taller wall. The water feature is simply 3 spouts that fall into a basin filled with large pebbles. It’s taken a while to get the water pressure, basin water and everything just right to avoid too much splash. The sofas are from Restoration Hardware … the Provence Luxe sofa. I’ll send you an email to see if I can answer any other questions. Happy Sunday! xo
Juliet, you have created a lovely outdoor oasis! I’ve really been enjoying following along on Instagram seeing your plans and vision come to life. Beautiful and inviting!
Thank you so much, Ginger. I really, really appreciate your support! xo
Martha foss says
We had to fix a lot of drainage at our Danville Cape cod house… we did the same with lots of pathways, rock walls and French drains. Your yard is looking wonderful!! Hopefully the fall weather will continue to be lovely! Our weather in San Diego is like summer!!
Drainage … such a necessary evil. Takes up a huge amount of budget but there’s no joy in it! We love the San Diego area and its been our family tradition to spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s at the Del. Not this year, sadly. We’ll miss your lovely winter weather … and also Mexican food at Miguel’s! xo
Absolutely beautiful Juliet!
Hi Linda … thank you so much! xo
Juliet, this is amazing! What a cosy space to spend time. I hope the Fall weather gives you an opportunity to sit and enjoy this beautiful space. We did a huge renovation at our previous house with a courtyard, outdoor kitchen and fireplace and it was finished in February but we did not care, we sat outside as much as we could in front of the fireplace wrapped in blankets and with warm drinks and books.
Hi Elizabeth! We’re going to take a page out of your book … wrap ourself in blankets and enjoy our outdoor space. I’m sure what we consider cold you would scoff at!!! xo
Julie Kerhulas says
Love everything you’ve done here, Juliet. Such a great use of space and you will enjoy it so much, especially when things return to normal. Congratulations!
Thanks so much, Julie. I know we’re going to enjoy this house … indoors and out … for many years to come. xo
This space looks fabulous. I love the idea of having a firepit in front of the fountain. I might just copy that idea at the lake if we can find the space!
Hi Cindy! Where there’s a will there’s a way! Our project was delayed due to Covid and it turned out to be a good thing because it gave us time to rethink the original plan and … ended up being much improved. That said, I’m so glad it’s done and over … so nice to finally settle in. You’re just getting ready to begin … but that’s exciting too. The beginning and the end … everything in the middle is sort of a mixed bag. 😉 xo
Juliet, I know you must be enjoying this space so much. It really is the perfect complement to your beautiful Snowberry! Congratulations! I’m excited to see it this spring, too!
Thanks so much, Paula! You must be getting ready to move back into your home. The sneak peek of your kitchen was amazing … can’t wait to see it all! xo
Your landscaping project was a biggie and it turned out so nicely! Well done, so many decisions and it appears you made all the right ones! I appreciate an evening sitting by the fire, we have an old fashioned brick fire pit (burns wood!) it’s so cozy to sit outside and watch the flames. Your outdoor kitchen will make things so convenient for the cook! The rain will not last long, and hopefully you will be able to bundle up and go back to enjoy the outside soon enough!
Heidi … I love a wood burning fire. You just can’t replace that smokey smell … it’s so so good. Either way, I just want to toast marshmallows and eat s’mores … but that’s not a good idea with my pre-wedding crash diet. 🙂 Thanks so much for the compliments. You’re right, it’s a lot of decisions and you just hope it all comes together. I’m must so glad to have reached the end of the project and be able to enjoy. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I can’t believe it’s a week away! xo
This is so lovely Juliet! I’m so impressed with all of the details-both large and small. The outdoor kitchen is amazing and I love what you said about life being too short for an uncomfortable couch. I say the same about cheap coffee/wine. Ha!
Kimberly Jones Snyder says
This is simply stunning! I love it! We are planning an outdoor kitchen, too! I love how your outdoor area turned out! it is beautiful! thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Kim. Living in sunshine states we really love our outdoor areas, don’t we?! xo
Marty@A Stroll Thru Life says
Absolutely gorgeous. I love that water feature and the kitchen is unreal too. Your garden area is a dream, I may copy some of that for my own home. Really a beautiful area to enjoy and entertain.
Hi Marty … I would be so flattered if you did. But you have such a lovely outdoor space … and that pool! xo
this dear casa says
Gorgeous Juliet! I’m with you on the Thanksgiving decor; I embrace it and then move to Christmas day after ha! Hope I get see a housewarming post from you sooner rather than later- this pandemic has put so much on hold. Your space is perfect for intimate gatherings & larger parties. Enjoy!
Thanks, Marie … I’m holding out high hopes for the later half of 2021! Fingers crossed. xo
this dear casa says
You’re welcome! Fingers crossed!!
Jodie Kammerer says
Juliet, I love every detail from the stone, to the table to the seating. Your style is just beautiful. Thanks for sharing this project with us. You’ve got me thinking and have inspired me!
Oh my goodness, a celebrity on my little blog site! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Julie … for your kind words. You’ve inspired and coached me and I’m incredibly grateful! xo
I continue to be inspired by your style! I really like the way you’ve combined the wicker and the teak (even though with our particular patio iI probably need to choose one or the other) Would you share where you found your Teak furniture (specifically the Bench with cushion)?
Happy Fall in your gorgeous garden and patio space
Thank you for these ideas! I especially love the flowers and throw pillows! I’m having a landscape architect redo my yard this weekend and then after that, I finally get to decorate my yard and home exterior for fall. I’m so excited to use some of these ideas, I’ll have to buy a new wreath too!
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Denial Leaonardo says
This patio is decorated with stylish and functional pieces that will make you feel at home. With comfortable seating and a beautiful view, this area will be perfect for a relaxing day out. bespoke home builder melbourne
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This is the perfect patio for fall! The space is decorated with a beautiful landscape of trees, plants, and stones. It’s perfect to relax on during the cool weather and enjoy the views.
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This patio is made to be enjoyed in all seasons, with its comfortable and stylish seating, as well as its perfect for entertaining.
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This outdoor patio space is perfect for fall! With natural colors and accents to make your space look great, this patio will help you enjoy the chilly weather outside.
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