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!
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!
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Unless otherwise noted, all photos in the post are by Monica Vargas Photography.