Thursday, June 20, 2019

outdoor entertaining area reveal!

I am so happy to finally share our outdoor entertaining area with you!

This was a big project, but it was so worth it because we will be living out here this summer!

If you would like to see my post on where we started, you can go here. I will also be sharing the before photos in this post. 

We like to entertain in the summer and we have a lot of bbq's with family and friends.We have many great spaces to gather, but our fire pit area had always been lacking. 

It is a great big area tucked into the woods that sits behind our house. We always knew it had potential to be really great, but we put the project off for way too long.

The bonus is that the area is big, it is private and with the woods, you really feel like you are camping back there.

However, it was neglected and the weeds had taken over and it just didn't have that welcoming feeling.

Well now, thanks to Home Depot, our entertaining area has come to life and we couldn't be happier with it! 

In fact we were having friends over to make s'mores before it was even finished.


The biggest impact is the Milano Pavestones we added to define the entire fire pit area and have a space to place the chairs. We used all three sizes and created a fun pattern. We did this ourselves, working at nights and on weekends, and while it was a bit time consuming, it was a fun project I would definitely be up for again.

The pavers are thinner than normal, so they require you to lay them over concrete. We created the concrete base by mixing up bags in our new mixer, which will be so handy to have down the road for future projects. Thankfully, our area had gravel in it which was already compacted. If you have loose gravel, you will need to rent a compacter first.

We worked in sections and poured and leveled as we went. 
For leveling, we used a 2x4 piece of wood and with a person on either end, we leveled it section by section. Creating the base for the pavers takes a while, but it is probably the most important step. 

Again, section by section we added the pavers to the wet concrete, making sure they were all level as we went. 

Here is a progress shot of the walkway leading up to the fire pit. Once everything was dry my husband cut the edges with a rental from Home Depot called a concrete saw . It went really fast and really made a difference in the overall look to have those nice clean edges. 

The final step was to apply this to the overall area to secure them even further, to fill in any gaps or cracks and to prevent weeds from popping through. 


The addition of lighting was huge and made a big impact. These lights are sleek and modern but fade into the landscaping well. My husband installed them using this transformer. It looks so beautiful at night.


To add definition to the back and to create a backdrop for the whole area, I decided on a combination of firewood in these great racks, and arborvitae trees. Centering the firewood racks gives your eye a focal point, and is not only good looking, but also super functional. We hired my son and his friends to chop firewood, it was a family affair!


I have always loved the casual look of Adirondack chairs, and chose 8 of these to go around the fire pit. I have only ever had wood ones which rot out over time, so I am really looking forward to having these Polywood ones for years and years. I like the fact that we can leave them out year round as well.

I saved a few leftover stumps to use as side tables for setting drinks or food. 


The final step was a trip to Home Depot where we loaded up on plants. Since this is mainly a shady area, I opted for different varieties of hostas. I also added in a lot of ornamental grasses,  heuchera  and japanese maples for color. 

A layer of fresh bark and we are done!

I cannot wait to hang out around this fire pit creating new memories with everyone, and stare up at the stars.

{this is the best swing for all ages}

For reference, this picture was taken off our back deck and looking into the backyard toward the fire pit. Outdoor kitchen on the right, office on the left, with shed behind that.

Now, off to go enjoy a marshmallow or two!



Marsha said...

I love it!! You guys did great.

[email protected] Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh my word it is amazing. I love your entire yard, so many gorgeous places to relax and entertain. Great job.

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