Creating an Outdoor Living Space- planning

Ahhhh!  June has been such a whirlwind at our house.  Between weddings and graduation parties, I'm sure you've all been just as busy!  I mentioned to you guys that I'm one of the ten True Value Blog Squad members for 2011 (super exciting!).  Well the adventure is well underway and I wanted to share with you my main project.  
When I was contacted by True Value I started to brain storm ideas of what kind of projects I would like to do.  The main one that came to me is creating more space for my family to enjoy.  We have a HUGE deck that's half concrete half wood that the kids LOVE to play and ride bikes on, but I don't really enjoy being out there myself.  I have sensitivity to the sun and heat so I usually find myself watching them play from the window, which isn't much fun for anyone. So my main project for the summer (which started a little later than we would have liked due to the strange weather here in Wisconsin this year!) is Creating an Outdoor Living Space.

Here is what I'm working with....

The lens I had on seemed to make a funny distortion, but you get the idea.  It's half wood, half cement.  Fully gated.  There used to be an above ground pool at the end where that odd archway/hanger is.  The pool was gone before we were here so I'm not sure exactly how it worked..... but it's a nice big open space that could be so much better utilized!  So it's my mission, create a space that actually makes me want to GO outside! 

The very first thing I did, which you can see a little of at the top of the sketch, is made a list of all the things I want to be able to do on the deck.
  • Grill- we do a lot of this in the summer
  • Eat!  Kind of a give after the grill right?
  • Read, I used to read all the time and I need to do it more!
  • Work, I would love to have a spot to work on the computer and actually be able to see my screen
  • Kid's play.  This is a must! 
  • Possibly a fire pit?  
  • Shade!  For my sun issues, shade is a must! 
I also thought about what kind of look and feel I wanted for the space.  I would like to use it both day and night.  I also wanted it to have a real bistro/night cafe feel to it.  I LOVE twinkly lights with the old fashion looking bulbs.  Something cozy, moody and inviting.

So I sat down and came up with a plan!
I did some browsing of the True Value website along the way to get an idea of what things would cost.  I wasn't sure what all I would buy and what I would make so I kind of priced everything out so I could determine where my money would be best spent.  As it turned out the gazebo I wanted as my main structure (the thing that would give me shade and allow me to enjoy the space most) was discontinued between the time I planned my layout and the time I went to order it.  So the dimensions of the one I found to replace it are a bit different, but you get the idea.  It was a rough sketch to get me going.  You probably can't even tell what most of it is right now....

So that's the plan!  We are already underway and I can't wait to share the process with you.  Next up- preparing your space!


  1. WOW! I am so looking forward to seeing the end results! This should be fun.


  2. This will be incredible! Can't wait to see it finished!