Home: The Patio Begins

patio 1

Last March I wrote about our decision not to make any major changes to our home, or any other big decisions for that matter, in 2015. Healing our hearts and bodies, gathering our children close, and leaning in close to the Lord are our major tasks for the year.

Although we weren’t ready to tackle a remodel, we decided to build a patio. Having wanted one for many years, we knew that it would add joy to our lives and would be a therapeutic project for Russ. He loves to work outdoors and nearly any project that allows him to spend time on his tractor is an added bonus.

So far the summer has been packed. Russ spent over two weeks in Kenya (which I haven’t even written about yet), and he had lots of work to wrap up at the end of the semester. We’ve had a graduation, friends’ wedding, and plenty going on, so although he was eager to get started, mid-July seems to be the right time. We’ve already come to the conclusion that the patio will be completed this fall.

Russ is going to have to work in short gaps of time. He has a few days this week before we leave for the Qualls family reunion. He’ll have a few days next week before we move to Whidbey Island for three weeks. When we get back the semester will be close to starting, so progress will be slow, but that’s okay.

Did I mention that the patio is going to be big? We marked out the space with ropes, set up furniture, walked around, asked for our kids’ opinions, and finally concluded that it needs to be a large space if we really want to use it for meals and relaxing.

Building a large patio means buying lots of gravel, sand, and pavers, which adds up to more money, but since we’re doing the work ourselves, we’re building a patio that will really suit our family.

Do you have a patio or deck? Do you use it? What do you love about it? Is there anything we should definitely include? Anything we should avoid?

Have a great day, friends. It feels good to be writing – thanks for reading.

Lisa 

 

 

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

16 Comments

  1. RussAnita Olson
    July 15, 2015

    we have 6 people in a 1400 sq ft house and an outdoor, a partially covered patio. It's extended living space for our family. I love that we have post that are perfect for a hammock. I love that we can build a fire, turn on the lights (christmas lights) and be away for an hour or two. I love that we have extra space for friends to gather, away from the house activity for private conversations. The only advice I have is to decorate it like a room in your home. The extended house feeling comes from a table set with a centerpiece of succulents, a shelf with some decorations, art hanging from the post that the kids helped with, etc. When we did that it went from feeling like a backyard patio to another living room.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 15, 2015

      That sounds lovely, Anita. If you have any photos you want to share, I would love to see them.

      Reply
  2. Kirsten G.
    July 15, 2015

    We have a small patio in our backyard. My husband was able to get the patio stones for free from his brother. Instead of getting gravel, he used ground up coconut shells level the ground. He got the coconut bags from work. There used in place of soil in the greenhouse he works at. It's not a very big space, but it suits our needs. We like sitting out there after the kids go to bed.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 15, 2015

      Kirsten, I'm impressed with your innovation! I look forward to sitting outside after the kids are in bed too.

      Reply
  3. Mary DeGennaro
    July 15, 2015

    So glad you are investing in something that will bring joy to your family and friends for years to come!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 15, 2015

      Me too, Mary. It feels right.

      Reply
  4. jen
    July 15, 2015

    The *finishing* touch on our deck that made it seem so fun and comfortable was a few strands of globe lights hung around the perimeter. We had seating and a table, a grill, and a few plants; but when we put up the lights the deck suddenly became the place that everyone wanted to be! They also made it possible to have conversations after the sun went down!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 15, 2015

      I love lights, Jen. I'll put some thought into that.

      Reply
  5. Laurel
    July 15, 2015

    We, too, have an extended living space outdoors. We've always had a "patio", but last summer we made it into an "outside living room" as our neighbor called it.

    We have two nice Adriondack chairs with matching footstools and side tables. We bought nice cushions for the chairs. We have two benches, as well. (And, we have a stack of plastic adriondack chairs for when the group gets extra large.) In the middle of our seating arrangement, we have a nice fire pit.

    We have a larger side table for drinks and things (s'mores ingredients, etc.), and the table has a colorful table cloth on it to brighten the area. We have large hanging plants and potted plants lining the steps into the house.

    We live in town, and our patio is not in a fenced back yard. So, we put up a 4' white picket fence around the two sides that face the street. It gives the perfect amount of privacy while sitting down, without feeling like we erected a huge privacy fence.

    I am sure that you and your family will have many years of enjoyment for the work you are putting in.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 15, 2015

      That sounds really nice, Laurel.

      Reply
  6. Jean Nelson
    July 15, 2015

    Our outdoor living space has evolved in stages from a concrete pad, to a wooden deck, and now has a beautiful cedar pergola over it. We have an outdoor ceiling fan and some strands of charming lights that add to the ambiance. We live in hot Texas, so we can't use it year round, but even in the summers, it's shaded enough to enjoy breakfast or late evenings outside. Lots of plants and colorful textiles make it one of our favorite spots at our home. I know you will love your space!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 15, 2015

      That sounds beautiful Jean! I've never decorated a blank space before, so this will be all new.

      Reply
  7. Laura
    July 16, 2015

    We built a fire pit into our outdoor area! It is always soothing to sit around the fire together :-). We have a deck, and then off to the side of a deck we added a landscaped firepit area.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 18, 2015

      I'm really looking forward to having a firepit; I think we'll use it often.

      Reply
  8. Jennifer
    July 17, 2015

    My favorite patio is outside the new boutique inn on State Street in Ithaca. Large square stones, small tables, lighting. http://argosinn.com/argosgalleries/

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 18, 2015

      That is beautiful, Jennifer! Thank you for the link – I'm going to show the pics to Russ.

      Reply

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