Our new backyard!

travertine outoor hearth

Well, I’m kind of cheating. I’m not really showing a fall mantel for Layla’s party. Just a fall fireplace.

An outdoor fireplace. ;)

I figured I can show you the indoor mantel any time – but the final touches on the backyard and the new patio were made today, so I just couldn’t wait to show you!!

Is this allowed Lay? :)

I hope so! Cause it rocks my world!!!

OK, there are a serious amount of pics on this one, so bear with me. (And I thought the deck post had a lot – HA!)

Let’s start with the piece de resistance – the outdoor fireplace:

outdoor stone fireplace

We almost didn’t add this – at first it was just going to cost too much. But our landscaper worked with us and we figured out a way to make it happen.

And we are SO GLAD we did. It just makes the whole space – it’s the focal point, no doubt!

They used a travertine stone on the hearth and for the details on the front, instead of the brick on the sample we saw. He wanted to pull the colors from our house, and it does just that!

The stone works with the house too, and has some bits of grey and red tones that work with the patio:

stone patio with fireplace

It’s been raining on and off for days, and finally today it was just beautiful! As soon as I pulled out the camera, the sun went behind the clouds, again. (Some of the stones on the patio are wet – that’s why they are darker.)

Let’s check out the before and after shall we?:



We got all of the furniture on clearance at Menards and I LOVE IT:

red outdoor sofa

I think it looks SO much more expensive than it was – all four chairs and the sofa (we have a outdoor SOFA?!), were less than $800:

outdoor firepit

We got the fire pit at Menards as well (on clearance – notice a trend here?) a couple years ago.

All of the pillows are placemats from World Market – I also used them as placemats (who would have thunk it?) on the table set on the deck:

outdoor pillows placemats

I adore the colors and the designs – and that I can flip them around for a different look.

Here’s a little tour of the backyard – the before on the left, the after now:


We are trying to bring the grass back – it was covered with the deck furniture (while they stained) for so long, it pooped out. We had the drain spout put under the ground – which makes hubby VERY happy. He moved that thing every single time he mowed. ;)

They planted a winding row of burning bushes, which I LOVE, between our trees, and then a couple large arborvitae at the end for privacy. They are so tall and thick – I love them!

You can see how the patio looks from the yard from this angle:

I love all the thought they put into the design of the walls – it could have easily been a plain wall and we would have been happy. But they look so custom with the bullnosed detail around the bottom.

We planned all along to put the grill down on the patio, but in the end hubs wanted to keep it up on the deck. So I put the DIY potting bench there instead and now I think it’s the perfect spot!:

DIY pottery barn potting bench

That big black bucket is actually for fireplace ashes, but I keep my potting soil in it. :) Hopefully it will hold up outside – I may spray it with some kind of sealer.

Have the potting bench there couldn’t work better, because my plan all along was to use it for entertaining as well – now it will be a great spot for food, drinks, ice buckets, whatever.

You can see the fireplace from the back here:

It’s hard to see, but on each side of the fireplace are pee gee hydrangea trees. I got them for half off at my local True Value and I’m SO excited about them. Hopefully they will look something like this eventually:


Isn’t that gorgeous??

Next summer they will frame out the fireplace perfectly. Can’t wait! :)

We especially love how the landscaper used the natural stone throughout the space – like in the landscaping above, and the stepping stones through the mulch:

And the “steps” up to the patio are large stones:

They make it feel like everything has been there forever!

Here’s a before and after from the other side:


You’ll notice the garden is gone. It was a very, very sad day. I’m not kidding. They had to rip the cucumbers from my clutched fists.

OK, OK, it wasn’t that dramatic, but it was hard.  ;) I don’t know yet where I will put it next year, but I have a couple spots in mind.

You’ll also notice that there’s not many plants in the ground. That is simply because we just had to stop! (Our bank account was starting to freak out a little. OK, a lot. ;) ) We’ll budget for that next year. I can’t wait to plan all of the landscaping – I think the plants will make it even more of an oasis!

At first I wasn’t sure how to set up all the furniture on the patio, but I searched “outdoor fireplace” online and noticed most of them had the chairs set up like this:

I didn’t want the back of anything to be facing out, so this works great. 

And there’s still plenty of room to get around them, to the potting bench on one side, the firewood on the other:

The lovely folks at Wuslu.com sent these baskets too me, and this one was the largest. It’s just LOVELY as a firewood holder. :)

The massive mums were a STEAL – my BFF and I found out one of the local fruit farms offers $5 mums if you dig them up yourself. We got HUGE plants for so cheap – usually this size would cost (at least) $30! I plan to plant them later and we’ll see how they do next year.

I just love mums. I just love fall. Sigh. :)

Today the landscaper came out and cleared out a TON of the brush in the back – we didn’t think he would do that till next year, and it opened up our backyard SO MUCH:

I mentioned here that our next phase will be to clear all of this out, plant more trees along the back and mulch most of it.

This land is why we built our house here and it’s one of our very favorite parts of our home – if not our favorite. We have been so spoiled by all the green space and privacy. I absolutely love it, and now we have another 20 feet of yard to explore, now that we can get back there!

Since the last minute touches were finished up today, we celebrated by lighting a fire this evening:

It’s no surprise that the evening is the best time to enjoy this space. :)

We grab cold drinks, warm blankets, light the fire, listen to the crickets and look up at the stars:

And it really does not get any better than this.

I feel so lucky I could burst. I don’t know what I did to deserve this, but I sure do appreciate it. :)

I hope you enjoyed the tour of our new backyard! And I need to give a HUGE shout out to our landscaper and his staff – Bill at Eagleson Landscape did an incredible job. They did such an amazing job and took such pride in everything they did – especially the guys who put the stone on the fireplace. We were so pleased with every bit of it! If you are in the Indy area and need anything done outdoors – give them a call!

Be sure to link up your fall fireplace (mantels?!) at Layla’s – I can’t wait to see all the goodies! 


I’m such a rebel. :)


I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

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