Right now, I have a couple of quite different ideas.
But first, here’s what we have (or will have once we demolish the last remaining planter box and remove another trailer load of dirt):
At the front of our house we are just a few steps above ground level, but at the back, we have a pretty good birds eye view of the neighbours. In these plans (x) means steps down from the house level – hopefully that helps with the interpretation! Under each of the deck areas are terraced lumps of concrete… apparently a previous owner was a concrete junkie. We’ve already demolished a small portion of it in the front, but we will just have to work with it (ie. keep it covered up) out the back here.
So, the first plan (but the second one I drew up, hence “plan 2”) was to deck it out at various levels, gradually stepping down, with no need for hand rails – creating different areas for outdoor dining, seating and playing but keeping things open and spacious. All greenery in pots, with a feature wall of giant potted plants along the back fence for privacy.
I had a more modern look in mind for this – think oriental trellis, simple structures and minimal furnishings. The multi level deck would be the main feature, and a great play opportunity for the kids.
Since renovating is all about learning to work with what you have though, I thought I’d veer well off course and see how we could live with the current (but upgraded) small deck, and even the concrete below.
The result is four very distinct areas – a covered deck for bbq-ing, rainy day play and after the kids are in bed relaxation, then down some sweet brick walled stairs to a crazy-paved potential cosy dining space (I haven’t shown a table in the plan), with an old armoire for gardening bits and pieces and outdoor toys, then a built structure of some sort over white pebble, and a final area for nothing more glamourous than hanging out the washing, and access to the garage and drive.
My vision for this plan is a little more relaxed, with loads of different textures – there’s timber decking, rustic brick, herbs growing in cracked concrete paving, white pebble… – and some defined areas to escape to or explore. Can you tell I’m quite liking this plan?!
With winter approaching fast, it’s unlikely much of these plans will eventuate for a few months yet, but that will allow me time to mull them over and decide on something just perfect! Dreams are free…!