Tag Archives: crazy paving

Modifying plans

I’ve been making the most of the Auckland winter sunshine and getting outside into our backyard (such as it is) and dreaming of how it will look this time next year. Fingers crossed!

With a builder waiting in the wings we’ve had to make a decision on the deck. You might remember we started with two quite dissimilar plans? I’ve sort of fallen for one of them.

And made a few small modifications…

0702_Backyard plan

We’re going crazy paving (once I convince Andre we need to break up the concrete!) and a small deck. While the multi-level deck would have been fun, and a great play space for the kids, we think this plan suits the house better, allows us to work with what we have (and hopefully save some money) and provide more variation for kids play (and adult zones!).

Since the previous version of this plan we’re thinking of keeping the entire existing raised garden bed at the left, and will plant either a screening hedge or potentially make it a vege garden. To allow more room for an outdoor dining table on the open concrete space beyond the deck, we’ve also decided to keep the stairs to the right of the deck.

I’m pretty excited about it and can’t wait to get started! May the sunshine last…

Here’s a couple of my doodlings from yesterday afternoons Vitamin D session:


I was just trying to visualise how we could arrange/scale some concrete planters. Looks like it’s going to work for us to do that instead of the terracotta pots. Sometimes Plan B is even better than Plan A! (Even when you’re a diehard Plan A girl!)  I think I might give them a dipped look to fancy them up a bit (and to match our dining chairs and kindling crate)…0702_7247

I’m not yet certain of the pergola/playhouse structure but I’m thinking something semi closed in with screens and a climbing vine on two sides and the roof. More than likely it’ll house a sandbox and some simple benches. I kind of think it would be fun to create an outdoor play kitchen, but I must remember kids can make that happen with whatever is around all on their own! Let’s not overcomplicate things!

So… deck railing research is calling…

Have a great day!

Backyard plans

The more time I spend on Pinterest, and the more we clear out the backyard, the more ideas I have for how to make our odd little backyard a pretty, functional and “something for everyone” space.

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):

0510_Backyard plan

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.0510_Backyard plan2

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.

0513_backyard moodboard2

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.

0510_Backyard plan1My 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?!

0513_backyard moodboard1With 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…!