It seems we’re never finished with our yard…..

We’ve got a couple “upgrades” in mind, but aren’t sure yet which ones will win out, or how soon they will take place…or exactly what the plans really are!

One idea is to modify our gazebo to a more usable space.  Taking it from this:

to something more like this:

A little more “open” and useable than it is now.  We can’t really make it any bigger, but there are things we can do to it to make it seem bigger I suppose.

1) We want to raise the roof so it’s comfortable to stand in
2) We want to remove the bench seating to make it more spacious
3) Maybe we’ll remove some of the “sides” to open it up
4) And maybe we can expand the floor space?


We’re kind of envisioning turning it into an outdoor kitchen space so that we don’t have to keep our BBQ under the patio full-time, constantly wheeling it out to use it.  We used to do all our grilling at the back patio, but with the addition of the side patio we moved it over there.  It’s just not convenient.

I’m thinking converting the gazebo to a grilling station or a more comfortable seating area would be a fabulous idea.  Although personally I’d rather just build an elevated paver patio and put a new square shaped shelter cover there instead and eliminate the gazebo altogether.  But, it’s always best to use what you already have, right?

We have electricity over there, but no running water, but electricity is enough to at least make a good “kitchen” space.

Yes, an outdoor kitchen.  We do A LOT of grilling and smoking with our Traeger.  We’d love a ‘permanent’ counter type fixture, too….maybe add a couple barstools.  You know, something like this:

We DO have running water AND electricity over at the circle patio, so we could really go all out and install an outdoor kitchen with a sink and counters and grilling space in that area.

Here’s what it looks like now:

Here’s what it could be:

OK, maybe not, the patio is not that big!

AND it’s too far across the yard for cooking- I want to be closer to the REAL kitchen.  Not carrying trays of chicken or burgers all the way around the yard…geez.

At a minimum we know we want to build a stone wall around the back half of it…. like this:

or this:

It would serve as seating, and also add some dimension to that space.

I think a counter-height bar structure on the front side (overlooking the grass) would be cool, too.

Moving on….

We’ve talked about creating a Natural Gas in-ground Fireplace somewhere in the yard, but not sure where exactly…it won’t work in the current circle patio for a number of reasons, but here’s what they look like:

We thought about putting it in what’s currently known as the “gravel pit”:

It’s kiddie playland right now and I’m not ready to do a massive paver project right there.  It looks small, but it’s really about 12′ x 14′.

Another idea for “kiddie playland spot” is to turn that area into a covered grilling area.  We saw this one at a private campground and immediatly decided we wanted to do something similar someplace in our yard:

Something really basic and simple.

Of course, after looking online for a while at “sheltered outdoor kitchens” I’m thinking something more like this:


Ok, let’s be a little more realistic. How about a cute seating area like this (but replace the fireplace with a BBQ station):

Actually, THAT would be perfect where the gazebo is now- and we can make the pergola a covered solid top one.  Hmmm….

Or we can step it up to a grander scale like this and build a ginormous shelter over the space:

Cuz two covered patios simply ain’t enough for us?  Ha!

Let’s talk about our 2nd covered patio.  It would be fairly simple to wrap our porch posts with stone and create a “counter” between two of the posts. I’d love to have a stone bar like this:

And we can add a pergola around the side that connects to the covered patio making the patio seem larger:

I’m thinking a pergola at the far right of the screen would look pretty cool!

Oh! And it gets better!

I mean, if we’re going to dream, why not dream BIG?

I recently learned that TWO-person hot tubs are available- that would be perfect!  None of our bathrooms are large enough for a soaking tub, and I frequently wish I could take a long hot soak- but there’s no way I’d have a big hot tub again.  So why not pick up one of these little guys:

Or even an old claw-foot tub and pipe hot water to it and create an outdoor “bath retreat” like this:

Or this:

So I walked around the yard to see where something like that could go- because I really really would love to have a little piece of peace and tranquility to retreat to on occasion.  I suppose one of the best (most peaceful and out of sight) options would be here:

Or here (tucked at the corner where the farthest bamboo pot is- outside the garden shed):

With A LOT of work involved on either of those locations!

Stay tuned!  I’m curious to see which items win out, and WHEN we can get started!