Thursday, September 3, 2009

Outdoor Dining Patio

If you would have told me how long it would take to put in our outdoor dining patio, I wouldn't have believed you. I simply had no idea of the time involved in completing such a project. Like the fence, it took many, many hours (and many, many weekends) of meticulous consideration and hard work.

Hubby did most of this work. He did all the math, the measuring, leveling and planning.
See Exhibit A.

Exhibit A.
As for myself, I was good at pointing around and saying, "like this, and there!" 
Which hubby was able to translate into a beautiful patio and stairs.

Although it was our intention to have this completed before summer officially began, 
it has now been completed before summer is officially over!

So the following photos are what it took to create this new space of ours...

This is what we started with after the dining room addition was built. 

Retaining wall was built first. See urns? I'm already starting to decorate.

After a significant amount of gravel was added and leveled, Hubby built a frame for the patio stairs. We decided that the easiest way to build the stairs was to adhere pavers to a strong foundation of concrete. 

This was the night before the concrete truck came to pour the concrete into the stair frame.

The concrete pourer was able to help with leveling the concrete as it was being poured. 

After concrete cured, pavers were adhered.

Next step was to lay the patio floor pavers. 

To make sure that the pavers looked right (as much like real stone as possible), Hubby worked out a pattern on paper first. The pavers were the same width but came in four different lengths so there was a system in place to ensure that all seams were staggered. 

There are a lot more photos. Most of them are of hubby up to his ears in gravel, dirt and pavers. And a few with him giving me the stink eye when I interrupted him with, "stop, let me take your picture!" This request was usually met with deaf ears.

Here's hubby ignoring me after such a request. 

This photo shows the completed patio before we planted the boxwood hedge and limelight hydrangea. 

This photo shows the beginning stages of planting a hedge of boxwood around patio to create a living wall. We wanted the patio to be as green as possible so we opted for a living wall rather than concrete/stone. 

Later on, we decided to add stairs down the center. 


PHOTO UPDATES: New patio table and chairs. Full post here


  1. the gardeners cottageSeptember 4, 2009 at 5:19 PM

    You two are amazing. So perfect. I can just imagine sitting there with that gorgeous view and one of your beautiful meals. It really is beautiful.


  2. Absolutely gorgeous!!! Enjoy your new space...Ann

  3. Oh Trina!! It's Fabulous! I just love it, and I know you & hubby are thrilled to have it finished. And just in time for your beautiful NW Fall! Love your table and chairs!
    A round of applause for cute hubby and all his hard work (exhibit A... too cute), and for you also and your helpful assistance;)- I mean someone has to document all this progress, right? And that's hard work too!
    happy weekend to you both! j.

  4. Much applause all round for you both - a fab job Trina!
    Millie ^_^

  5. Very elegant! I SO admire your hard work.

  6. I just found your blog, and it's absolutely fantastic! One day my husband and I hope to buy a house and fix it up, and I just got a ton of inspiration photos from you guys! As for your patio light, maybe something like this from bellacor would be pretty: It might be worth it to frost the glass, and there's tons of other lantern pendants, but you can't beat it for price!

  7. Thanks Meredith for the link - I'll go look right now! Trina

  8. It's been worth while the long wait and effort as this patio looks great. Every time you sit there it will put a smile on your face, such satisfaction. Love the setting and those urns too.

  9. As I contemplate putting my home on the market in the spring, your photos are helping me create my "wish list" for the next home. Having an outdoor entertaining area, like yours, is going to be a must!

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us!

  10. This comment comes a little late afte the post was written but anyways... I was wondering, your flowers, the hydrangeas? seem very well established for the new patio area. Where did you get them?

  11. So when you made the patio, did you leave natural dirt space for planting, or did you make planters and fill with dirt for the bushes against the house?

  12. Hi Where Fish Live,
    We created the beds and then rocked around them. I knew I wanted to plant hydrangeas on the patio so it was part of the plan from the get go.

  13. This is sooooo romantic! Wowza!
    Kerry at

  14. hello there, young couple! i just came across your truly lovely!
    we just created an outdoor space and steps, pa bluestone patio and gardens.i just LOVE how it is all coming together in a charming, inviting way. the style and feel is more countryside european...and we are so excited to start entertaining in our outdoor room!
    good luck with your future projects!...leona

  15. This is a lovely outdoor patio. Are those hydrangeas or viburnum growing to the sides?

  16. I love your Blog, so inspirational and great ideas. Thanks.


  17. Trina, It is all so beautiful. Love the new Dining patio and furniture, but where did you get the old white folding chairs? I need some for a large holiday gathering, and I have seen them before but now can't remember where? Thanks, Hilary

  18. Hilary,
    Here are the folding bistro chairs:


  19. Wow - Your patio has to be one of the most beautiful and inpsiring gardens I have seen for along time. I blog and am on pinterest and believe me I do see alot of garden images! Hydrangeas, box planting and a beautiful simple elegance vibe. Off to see the rest of your stuff now and I will definitely be adding my name to one of your many followers! Sinead

  20. This is absolutely gorgeous. I'm inspired!

  21. Your patio is beautiful! We are looking to build some retaining walls and I was wondering where you purchased the stone you used (or the name of the stone if you remember). We live in the Midwest, so I'm not sure if it is available nationally, but it's worth an ask. ;) Thanks!!!

  22. Heather,
    The pavers are made in Washington state. Here is the link:

  23. Hi Trina, I'm a new follower...just found your blog but I couldn't tell you how. I'm one of those lurkers that love to admire everyone's beautiful spaces usually via people's linky parties. I started setting up my own blog but never finished and probably couldn't even find it if I tried. Just seems like a huge complicated committment to keep a up blog. I wanted to say tho that I love what I've seen on yours (you and your husband are such a cute couple)and plan to read every post eventually. You two have done a beautiful job and inspire me to finish and try to make our home as pretty as yours. I love it. Have a great week, leslie

  24. Wow, that looks like tons of work! But it really looks amazing. Great job! I've been trying to find a way to install lighting on my deck, but it looks like a lot of work as well.

  25. Love the look and feel of this space. You did a great job with the greenery and the flowers. Beautiful!

  26. Hi Trina,

    I would love to do something like this at my own old farmhouse in Maryland. Roughly how big is the "usable surface" of the patio - ie, not including steps, etc.

    Your home is so lovely!


  27. We are just starting our patio and I stumbled across your pictures just in time! There are a few changes I'd like to make to our design based on some of the ideas you used:) Can you tell me, how did you secure the walls of your patio? We will also have a short wall around ours and I wasn't sure if you used glue to secure it. Also, what type of pavers did you use?

    Love this patio! Would be so excited if our turned out half as beautiful as yours!

  28. Amanda,
    They lock in place, but also Mike glued the tops of them. The retaining wall was so low that these types of pavers could be used. The brand escapes me...But I'm sure it's a design most companies use.
    Good luck!


Thank you for leaving your thoughts. Kind regards, Catherine

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