My Great Outdoors: The Tiny, Unique and Charming Patio

My Great Outdoors: The Tiny, Unique and Charming Patio

Gregory Han
Jun 23, 2009

Name: mrsvioletleigh

Location: Laguna Beach, CA

Type of space: Backyard patio

Tell us about your outdoor project and how you enjoy it: Our backyard space is tiny and odd, but also unique and charming. It is our private sanctuary and evokes a feeling of peace and happiness within my husband, daughter and me. We have two sets (one set in the kitchen and one set in the main living room) of antique French doors that lead out to our narrow and steep backyard oasis. In the summer we open the French doors and enjoy the beach breeze and the tropical greenery. When we were looking to buy a house, and we saw this backyard we fell in love with it's charm. It is about as narrow and long as a hallway, but we throughly enjoy BBQing in our backyard, going in the spa, eating a meal, roasting marshmallows in the fire pit, and entertaining in it. We have a bamboo forest that lines the bedroom side of our house, which we enjoy waking up to each day. We also have an occasional visit from a raccoon family, which my daughter loves. The best thing about this outdoor space is that we can view it from every room in the house.

How did you create it? The previous owner of our house was an artist, and put some personal touches within this space that date back to the 60's. He built the backyard upon different levels, all which create a retaining structure. He built a waterfall/Koi pond (which is currently under construction) that provides a soothing sound. The plants and trees are mature and mostly native to the area, my favorite being the huge staghorn ferns. We were so thankful that the greenery existed, because we didn't have the budget to landscape our yard. There are about three cement face sculptures built into the rocks that peek out throughout the foliage. We put a soft tub in a spot that previously held a built in redwood tub, which was unfortunately removed years before we bought the house. We then put up vintage tiles and towel hooks, along with a bench next to the soft tub to make it cozy and inviting. We also hung lights and paper lanterns above the soft tub. We placed candle votives and lanterns throughout the garden and on various levels, that when lit create an amazing glow. We then put a cafe set outside where we can enjoy a meal, a cup of tea/wine, or play card games. Across from the cafe set, we have a fire pit that can also be viewed from inside the house and makes for some great marshmallow roasting. It is a fun place to explore, and although it's small it provides us with plenty of entertainment.

Recommended store, site, product or resource? The outdoor mat/rug was bought at World Market. The soft tub was a find on Craigslist.The towel hooks were found at Anthropologie. The strung lights and fire pit were found at Target.

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