Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Patio That Jack Built.

So, yes, this was the back of the house when we bought it.
(You do know how this is gonna go, don't you?)

"Honey, even though we can't afford to replace all the windows, maybe we should take this really bad one out and put in some, oh, sliding or french doors and put a little deck or something simple outside our bedroom."

There goes the really bad window.

Oh, and all the sheet rock should probably be redone. You know, as long as we're already in there and all. Not that we would do it otherwise or anything like that. Ahem.

And there are the french doors (so not mid-century, but so much easier for dogs and kids). Ooo, but surely that's not enough, right? We need a teensy something more, don't you think?

And now begins the "teensy something more" patio adventure.

Here's Ramone Gonzales and his amazing crew. What a classy outfit they are.


Corncrete (as some say in Texas) is happening. It was inevitable, didn't you know?


Isn't that just the purtiest thing you ever did see? It really is just fabulous in every way. 

A freestanding fireplace just like the one I had when I was a kid (except ours was 60's ORANGE). 
A lovely swing to daydream on. 
An outdoor movie screen for summer nights with the kids. 
Jack made some gorgeous big stairs coming off the french doors. 
Some fine drought-tolerant landscaping, including that free century plant. 
And a bottle tree just like the one Pam Penick made 
Mine's not quite finished yet, but we're drinking as fast as we can! 
I'm from Beaumont and bottle trees are quite common over there. 
I had forgotten all about them until I saw Pam's. 
And no Austin patio would be complete without year-round Christmas lights.
I must have them. 
Every house I live in has "happy lights" (as my son calls them) up all year. 

Isn't my husband just the best ever?! I never cease to be amazed by what he can build. This patio is just gorgeous. It's got big beefy posts that we stained dark brown. The house is dark green (Valspar's Kodiak. Boo, I like funkier paint names.) and all together it looks like a tree house. A tree house on the ground, but it has that tree house feel. The ubiquitous IKEA furniture pulls it into this century seamlessly. I know some of you detest IKEA, but I'm a convert. I love it. I do and you cannot sway me otherwise.

Speaking of free, so much of this gravel bed was free. Well, truthfully, so much of what I have in my yard in general comes free or from Craigslist. I am a world-class scavenger; hence my love of wabi-sabi. If it's free or uber-cheap I love it all the more. I paid for the birdbath (HEB - cheap) and a couple of lantanas and the cigar plants. Everything else was gifted or scavenged.

Now on to a couple of herb beds in front of that gravel bed. I'll have to wait for fall; everybody and everything is too hot already. 
That's OK, we have this nice, cool patio to sit on all summer.

Ahhhh. House Love.


  1. I am loving this blog...I had no idea that you had another one going! I also would love to see your house in person (hint, hint) ;-) Also, I just met Pam Penick at Cub Scout Day Camp...can our lives intertwine anymore???

  2. Are you kidding? You can come over right NOW and just move in.
    You met Pam? Gosh, that blog of hers...could you just die? When I grow up I want to be Pam Penick. lol.

  3. If you haven't heard of this this group already, I bet you'd absolutely love it!!

    Austin Freecycle:

    They're all about keeping things out of landfills and all of it is 100% free!! Soooo much fun. I'm completely addicted, much to my husbands annoyance. ;)

  4. Pam Penick here, and I'm blushing regarding your comment and just in awe of what you guys have done, Michele. I didn't realize you were blogging, and when you commented on my Mueller post I followed the link and instantly recognized your wonderful front gate. I've spent about thirty minutes reading your posts and plan to catch up on the rest soon. Thanks for the bottle-tree mention (the link is not quite right, but I appreciate the thought), and I look forward to seeing what else you guys come up with.

    BTW, your friend Erica must have met the other Pam Penick in Austin. Yes, there are two of us--not related. However, I've never been involved in Cub Scouts, so I know that wasn't me. :-)


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