Outdoor living!

One of our favorite things about our old house was our back yard. It was not too big but not too small, shaded, fully fenced, and had a great party deck that Parker built. We spent lots of time out there entertaining friends over the years. We also loved going out there and listening to music and having a drink on nights when we didn’t have anything to do. It felt a lot better than just sitting and watching TV! When building our new house, we did not have our builder put on a deck. It wasn’t really in the budget, and it probably wouldn’t have been exactly what we wanted anyway. So for 3 summers, we went without a place to really hang out outside. That was an adjustment! It often felt like we shouldn’t really invite people over on nice days because we didn’t have the option of eating outdoors or hanging out outside. When on our own, we often craved the outdoors so much that we did this (terrible photo but I thought still worth sharing):

Our Corner of the World | Menards giant camping chair
This is an awesome giant chair that I got Parker for Christmas one year. I saw it at Menards and thought it had his name written all over it!


We thought about building a deck as soon as we moved in, but we could never quite figure out what we wanted. We have a sun room on the back of our house that kind of splits our yard in half. It was a tough decision as to which side we should put a deck on. The one side is more private, but the other side is next to the kitchen, which makes sense for outdoor eating. We ended up choosing to build a deck on the kitchen side. However, we still felt uneasy about how this would allow us to use the rest of our yard. We wanted a grand plan – a plan we could execute over several years, so we hired a designer (The Noll Landscape Group out of Fishers, IN) that I saw advertised on facebook. The design was relatively inexpensive (I think $150), and it really helped us to move forward with a plan. Here are a few of the designs they did for us

Our Corner of the World Blog | Noll Landscape Group - Fishers, IN
The designer made a pentagon rather than a rectangle so that we didn’t get too close to the neighbors fence. We ended up feeling like this would be too small and wouldn’t give us enough room for a table that would seat a large group. While we ended up tweaking this design, it was still so helpful to see this. It helped us realize what we needed/wanted.
Our Corner of the World Blog | Noll Landscape Group - Fishers, IN
Here is an example of the full yard concept. This is not necessarily something we will ever do (it would be “icing”), but its fun to see the possibilities! A covered outdoor area would be a dream.

These are just a few of the views that he gave us. We were able to see the plan from various view points. We were also able to tell him what we would like to do differently, and he would change it and send it back to us. I would highly recommend The Noll Landscape Group if you are in the Indianapolis area and are looking for some help designing a backyard.

Hammer time:

Our Corner of the World
Before: There was a staircase at this door. This is after Parker tore it out.
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Footers in
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Framing started. We ended up adding quite a bit more support (underbody) later. We will share more about that in another post.
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Benches going in

Our Corner of the World Our Corner of the World Our Corner of the World

Finished Product

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He does it again! I couldn’t be happier.
Our Corner of the World
Oh yeah! He built a table, too! We might do a tutorial in the future.
Our Corner of the World
We will do a future post on the plantings. Landscaping definitely isn’t our forte, but this project was a success (at least for the one season we’ve had it so far).
Our Corner of the World
I love that even though this deck faces the main street of our neighborhood, it still feels private!
Our Corner of the World
Such a great table! Pinterest win!

We love this deck and finally having a place to eat dinner and entertain outside. One of the first nights we could sit on the deck (when it was just finished enough), Parker, Rocky, and I went out on the deck while the kids were in bed. Parker and I joked that we hadn’t talked that much in years 🙂 It’s an exaggeration, but there’s also some truth to it. When you are inside, its easy to get distracted by the TV or chores. Now all we have to do is step out the back door to avoid all of that and just hang out.  It’s also been nice for Rocky and the kids. Rocky likes to go out there and get sun and also enjoys being with us out there. He doesn’t pay much attention to us when we are inside 🙂 The kids are able to go outside while I’m making dinner or busy inside, and I can still keep my eye on them. Overall, its been a great investment! We are looking forward to lots of deck time here in the near future!

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2 thoughts on “Outdoor living!

  1. Jalene, Love this deck! The table is really cool too!! My wife Sarah and I have recently been talking about adding a three season room to our back. Thank you for sharing about the landscape design option.

    1. Thanks Jeff! It really turned out better than I imagined. Having a deck has made us enjoy the outdoors much more often than we did before! Its also great on weekend nights to head out there with Parker instead of watching TV.

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