Backyard Pool and Patio Progress

Jun 5, 2016

I've been waiting and waiting for a sunny day to take pictures of the pool. Unfortunately, the rain will not stop long enough to clean up the mess it's made of our backyard and pool deck. I'm sure you've heard of the storms we've been having in the Houston area. It's definitely been stressful with our dining room ceiling springing a leak in the middle of the night and the lake across the street overflowing it's banks into the main street of our neighborhood. When the sun came out this afternoon I ran outside and jumped on my pool float for an hour until the thunderstorms came back again. I snapped a few quick pictures before the sky opened up. These are definitely not pretty staged photos with pool floats and towels everywhere. Eventually I will get around to that as our weather (fingers crossed) improves.

Here are a few of my favorite pool details.

The water sconces-They weren't my first choice, but after seeing the kids hang on the PVC pipe there before I decided I needed to pick something that laid flat against the wall.

The glass tile on the hot tub spillover-I was determined to find a spot for glass tile somewhere! This dark blue color is what the pool really looks like in shade. It turns from a sapphire to a dark turquoise color in the sun. I absolutely love it! It's Pebble Sheen Blue Granite. I think the pool plaster color was the hardest decision when building our old pool. I knew exactly what I wanted this time after noticing this color in other people's pools.

The middle bench in the center of the pool. This is a perfect spot to hangout. It's almost like a swim-up bar.

The spray deck-We had planned on stamped concrete, but it was much more expensive because of the amount of decking we required. I am so happy we went with spray deck in retrospect. It gets warm, but not hot like the concrete decking we had at our old house. The downside is it needs to be re-sprayed every five to seven years and that's why we shied away from it initially. I don't mind if it means no burned feet!

A bigger sundeck-This one is 7x10 feet. One of the biggest complaints we had about our old pool is a small sundeck. This is the place the adults love to hang out. We added a spot for an umbrella in it too as you can see between the bubblers. It's great for those (my mom) that want to be completely shaded and just put their feet in to cool off.

Now on to the patio spaces! Please excuse the mess! This gives you a good idea of the layout. As you can see we had to build the retaining wall because of the slope of the yard. My thought was to make the area where the dining table is a flowerbed, but my husband insisted on moving out the upper deck because he really wanted a bar area with stools where the outdoor kitchen is (behind the umbrella). I was a nervous wreck people would fall off the wall the first weekend we were able to use the pool that I woke up early and bought these junipers and pots. Besides providing a visual barrier, I really like the look of them and it goes great with the style of the house and pool. Eventually on the lower level we are going to add chaise lounge chairs and that will help, too. I love having a separate dining area in that space, but there is a problem. It's not covered. This teak table and chairs is only three years old, but it is a mess from the elements despite tightening the screws and applying teak oil. I'm hesitant to buy something new until we either add a cover or spring for something that won't deteriorate within the year.

Another problem is the back of our house faces west. We spend more time at the kitchen bar which is why we have placed the umbrella there. We can easily move it behind the dining table for shade. It works better than placing it in the center of the table. We also added the sun shade for the back porch. Until we added it the covered porch was completely unusable from noon until dark. It's great because it doesn't hinder the view of the pool, but keeps the sun out. It's also great for the living room windows. I haven't had to lower our indoor bamboo blinds once since installing it.

Here we are at 6pm...obviously. Don't ask me what the little one was doing because I have no idea. That's just the norm with three boys in the house.

And you can still see the pool with the shade down. Oh, and that's a rare picture of me!

The view from the pool

I knew I wanted navy and turquoise out here to reflect the pool color and brighten up all of this brown brick. I found this rug at Target on a whim and the graphic print pillows at @Home while looking for planters. I didn't find planters there FYI, just pillows. Funny how that works out. I bought one "expensive" pillow at Pottery Barn. $40 may not be a lot to some people, but it hurts me to spend that much on something outdoor. I bought the sectional on Houzz. I didn't even know they sold anything, but it was recommended when looking at outdoor photos and I thought well that's nice. It turned out to be much cheaper than anything else I found. I would like to order one more corner chair for the end near the windows. It was supposed to be a U-shape, but I didn't want to block the view of the pool and re-arranged it this way.

The outdoor kitchen has been wonderful! My husband loves the grill and I love the fridge for my wine. That doesn't sound right...but here it is. The boys love to eat out here. There's something about the combination of sitting on a barstool and being able to see the TV that really appeals to them.

Grilling View

Now, let's head to the outdoor man cave via the walkway from the dining area. I don't know if that's a thing, but we've got it. I told you thunderstorms were rolling in!

This is my husband's spot to smoke his BBQ and light up his cigar he doesn't think I know about. I wanted a spot away from the back door because smokers attract every fly in a five mile radius. He also fries fish and that makes a huge greasy mess.

Don't feel sorry for him because he has the best view of the lake. Well, he does for now. The lot next door was just sold. Boo!

As you can see we have quite a bit of yard left. The boys can enjoy it for now, but maybe in a year or two I would love to put in a formal garden. Can you see it? I'm picturing a fountain or statue with roses and boxwoods. Maybe pea gravel walkways lined with lavender? I know I have big dreams, but somehow I make them come true on a budget! I need to stop following Velvet and Linen aka Patina Farm on IG now before I blow our retirement.

I absolutely love where we live now. It's between the suburbs and the country. That made me a little nervous at first, but we all love it. The boys love their new schools and their grades are better than ever. My older son was on the golf team for his junior high this year and continues practicing at the neighborhood golf course that he can walk to from our home. He also picks up food from the restaurant there when I don't feel like cooking. I don't know if you can put a price on that! But, take a look at the lake after the recent flooding.

Present level, but very high for us.

Two weeks ago the water was over the road at the end of the street.

But, there's something to be said for living a bit further out. The neighbors were out in full force and willing to help anyone who needed it. There was a moment when a furniture delivery truck ran off the flooded road and came so close to tipping over. I almost had a heart attack watching that. I have never seen so many huge trucks (one was a an Army truck-where does he park that?) come to the rescue and have that truck pulled out of the ditch. Then we found out our neighbors across the street on the banks of the lake (just to the left of this picture) were in danger of flooding. My husband and two of our neighbors went over to help move their furniture from the first floor to the second. These people had only been in their homes a couple of months and still had things packed in boxes. There were about 100 people that showed up to help those few families after a very late night neighborhood Facebook alert. All of them walked through waist high water in the street to get to their homes to help. I have to say I am so proud to live in such a gracious community!

I'll move on before I ugly cry thinking about it. Besides small projects and purchases I think we are done for now in the backyard. We should landscape behind the pool wall with Italian Cypress trees, but I'm tired of writing checks and having people in my backyard while I'm sunning in my swimsuit. But, then I saw this spot the other day when I was checking the progress of the sod going down.

Please tell me that is a bad crop circle instead of what I think it means! I knew immediately my husband planned something without telling me.

He's planning on DIY'ing a putting green. Help me now because I know this is going to become my project!


  1. You have an absolutely stunning outdoor area ... the pool ... be still my heart! And I am an ocean girl in coastal CT!

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  3. Eventually I will get around to that as our weather (fingers crossed) improves. windproof umbrella

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