I had the recent opportunity to work with a wonderful 20-year-old homeowner on creating a space out front to enjoy in the evenings after work. As a new homeowner, home maintenance and landscaping are both foreign territory! Here to help was the Upskill 360 Team sponsored by Lowe’s!
Once all the “before” photo’s were loaded and I had a chance to hear the homeowner’s vision on how she would like to use the space. Then I sprang to the challenge of pulling together a functional, aesthetically pleasing and do-it-yourself friendly design all under $2000!
Homeowners Goal: Low maintenance plants, sitting area, warm, cozy yet free flowing, farm/country style, prefer greens & whites to compliment the pink climbing rose at the front entry
- Size: Big enough for a small sitting patio! (The bulk of the blocked/useable space was 14×9!!)
- Facing: West – sun in the evening when in use
- Requests: Keep the Rose bush
The covered porch is nice but not quite large enough to put a bistro set on…so creating a sitting space that didn’t make them feel like they were on display was one of my main goals. A couple opportunities I also needed to keep in mind was the sun and on-going maintenance. The homeowner wanted something easier to maintain.
The following design created just the space the homeowner was looking for…a patio area large enough to accommodate a bistro set toting a tilting umbrella to block the setting sun in the evenings! I took advantage of having an electrical and water source and incorporated a barrel water feature…the sound is so relaxing and it’s great for adding background noise to drown out unwanted sounds or conversations! Because the goal of the space is aesthetics and functionality, I kept the look simple – straight lines, simple color scheme and the use of the same plants over again in patterns. And to give the homeowner that warm, free-flowing feel they prefer, I chose soft, whimsical plants to surround them…check out the barrel planter at the turn in the sidewalk…that will one day have phlox flowing over the edge inviting you to run your hands over it!!!!
But don’t count this space closed after dusk! The use of landscape lighting in just the right way can create the ambience wanted to kick back with a glass of wine or any sort of poison you choose. In this design, I used path lights in a pattern that will light the whole space versus just the sidewalk. This layout eliminates dark spots making it easy to use at night and will showcase all the cool new plants!
All these products were available at the local Lowe’s. The homeowner will be installing this design in 2 weeks – I’ll post the “after” pictures then.