Monday, May 18, 2015

Creating my French Style Courtyard

Often all it takes is one image that sets my mind to thinking.
The simple outdoor courtyard below was one of the inspiration
photos I collected when I was imagining my outdoor space.
 This image from Martha Stewart has the simplicity of design
and the vibe of the European country lifestyle I admire.
Making such a space in our own yard would be my intention.
One designated for outdoor dining or early morning cups of coffee.  
  The rear of our home has just such a space that I though would convert nicely to this idea of a French courtyard.  I had piles of cobblestones just waiting for me to use them, and so this weekend it all came together. Although I started the project on Saturday, and did a lot of back breaking handwork and digging, Mr. Maison Decor came to the rescue on Sunday with his dump truck and skid steer and made my dreams come true very quickly!  He has an excavation business and its super handy at times like these to have this equipment and knowledge of how to set the stone and all that.  He first removed the grass that was growing in the courtyard area.  We leveled out a space in front of one of the stone walls to create a dedicated grilling area.
This would be the grill station, and hubs would put down the two large slabs
of blue stone for the grill to rest upon.  
This is me supervising hubby. He was doing an amazing job!
By the end of the day we had set up a cobblestone courtyard that we 
had leveled out so we could set up our dining table.  Then we put down a weed barrier
fabric and on top of that the tiny pea gravel was sprinkled over that.  The bluestone
was perfect for the grill and my two large black urns were dragged over to their new spot.
I have taken those urns everywhere I go! One was even in front of my old shop.
We worked our butts off and today Colin and I are going to level out the pea gravel
a bit more and put the dining table into position.  Its a big step forward in the 
courtyard project, but still more things have to happen.  A pair of French doors
that lead to the back yard will have to be installed, as well as another wall trellis
for the big blank backside of the house.  Only one window is on the north side of
the house out here so it feels awkward.  One trellis has been installed and I think
I need to put up one more.....I am back out into the yard to plant some lavender 
and add some mortar behind the cobbles to secure them.  
One more thing that is headed to the courtyard!
 I found it on Craigslist and it is an antique garden arbor.  
Woo Hoo! Not exactly sure where I am putting it, but I am 
picking it up today! Look for another exciting courtyard post tomorrow!! 
At least I am excited, lol. Its the little things in life that get me that way.
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  1. You are really spurring me on to get ours done.
    We get our delivery of rock on Friday. Yeah!!! Awaiting tomorrow's post .

  2. Clearly, it is easier to imagine a simple courtyard -- than to create one! xo

  3. This looks like it is going to be fabulous! I can't wait to see the finished project

  4. I was so sorry that you closed your store but you are now blogging more and I love gardening so this is a win win!

  5. It is a glorious project that will bring much beauty to your garden...the arched arbor will add the elegant entry needed to access a lovely and relaxing space when it's completed. Looking forward to seeing how the garden space develops!

  6. I am so excited for you, Amy! I can just hear your mind buzzin' with all sorts of new ideas for that space. lol I love watching it all take shape. And that arbor? Wow! What a fabulous find! Keep us updated, girl! We're anxious to see how it all turns out! :)

    xoxo laurie

    1. thanks Laurie, I will be working on this space for the next month of so I imagine, and of course I will keep you updated. xo

  7. Your courtyard area is going to look so good! I bet you're glad that you finally have the time to build one now. We have the same black iron patio chairs too! Mine used to be white and we painted them black. They've held up well after having them over 20 years.

  8. Oh you have wanted this for so long so how lovely it is coming true,next those French doors you used to dream about and a sunny day,it's going to be beautiful Amy!

    1. haah you remember how I used to talk about doing this project don't you Krissie? And then my store came along....but now I am back and it is really going to happen and I couldn't be more excited!

  9. A year has gone by - would love to see pictures of your project how it looks now!


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