January 29, 2016
I am so happy now that this area patio has become an extension of my indoor living. When I saw this space the first time I was thrilled with the decent size of the this patio space but it was an open patch of dirt surrounded by raw, stacked cinderblock and a small concrete pad for the slider opening only. This outdoor space off of the living room is appx. 15” x 18” with an opening to another dirt area that somewhat hides the trashcans/AC unit. This unfinished space felt a little like a miniature prison yard!
Sitting inside the condo my eyes are drawn to the eastern skyline that includes vibrant sunrises, full hovering moons and lots of puffy clouds that float by. I knew that this area had to be softened in order to allow the eyes to rest within it.
I wanted a fire bowl/sitting area so I found a great concrete man to help execute my plan and we dug trenches and added a gas line to the center of where the pad was to be, including irrigation for the vines to be planted and electric for the up lighting plan. The size of this area was not exactly square so we allowed for a 2” trough between the pads that I filled with loose small gray stones to make up the differences and draw the eye away from any symmetry questions. We poured the pads and included a small pad for the trash area.
I shopped the fire bowl online and found it for almost half price on Houzz. The cinderblock walls needed to be toned down so I gave them a coat of out door paint in “Dovetail” RL1199. For the vines I used 20 gal. Calliandra, which grows quickly and has red powder puff flowers that blooms once a year. For the trash/AC area we created a custom door with frosted glass to allow light to flow into that corner and giving the space a finished look.
I researched extensively on how to set up my fire bowl and I used a 24” fire ring for my 30” fire bowl which brings the flames almost to the edge of the bowl, I filled the majority of the bowl with pea gravel (it will not explode and handles dampness efficiently) and I topped the fire bowl with black reflective fire glass from Lowes.
The patio now looks larger then it did unfinished and in the evening when the vines are up lit I light the fire bowl and watch the flames dance from inside the house. In the morning my eyes rest on this serene space and I see an occasional hummingbird fluttering around the Calliandra vines before I look over the wall and see those amazing views just beyond my small walled retreat.
Call us to help with your indoor/outdoor living spaces! 760-322-2268
Photo Credits: Josh O’Malley, Beau Stinnette