Know How She Does It

How we created our sitting/conversation outdoor area from scratch

How to create a sitting outdoor area
Creating the floor for a sitting outdoor area is not a difficult task. Taking some measurements and enjoying the moment is the key to it.

I’ve been asked several times about some of the materials I used and other details of our patio transformation. This area measures around 50’x50′ and for us that’s a whole lot’a backyard. So we divided it in two zone: for dining/gathering and a sitting/conversation area.
On the dinning/gathering area we had a company that came by to pour concrete based on the design I planed. You can read about this part of our patio transformation here.
Now, for the sitting/conversational area we did a grid using some 24’x24′ concrete pavers and gravel. This area is set behind our master bedroom’s exterior wall and close to the entrance from our backyard of our home. Because this was a smaller size area, pouring more concrete would have resulted into an expensive project. Also, we have some water pipes running out and under this area, so a large block of concrete would’ve been a problem if something were to happen in the future with these lines.

How to create a sitting outdoor area
To make sure each paver sat aligned in the grid, we used a 2″ x 4″ wood beam piece as shown on the right side on this photo.

The process of making this area was a simple one. We first cleared the area and removed any existing grass (or what remained of it). After we were left with only the soil, we made sure that it was all level. And for this we used a large wood beam as a level.

How to create a sitting outdoor area

We pour a couple of bags of sand over the soil after the leveling stage was over. The sand bed works by providing a cushioning base for the pavers. An 1″ or so was used because if more, we would have ended with misaligned and/or uneven pavers.
To make the grid we also used a 2″x 4″ wood beam in between each paver. This helped on providing a better alignment and a faster arrangement of each of the pieces. After all the pavers were set, the gravel was spread and I used a hard bristled broom to push leftover gravel into the spaces. We tried on leveling the gravel with the set pavers to make the surface look all even.

How to create a sitting outdoor area

The idea of making the most out of our backyard by creating areas for different activities is something I’ve always envisioned. Incorporating plants either inside containers, pots or planted directly into the soil enhances the natural look and fresh ambiance of this area.

How to create a sitting outdoor area

Because this sitting/conversation area visually connects with the dinning/gathering space, I continued the white stones edging around it. It frames perfectly this area besides by also creating an attractive accent.
I love spending time in this area. From here I can work, plan ahead or simply dream of all the activities we can do as a family.

Soil, sand, pavers, wood beam, gravel, broom… repeat!
Are you considering creating an outdoor sitting area? If so, what DIY projects do you have in mind? I always love reading your ideas and comments! And remember you can always see more photos of this and other project besides my decor style on my Instagram account @idknowhowshedoesit.

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  • Reply
    July 20, 2016 at 3:18 am

    Hi there, I love your sitting area and I am hoping to create one like yours in my backyard. I was curious to know how far down you dug? I have been researching all similar paver patios and not finding an overarching response. Would really appreciate any feedback!

  • Reply
    Gloribell Lebron
    August 18, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Hello there. We dug out about 1.5"-2" (maybe a bit more). But what I would advice you is to measure the depth of the pavers and to keep in mind that you'll need to add to this measurement the sand which for us was less than 1/2"deep. Hope this helps.

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