house tour {backyard}

the house tour slowly continues… this time to my back yard!

when we first bought our house, while we were waiting on building permits from the city (long process), we started on our backyard first.  it was originally one level, kind of.  the backyard basically was one big slope, from up high at the back fence to the edge of the house.  no flat surfaces.  since we live on a hill we had to tier the yard.

we have 3 levels: the first level is level with the main house and is almost all concrete.  the second level is the grass and planter beds, and the smallest 3rd level is ever changing – sometimes is a play area for the kids, sometimes it has a hammock, sometimes (like now) it has tomatoes growing up there.  someday we hope to have a spa up there.  i would’ve loved to have a play house for the kids, but by the time we get that done they will probably have out grown it – so sad!


the first level is all concrete, which i love and hate.  we had a diamond pattern cut into it for some visual interest, but its just so. much. concrete.  i kind of wish we had left a 1 foot border around the whole area for planter beds.  but when you’re building a house, decisions have to be made every day, and sometimes you just make the wrong ones and have to live with them.  it turns out, the concrete has been great for bike riding, skateboarding, roller blading and hours of chalk sketching.


we still haven’t invested in furniture for our backyard.  i’d love to have teak, but its so dang expensive!  everything else seems cheap and will only last a few seasons, so i never pull the trigger.  we’ve had the white painted pine furniture since we first got married.  the table was a french bistro table found at long beach flea years ago, and the chairs are also ages old from ikea.


i built this succulent container several months ago and i just love how its been filling out!


the corrugated metal was a free find (!!!) that we just installed after 8 years of living with the worlds ugliest cinder block wall.  i am more than thrilled with it!


we still have to do some sort of treatment on the fireplace, but i just haven;t settled on what will be perfect.  i figured i’ve lived with it being ugly for this long, i can probably handle it a little bit longer ;)


our bedroom has french doors that open to the backyard, which is great for sean since he works out of our room, and can sneak outside for a change of scenery when he needs it.  when silas was just a teeny newborn, my parents made the potting bench for us out of recycled materials.  the giant chalkboard was a hand-me-down from friends.


looking at our yard, i am realizing we are the king and queen of getting hand-me-downs and second hand finds!  this table was given to us by our neighbors when they got a new one.  it needs a little love, but its not bad for free!  there are usually towels hanging on the wooden towel each to the right of the back doors all summer long.


the hydrangeas are my all-time favorite flower and even occupy the wheel barrow we got from my grandparents’ home.


up the stairs to the second tier… this also takes you to my parents’ loft, above our garage.  my parents’ live with us about 1 week a month, and then we can use their space as a guest house if needed.  its pretty adorable.  i need to sneak up there more!


every yard needs a little grassy space to run around on and slip n’ slide on!  we have a sad little non-producing lime tree, an equally pathetic dwarf apple tree, and an amazing apricot tree.


there’s the sad 3rd tier.  next to it on the 2nd tier usually sits our veggie garden, but we just didn’t get to it this year.


we also have some beautiful rose bushes to the left of the steps.  one of the plants grows about 8 feet high!










i’ll share more details soon on how we covered the cinder block wall with the corrugated metal!

as always, let me know if you have any questions!



  1. 1

    Your backyard is absolutely gorgeous! What a fun place for entertaining!

  2. 2

    What a beautiful backyard, nice home :)


  3. 3

    Beautiful!! I think you can do a lot of things with that concrete area! You could build a whole outdoor cabana or something. SO fun!

  4. 4

    So beautiful! I like your fireplace too. It doesn’t look ugly to me and when you get around to outdoor furniture and accessories, it’s going to be super amazing. I do love the metal over the cinderblock. What a creative idea!

  5. 5

    I’m curious, living in CA, did you ever want a pool?

    • 6
      lindsey says:

      good question! california has so many different climates in it – its almost a country all on its own with all that it offers: beach, mountains, desert, snow…
      the climate in our area is really mild most of the year with just a few hot spells here and there. those are the times i wish we had a pool! but with the beach being inly 15 minutes away we can always hop in the car and head out. or head to a friend’s house who has a pool ;)

  6. 7

    I love how you “tiered” the backyard. Such a great idea, so it’s a more usuable area. My friend has a backyard that is a big downward slope so she can’t really do much with it

  7. 8
    Marilyn says:

    Thank you for your posts. They are fun. I love the half barrel + galvanized succulent garden. I have a spot that could use one of those! Happy regards!

  8. 9

    This is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! We’ve been talking about pouring concrete in our backyard and I love it with the diamond pattern cut into it!!

  9. 10

    that was fun, very nice, love all the love on your home, nice and clean, the cactus was cute and fun.
    the backyard, i want to put on roller-skates!

    wonderful life you got there….nice to see you taking good care of it.

  10. 11

    It truly is definitely excellent post. I am really very pleased to check out your website.

  11. 12

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  12. 13

    Great line up. We will be linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.

  13. 14

    great article, keep up the good job

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