This is what our backyard looked like for months on end during the #CasitaJungalow remodel project. And the heavy rain we experienced in L.A. this past winter was great for Mama Earth, but not so great for construction. Our yard got pretty trashed, which gave us a good excuse to stare outside our bedroom window every morning and evening and dream about what we were going to do with this space. Our fantasy of putting a pool in here was long gone, but we did keep room in the budget for a hot tub. Besides that, everything was pretty amorphous–we weren’t sure how much budget would be leftover at the project’s end.
A few things were clear, however. We have a ‘bar window’ leading from this outside area into the Casita wet bar, and planned to use leftover tiles from a past project for an outdoor shower. Also clear? Our budget looked pretty tight so we needed to rely on some ‘path of least resistance’ designs as well as some DIY’ing — as labour is often the most pricey thing.
First up, we needed to do something with this cinder block. I had San Tornini on my mind — to make this area feel like a Greek Isle vacay, with lots of curvy, white plaster mixed with tons of plants and some fun pops of terracotta and maybe some cerulean blue.
So we (well, actually Jason) covered the cinderblocks with Quikrete Stucco. I was surprised with how quickly he did this. It took him about 4 hours to complete the entire thing, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. San Torini Style wall dreams? Check!
Once that was done we had to figure out the flooring. I had a vision that this whole area was done in cement tile–and it was incredible. But alas, that was too extravagant. We already had about 100 pavers that came with the house, so we felt like this would be a good place to save (plus be less wasteful) and so we bought a few more simple, affordable pavers and paved the entire area with pavers instead.
Our contractor and his team helped to even out the area even first. But once the ground underneath was even, it was quick and easy to cover the whole area in pavers. We have plans to add outdoors rugs to add more visual interest to the ground and delineate the areas more.
My cement tile dreams, however, were not totally lost. We had several boxes of tile leftover from a past project.
And we decided to use said tile in, what would soon become, our outdoor shower area.
Only catch was, we didn’t quite have enough to cover this whole area. So with that, Jason had a rather brilliant idea to carve out a space for a large planter, and tile all around it. This idea was especially clever because rain water from our roof can drain directly into it. So stay tuned for updates on the outdoor shower and planter project!
Once the ground was all even and paved, it was time for my long-time dream of having a water situation in our yard become a reality.
They delivered our jacuzzi on Friday and MY LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.
We chose the J-210 from Jacuzzi for a number of reasons, the main one being because it’s round, and I like circles. Lol. We actually went to the Jacuzzi store in Pasadena several times before deciding on this model. For those of you that are local to L.A. and love hot tubs like we do, it’s actually a kind of fun (and romantic??) outing because if you bring your bathing suit you can actually try them out! Fun, huh? It was also among the smaller and more affordable options. And since our yard is small, we wanted to make sure it didn’t totally take over the whole yard.
The last feature we’re super excited about is the ‘bar’ window. This custom window that opens up all the way was one of the biggest splurges in the space, not quite as expensive as the hot tub, but almost.
But the moment that Jason served me a glass of wine through the window for the first time I knew it was worth it! Anything that truly connects the outdoors and the indoors is my JAM! I’m gonna be sitting in this window all summer long!!
Here I am! A happy camper! Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks and months as we begin to decorate our yard and make it all jungalicious!