Before & After: The Back Patio

Our back patio is usually the place we gather in spring and fall (the mosquitos haven’t quite shown up yet and the temps are mild), but during quarantine 2020 it has gotten a workout.

Two years ago, we expanded the concrete. What a game changer! And last spring, we added seating and a table. This spring, Scott added lights. Now, if only we could get the grass to grow. With big oak trees, though, you either get shade or grass, but not both.

Let’s take a quick glance at what she used to look like, shall we? This is what we saw when we first moved in back in 2009. It *looks* like there’s grass, but not really. Trust me on that one. And the patio was itty bitty. It’s that tiny spot the trash can and recycle bin are sitting on.

Back in 2011, this was all the patio space we had for backyard birthday parties. It worked, but looking at this old photo during a pandemic makes me cringe. Ha!

Now, you can see the difference all that concrete makes! Hello glorious space (and less grass to water!).

During COVID, this space has become a beautiful respite. The flowers are blooming, it’s a great spot to enjoy a libation and some date nights with Mr. Whitaker. This spring and early summer, there were many an afternoon when the kids and I would retreat out here for lunch. Now that we’re burning alive in a balmy Texas July, we’re already counting the days until October when we can enjoy it again!

Vendor credits:
I’m grateful to share we got all these at a deep 75% discount!
Dining table and chairs: Chair King
Striped seat cushions: Chair King
Couch: Chair King
Club Chairs: Chair King
Solid seat cushions: Chair King
Plants: my amazing mother-in-law!


  1. Amanda on July 29, 2020 at 8:31 am

    What a beautiful family space!

  2. Kate on July 29, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Looks beautiful! Could you share where your table and chairs are from? We are looking for a set that can seat 8.

    • Kathryn on July 29, 2020 at 4:31 pm

      I’ve updated the post! Note that they usually have a great Presidents’ Day sale, as well as an end-of-summer sale. That’s where we scored our discounts and no tax. It absolutely made them affordable. We were willing to spend a little more to have them last a long time.

  3. Lauren on July 30, 2020 at 10:49 am

    This is beautiful! We dream of a functional backyard one day! It’s on the list of projects we’re saving for and planning. We, too, have a tiny concrete pad. It must be a Texas thing! And I hear you about the shade/grass dilemma. We’ve mostly got both because our trees are Pines, but the sacrifice is the mess they drop constantly into our yard. Your yard looks great! I’m glad to know there are patio tables that seat 8 out there. We haven’t looked yet, but I was worried they didn’t make them to fit our family of 8, unless we got a picnic table. I’m excited to see both form and function in your beautiful set!

  4. Nicole on August 6, 2020 at 9:46 am

    It looks like a great place to enjoy the outdoors with a recreational beverage. Love the strips!

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