Coming out of Hibernation…and Bar Plans

I feel like I went into a major hibernation this winter. We haven’t done a single thing since we got the patio poured, and I have to say, it’s been a nice break. But now, over two months later, I am itching to pick up where we left off and get this backyard into shape!

So, we may not have completed the One Room Challenge back in November, but I sure do love how it got us moving. And this wet weather has made it really obvious just how badly we need to finish the yard. We have a pretty tight schedule from now until the beginning of Spring, but I think it just might be possible. Goals for the next couple months? Get the irrigation set and the lawn in. Paint my craft room exterior, which, by the way, has made a 180 turn in choices since fall. Get going on our bar and start grilling!

We have already started on our irrigation, but nothing too exciting. Basically, all of our valves that feed the backyard were set above ground in a box that was always in the way and crumbling apart. We removed all of those,  got brand new valves, and stuck them in a box in the ground. One thing to remember. Always make sure you turn the water off completely before you hack away at the pipes… Apparently I was three turns away from complete shut-off, so the hubby and my dad got majorly sprayed with water. I was quick enough to get out of the way, so I just sat curled over, laughing in a corner. Good times! Oh, and before I forget, we are basically following John and Sherry’s guide at Young House Love for installing new irrigation. Luckily our lawn area is much smaller than theirs, and we aren’t starting completely from scratch.

The other big project that we are working on is our bar! Now THIS is where things get really exciting. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to have our lawn. It’s going to look beautiful and really complete the yard. But the bar will definitely be the wow factor. I can already picture having everyone over and barbecuing up some burgers or tri-tip and making margaritas. But I’m getting ahead of myself. We need to build the thing first!

After a lot (and I mean, a LOT) of thinking through the layout and what will work best in our yard, we came up with a general design. We wanted an L-shaped bar that used the craft room to kind of close it in. The craft room just screams “put a bar here,” so it seems pretty logical. Then, using chalk, some scrap wood, and our trash bins, we kind of laid it out in-place. We made a couple of tweaks to it, and I think we finally have our final layout.


Go ahead and ignore the beam jutting into the roof – they will definitely not be doing that. And what you can’t see here is our wine fridge that will go under the counter along the right edge (as you’re looking at it now). It’s going to be perfect!

The pergola will be a toned down version of our main pergola on the upper patio. We thought about doing a completely covered roof, but by about noon each day, this entire area is shaded by our tree. And when it isn’t shaded, like in winter, we either wouldn’t use this space as much, or we would welcome the sun with open arms. We really like the idea of keeping it nice and open. Plus, it will tie in to the upper patio.

You might notice that along back we aren’t planning on having a raised bar counter or any stools. For one, there isn’t much space between the bar and the planter area or fence.


Not sure if you can tell from this photo, but it’s not very spacious. And second, we figure nobody will want to sit right behind the grill and get smoke in their face. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

I am super excited to get going on this. Like, I have basically booked us solid for the next month and a half on pure projects. Our goal is to be able to use the bar for St. Patty’s day. So not necessarily complete it (that would be impossible), but at least have the base done and the grill in. Fingers crossed for sunny weekends!

Before we get going on the physical labor – coming this weekend – I thought I would share some inspiration photos we are drawing from for our design. These are all so beautiful! As always, click on the photos to be taken to their source.


I love everything about this bar/patio area. The different, unique lights. The live-edge table. The pergola. Perfection!


That pergola is beautiful! And surprisingly simple. I also really like how their barbecue is almost like a built-in. We don’t have that option, but its awesome!


I love the wood tone of this bar! We will definitely have some wood accents, just maybe not this much. And how cool are those doors?!

There you have it! Anyone want to come help us out? Goodness knows, we will need it!

5 thoughts on “Coming out of Hibernation…and Bar Plans

  1. It’s gonna be GOOD! You have a great space to work with. I had to go back through your posts to check the history of the space, and I remember looking at your posts from last fall. Anyway, good luck, And!

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