Since buying my new house last August, one of the projects I have wanted to tackle was the front and back yards.
Almost the entire renovation budget has gone into the interior and since the front and back yards are big projects, they have been out on the back, back burner.
But, outside of the kitchen there is a small covered patio. Appox 140sf. It used to be an exercise room, when Baxter and I got the place.
We all know there's no room for that (exercise room) in my life. If it was a scone room OR a spaghetti factory, then we wouldn't be having this "Before & After" conversation.
The room was closed off to the outside world with a door and a window. It had ceramic floor tiles and a ceiling fan. I could have just added some rattan chairs, made some long island ice teas and Golden Girl'd that space and be done with it.
Instead, we ripped up the tile, which really left the floor with a very distressed and weathered look. There were so many layers of glue and what not, that once it was jack hammered up, the result looked pretty gnarly. As the tile was coming up, I thought of cementing the floor smooth and possibly staining or painting it. Then, as the last layer of tile and glue were coming up I sort of liked the way it looked.
I had the door and window removed and just opened that room to the back yard. Eventually, the back yard will be something to look at and I wanted this little space to be a covered patio to a larger, more lounge-y outdoor space.
The stencil was a simple 10''x10'' square I cut out of heavy duty card stock. I placed it on an angle to create a diamond shape and quickly started adding a pale buttery yellow color (that I mixed into a 50%paint/50%water solution in a plastic cup) into the stencil. I used a stippling brush that was bought at Michael's craft store. Nothing too perfect or exact. I didn't want all the diamond shapes to be fully filled in. Since so much of the existing floor had been flaked off. The tile glue had left part of the concrete stained with a grayish-blue color. I wanted this new layer of color to feel somewhat distressed in certain areas as well. It took about an hour and a half to do the whole floor. I didn't seal it because the idea of it to fading even further, with normal wear and tear, appeals to me.
Until the back yard gets finished, this is the outdoor space that now has become the spot for morning coffee and whatever baked good is on hand. It's the place for late night work an for improtu meals and drinks with friends that come by.
Even when the back yard does get finished, this will still be a swell little place to get out of the, sometimes, very hot SoCal sun.
It was christened "Baxter Manor" with a quick afternoon logo that I painted on the one empty stucco wall.
Baxter seems to like it. I'll see if I can covertly snap a pic enjoying himself in Baxter Manor. He gets grumpy about being papped.