Well y’all, the One Room Challenge is underway again for Spring 2017.

I joined in as a guest participant for the 1st time last Fall (2016) & had a great time working on a room that had been put on the back burner, our master bedroom.  I really wanted to participate this time too & I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  Since we updated our bedroom, I wanted to dive in and tackle the master bath.

It’s no small job since we want to move walls & possibly plumbing to accommodate his & her’s closets, consolidate vanities, & change the lighting.   I had been gearing up since November when we finished the last One Room Challenge & I was ready!

But then in February I broke my foot & didn’t realize it until 2 weeks after it happened.  Fast forward 6 weeks & I am still in a boot using crutches, with at least another 2-4 weeks to go.

There goes my master bathroom makeover.

I have been thinking hard about whether I should tackle another smaller (less intensive) project, but kept coming up empty.  Since I can’t put pressure on my foot, I’m not supposed to paint or build or lift or move anything.  Doctor’s orders.  (He really tried to be as specific as possible, not knowing that I’d painted a “room” {our garage entry} during that 1st 2 weeks I didn’t know I had a broken foot.)

Still I wanted to participate in this Spring’s One Room Challenge.  Then it hit me… we have another project that we were planning to take on before our master bedroom & now is the perfect time to do it!

It’s our backyard!

It’s perfect because most of the things I need to do up front are more inactive. Also because it requires advance planning, needs to be done in stages, & requires the partial help skilled artisans in a specific field to help with.  Not to mention IT’S SPRING and I am so ready to get outside!

There are several things I can do that don’t require me to be on my feet & by the time we get to the items that do, I’ll {hopefully} have the thumbs up to put pressure on my foot again!

So I – meaning WE (this will be a Team Green Family effort) – am joining in the One Room Challenge as a guest participant again for the Spring 2017 round.

We’re doing a backyard makeover.

It will technically end up being more than 1 room (hopefully) but it still works for this purpose.

Here’s what we started with:

Not too shabby.  It’s actually the reason my DH chose this house.  As always, you find out how you really use a space after living in it for a while.  Our backyard is no exception.

It’s not huge, but we have the advantage of having a pretty good view & “lake” access.  Here’s what we plan to do with what we have:

  1. Remove the existing deck keeping as much wood as possible to use in other parts of the project
    • We did this already knowing that we wanted to replace it at some point
    • Some of the wood has already been used to build a planter box & a console/bar table
  2. Update existing seating.  When we tore out the deck, we moved the benches to the patio for the time being
    Patio and deck setup for a small party
  3. Remove the existing baby oak trees which we believed to be suffering from some sort of fungus or disease.
  4. Create a garden with seating
    • Use companion planting with vegetables, herbs, & flowers
    • Add a fruit tree
    • Incorporate my existing compost bin
  5. Add hardscape
    • extend the existing patio
  6. Add lots of extras – under the circumstances, some of these may not get done on time, but the WILL. Get. Done.
    • Build a mobile enclosure for the grill
    • Build a mobile bar table
    • Build a mobile enclosure for the fire pit
    • Make a portable outdoor projector screen

Yes, I really want these extras to be mobile.  No, it’s not because I want to take it all with me.  It’s because I like having options.  Having everything solidly built, but mobile, will make them more like in indoor room that I can change around at any time (like seasonally).

The Best Laid Plans

These drawings are what we brainstormed after I broke my foot.  We were sitting out on the patio talking about what we want, as we have so many times before.  This time I decided to “take notes”. These are the roughest, most old school drawings and I love it! They are definitely not drawn to scale, but they are a good a estimation of what we want.


We know what we want & we know what we don’t want.  We don’t want a traditional suburban outdoor kitchen.  Those are great, really beautiful, but don’t really fit our style or personalities.  We want outdoor rooms that incorporate grilling, entertaining, relaxing, & gardening while still leaving plenty of space for the kids & their friends to play.

Our littlest & his friends playing backyard foootball


And true to my green design philosophy, I plan to reuse as much as I can. Of course there are always adjustments along the way & hope you’ll follow along to see how we make it.  Boot or no boot, we’ll get there!


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  1. I’m sorry to hear about your foot (what a bummer..) but take it easy, you don’t want to aggravate it. I know how it is to want to get stuff done, but sometimes things don’t always work out. Your backyard is really nice.. I can’t wait to see what you do with it.. Good luck and take it easy

    1. Thank you Jamala. It is hard to just sit, but if I want to heal I have to. We are already off schedule, but I promised my DH when we started that I wouldn’t push or stress. So we are trying to focus on enjoying the process along the way.