Monday, August 26, 2013

Help & Opinions Wanted!!!

I know, I know...I have been MIA for almost three months now.  Wasn't yesterday June something or other?  It has been a CRAZY summer.  It was one of those summers where we had a laundry list of things we WERE definitely going to accomplish before school goes back in session and then now a week before school starts we look back and realize NONE of them got done.  We had fun though and I guess that's all that really matters in the long run anyway. :-)

So even before school ended we had started on a big summer project that we thought would have been finished by now and honestly its still not even in the beginning phase.  We wanted to get our landscaping done and have a patio and new sidewalk installed.  We had actually gotten several quotes for both landscaping and hardscaping before the end of June....but in the end we decided that accomplishing both this year was going to be a little much so we decided to just focus on the hardscaping this year and hopefully do the landscaping next year.  We decided to go with a landscaper we had used in our previous house to install both landscaping and a patio and sidewalk.  He does FANTASTIC work and we LOVE working with him.  Anyways his schedule was quite full so it hasn't been until now that he can begin working on our project.  He is coming by again this week to finalize plans and I'm starting to second guess our original ideas.....this is where I need all of your help.

The patio is a definite in terms of the plans......I love what we have come up with but the sidewalk believe it or not is causing me great frustration and indecisiveness.  Originally I was just going to have a regular paver sidewalk installed.  However, one day as my mom and I sat outside in the grass in patio furniture watching the kids ride their bikes she mentioned it would be nice if there was a sitting area out had crossed my mind but I wasn't sure how to implement something like that without it looking odd.  We always said our next house would have a front porch and then when we built this house we decided to forego the porch I'm wishing I had that and learn I guess.  SO I turned to pintrest (of course) for some inspiration.  This is what I came up with:

I LOVE THIS!!!  I thought it would be the perfect solution to our front yard sitting area issue and it wouldn't look out of place.  We would just have a rounded wide area prior to the stoop attached to the sidewalk and then we can put a couple of chairs to the side to sit and enjoy our neighborhood from.

WELL, then I started seeing other ideas like these:
  patios in front yard - Google Search

A sunrise landscape patio in WI needs extra heat to extend usability.  It may be the next rage in front porches in sub-divisions that have forgotten the street and their neighbors.  By Chad Cornette at Cantilever Studio

Front Patio with gas firepit - after,  Go To to get more Gossip News!

Erin's 2 Cents: New Front Patio

yard design ideas - Front Patio!  I love the idea of a low wall that has a built in bench - bench could be on the top of the wall OR on the interior of the wall and use the wall as a back rest.  Fire pit in the center.

These pintrest postings all had the sitting area off to the side of the sidewalk in their own little private space but still in the front of the home.....And not that I specifically LOVED any one of these but they got me to thinking.  SO we happened to be driving through the neighborhood one day recently and one of our neighbors just did a beautiful job on their landscaping and of course don't I see they also have a sitting area off to the side of their sidewalk in front of their house but surrounded by landscaping so you could hardly tell it is there....BEAUTIFUL!!!  So now I'm debating....big round area in front of the stoop or sitting area off to the side.  Now you would think thats the end of the debate....BUT you are goes beyond that (I know I make everyone crazy with my "what if" and "I was thinking scenarios".....thats why I need all of you to help me)......

Here are the additional dilemmas:
If I went with the giant circle in front of the stoop...technically I could only put the chairs on the right side of the circle faxing west or one on each side of the stoop which wouldn't be good if holding a conversation with someone (see diagram below...the x is chair spots and the O is a small table) otherwise you would have to walk through them to get to our front addition it would be weird just being able to really look one way down the street rather than have a view of the entire back would be facing the entrance to our street and I would basically be looking towards the dead end section of our street (well I guess I could turn the chairs around but if my kids were riding bikes I wouldn't have full view of the street either way) I'm not sure this is the best use of this space nor the most comfortable BUT it would look nice with our landscape plans and the center entrance appeal of our house I think.....and if we decided not use the sitting area it wouldn't look awkward.
Now my second dilemma is if I do a side patio do I place it on the right or left of my sidewalk.......If I do it to the left (see diagram below), I think it could be difficult to conceal the space with landscaping since the sidewalk would be in front of it....and I'm not sure everyone would like to look at a sitting area walking to my front door, I think they would prefer to see landscaping....but it is a cozy nook there in the corner.
I like the idea of placing the sitting area to the right of the sidewalk (see diagram below) so that I can conceal most of the area with landscaping and I can view the entire neighborhood from that location but I would have to conceal the entire area with landscaping and it could be an awkward space off to the side of a center entrance colonial that has a pretty symmetrical appearance (I like things symmetrical). Plus I want our house to have cub appeal and if we ever decide to sell I don't want someone to look at that space and have it deter them from considering our home.....this concept of a front patio seems somewhat new to me.  Do you like the idea of a front patio or do you think its wired?  What do you think would work best and look the nicest?  I just need some input, thoughts, preferences, opinions, ideas.....what ever you got throw it at me!!!
So there it is folks.....our huge project dilemma.  Please let us know what you think so we can make make some adjustments and considerations before our plans are finalized this week.  Would love to hear from you before Wednesday night if possible!!!  So let us know what you think!!!

(PS  I hate posting things from other websites so my disclaimer is they are not my ideas or my photos and were taken from pintrest from the sites listed on the picture itself or from other pinners.....and sorry for the long blog post again!!)