Our Previous Patio (Introducing the Wallingford House)


THE WALLINGFORD HOUSE Last week I showed you guys our patio project at the Ravenna House.  It doesn't look like much yet - the backyard still needs plants, fencing, grass, a little pizzaz - but we're making progress.  This week I thought it would be fun to look back and show you the last patio we built, which was at our Wallingford House.

The Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio at night 2

I haven't told you guys much about our Wallingford home other than it was our first, so a quick introduction...

The Wallingford House

Wallingford House Historic Photo

Garrett and I bought the Wallingford House in 2008 with every last penny we could scrape together.  The house, built in 1916, was a small craftsman with 2 beds/1bath, 9.5' ceilings, an unfinished basement, lots of natural light, and a unique detached cottage/workspace in the backyard.  And I was in love.  Like head-over-heels in love.

We moved-in in September with full hearts and an eight-week-old-puppy named Bubba.  The puppy was cute and energetic but the house was in various states of disrepair.  Originally we planned to live in the house forever and fix it up as we went but I got laid off and our plans changed.  With Garrett in graduate school and me without a job, we were no longer able to afford the mortgage, so I suggested we finish-out the basement, rent the house, and move into the backyard cottage.  And that's just what we did (more on all of that here).  But let's get back to the patio.  Here's what it looks like now:

The Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio All 2The Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio lavendar 2The Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio benchThe Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio blueberriesThe Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio table

The backyard at the Wallingford House is dominated by a detached, 2-story cottage with a 200sf footprint (I'll show you that structure another day).  There's also a cute, small shed for storage, which Garrett built me.  The rest of the yard is really private, due in large part to the green-wall of laurel hedges on our south property line.

The Grit and Polish - Wallinford Patio Collage 1    The Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio Table 2The Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio fence arbor

We spent a lot of time building this backyard.  We did all the work ourselves and on a tight budget.  When we first bought the property, there was a giant kiln and overgrown-everything in the backyard.  Over a few summers (both while we lived in the house and then the cottage) we removed the kiln with a jackhammer and some family muscle, tidied up the landscaping, fenced the lot with wood from Papa's scrap pile, planted wisteria and lavender and blueberries, and then laid the patio.  I loved this project.  I loved dreaming up the space.  I loved construction.

Here's an iPhone picture of Garrett and I rebuilding the back deck, which connects the house's back door to the patio.  Like all things, the deck ended up being a lot more work than we expected after finding mold in much of the structure.

The Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio Deck construction

The deck was the last major project in the backyard and we were thrilled when it was finished.

The Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio back deck

We had a lot of fun in this backyard - during construction and especially after.  We hosted large parities and intimate dinners around the farm table Garrett and I built.  We enjoyed sunny afternoons and snowy mornings (well at least one) with friends and family and people from the neighborhood.  But mostly it was just Garrett and I, before kids, spending quiet evenings under twinkling lights, with a cribbage board and some beers.  Ahhhhh I really miss this backyard!

BUT, if we get busy, the Ravenna House will have a backyard to play cribbage in too...



p.s. Are you ready for Thanksgiving?!  Here are some really spectacular recipes from around the country.  I'm excited about trying Nevada's turkey French Dips with leftovers.  And are you kidding me with Persimmon pudding, Indiana?!  Sounds delicious!

p.p.s. You and I are going to spend a lot of time cooking this week, right?  Well here are a few modern-meets-vintage kitchens I wouldn't mind baking some sweet potatoes in!

p.p.p.s. Wilder is really getting this renovation thing down.  Now if we could just get him to wear pants...