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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

I’m so excited to introduce you to one of our biggest DIY Projects ever!  Over the next weeks we’re going to be taking you step-by-step through our DIY Patio Project.  I was thrilled when Stone Depot and EP Henry decided to partner with us on this crazy adventure.

So, here’s the plan, each week I’ll be giving you an update with info and tips on what we’ve completed.    You’re going to be amazed at how do-able this DIY really is (just LOTS and LOTS of work- husbands, please don’t send me hate mail!) and don’t worry, for those of you that definitely don’t want to tackle this as a DIY, I’ll hook you up with the pros at Stone Depot and they can help you out.
I’m way impulsive, so for a Big-Mama DIY, I needed a plan to keep me focused and doing things in the right order (or I would drive my hubs nuts!)
Step #1Plan Patio Layout
This was honestly very, very tricky.  I learned a few things… As I planned, my patio mysteriously got BIGGER and BIGGER and planning is not as easy as I thought it would be.
I had a few requirements 1- A large space for a BIG Dining Table (I feel another DIY table coming soon!)  and 2- An area for a fire pit and sitting.
Here was brainstorm number one…
Now, remember I’m NOT an artist or a landscape designer.  This looked pretty on paper, but having an opening for stairs off the patio only about 3 feet away from the opening for the walkway was weird.
Brainstorm Number Two looked like this…
Still had the weird stairs/walkway combo and I also added a bump out area.  Why you ask?  Well, I love sitting in the sun! The way the sun crosses our house, that little area would have sun 24-7 (Well, not really, but you get the idea).  Eventually I talked myself out of that because it was weird and made me seem a tad vain (enter the Carly Simon music).
The Final Plan is different than both of our initial ideas, but it’s clean, simple, and big enough for all my requirements!
Now, it looks kind of small in these pictures, but it’s about 600sq/ft and will be perfect for parties and lots of outdoor fun.
DIY PATIO TIP: Use leftover spray paint to draw out your design on the grass to make sure it’s what you really want.  I had about 7 colors going on at one point.
Step #2– Choose EP Henry Stone from Stone Depot
Once we had our plan, we headed off to Stone Depot in Perkasie.  They have a HUGE selection and their guys know their stuff! We were able to walk around outside and see actual patios and samples of each of the different paver options and colors.
Here’s what we picked! 
Bristol Stone in Blue Spruce.  I think the color will go really well with our house.
EP Henry Products brought to you by RE Cummines Inc Vineland, NJ 08360
The next step is measuring and planning outside the house.  Here’s a picture to give you a general idea. Next week I’ll give you all of our tips for the measuring, trust me we learned a thing or two along the way!  DIYing with my hubby is a tad different than DIYing with Jess! HA!
So be honest, are we CRAZY for taking on this DIY?
Any tips or advice?


The comments +

  1. Anonymous says:

    If you are crazy then so am I 😛 The hubs and I are attacking this same project. You are great at what you do so I’me sure it will turn out great 🙂

  2. Crazy, yes. But we already knew that! You guys rock! Did you see Young House Love Blog documenting all their trials and tribs? Might be a good read. Best of Luck!

  3. dwilson says:

    This looks great! I can’t wait to read along as you complete this!!

  4. Debbie Green says:

    No you are not crazy – if anyone can do this, it’s you! We did a DIY patio last fall. No walls or stairs…but it turned out great and we saved a ton of money. We even got the stone from friends who were putting in a pool. We disassembled their patio and drove it over in several trips to our home in our SUVs!! Great fun and rewarding!! Good luck. Looking forward to seeing the progress and final product!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Love your plan! 600 sq feet – good size! Maybe even larger would be better! You all seem like party people!

  6. Cocalores says:

    Wow, that’s a really really big project… (and a really really big patio too)! It looks great and will be a super addition to your house. We were thinking about doing our patio remodel ourselves, but now we have decided to hire a professional because that’s way over our heads. But I’m pretty sure that you’ll tackle it easily, as usually.

  7. Karin S. says:

    A friend talked me out of any curvy lines, and am soooo glad. Had to get only a handful of the pavers cut to fit one weird spot by a curve in the sidewalk (gave the guy working on my friend’s patio 20 bucks to do it). Be sure to put down fabric weed barrier between the gravel and sand layers; you’ll still have weed seeds that sprout from the top, but nothing big and tough growing up from deep in the ground. Rent an electric compacter for the sand layer. A HUGE pain–it is so heavy you will not believe it–but totally worth it to prevent uneven settling. Beware of incurring a repetitive motion injury! I laid all the pavers myself, and the pincer-like motion of grabbing 900 individual pavers from the wheelbarrow gave me a muscle problem around my elbow–six months later, I had such weakness, I couldn’t lift a pot of water! ART from a chiropractor totally cured it, but still–would be better to prevent in the first place.

  8. Love these kind of projects. Can’t wait to see the progress and then get invited for the backyard par-tay!

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