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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

Early in the summer we started what will go down as our biggest DIY project of the year … We decided to build our own brick paver patio! (Check out the process posts 1,2,3,4) With my creative ideas and my amazing husband that has an un-human work ethic we knew would could handle it!  We teamed up with two amazing companies to make it happen, and we loved working with Stone Depot and EP Henry throughout the process.
Drum-roll Please….
Presenting My DIY Patio….

Let’s take a closer look at this bad boy
Here’s a quick peek back to where we started…

And now, for where we are now!
I couldn’t be happier with the results and none of it would have happened without this fella. I won’t get all sappy, but he’s the hardest worker I’ve ever met.  Our friends have affectionately coined the phrase “Mangin to the Max” when he’s in his crazy hardworking mode.
So, thanks for all your tireless hours, love- you’re the best!
View from the door before…
And After…
I love the sitting area and have spent tons of hours working from there the last few months.  I can’t get enough of all the fall foliage this year- almost makes me feel like I’m back in New England.
We made a last minute decision to add this little area off of the main patio.  We wanted a place to be able to grill and where we could put a kids’ table when we have a crowd, although I think the fire pit looks pretty cute there too!
Eric and I built a huge farmhouse table using Ana White plans after we were inspired by the Shanty 2 Chic sisters (Full table post coming soon!)  For now we’re using the chairs I painted back in the spring, but we plan to build long benches this weekend!
I know it sounds cheesy, but I sort of think the patio reminds me of the big family dinners they always have on Parenthood.  Do you see it too?  (Man, I love that show!)
Here’s a peek at some of the fun details I love…
Remember this upcycle?
We have fun cattails in our pond (it’s more of a swamp, but come on, pond sounds so much nicer!) and they look so cool!
Eric was pretty proud of the stairs… the EP Henry stone was too nice to just do plain, basic steps.  I love the tiered look he built!
I plan on having tons and tons of awesome meals out here with family and friends!
It’s the perfect place to sit down and browse through one of my favorite magazines… I suggest checking out page 92…  Did you know we were featured this month? It pretty much rocked our world!
We got all of our EP Henry stone from Stone Depot in Perkaise, PA and it’s top quality for sure.  I love the look of the pillars with the huge caps (which are crazy heavy btw- I spent so many hours just carrying brick from the driveway to the backyard.)
The guys at Stone Depot recommended slate for the sitting wall and I’m so glad they knew what would look best- the slate is one of my favorite parts of the whole project.
I had to share this picture with you because you’ve got to check out the pumpkin on the left… doesn’t it look like he’s eating the green goose gourd?  We grew tons of gourds this year and my kids love the goose ones!

Pennlyn loves that she can go out the sliding door now- it’s so nice to be able to easily let her in and out.
We only have two things left on the Patio-To-Do-List…
1- Finish the landscaping (we need mulch and plants)
2- We need outdoor pillar lighting.  I ordered 4 lights that I really liked, but they ended up being discontinued.  Boo!  Our blog sponsor Brad from Lucent Lampworks is going to help me come up with some cool ideas, so I’m excited to get that final detail taken care of!
So, there you have it!  Our Big Old DIY project is done!
What do you think of my new outdoor oasis?  
Do you have any awesome lighting suggestions or just any ideas to make the space even better?  

The comments +

  1. Beautiful, what an amazing transformation!

  2. Christina says:

    it looks awesome, Monica! Your dog is super cute too 🙂 And yes, I could totally see Parenthood-style dinners on that table (kind of obsessed with that show…) 😉

  3. Leisu says:

    Really fantastic! I love the patio and firepit spot, so well planned out.
    how are you going to keep that dry sink from rotting in the rain?

  4. yay it’s done! It looks awesome! what a huge project to tackle! What a lovely hang out space it turned out to be though 🙂

  5. It looks GORGEOUS…I’m a tad bit jealous of your amazing backyard. Those trees!!! 🙂 Great job!

  6. Courtney says:

    Looks awesome Monica!

  7. It looks fabulous. I love all the stones.

  8. Kim Wilson says:

    It’s stunning Monica! What a wonderful space for your family to create some amazing memories.

  9. What a wonderful space! A place you and your family will love and enjoy forever. AND, if you ever decide to sell, you have added a lot of value to your property. Just beautiful, great job!

  10. Kate says:

    Beautiful job! This is EXACTLY what my husband and I were looking to do in our backyard, but we just don’t even know where to start? Did you have plans drawn up by someone? Any advice or information you could provide on the project would be awesome! Again, great work… It’s AMAZING!

  11. Karly says:

    Beautiful! I wish it was my backyard.

  12. Sam says:

    Amazing! I love it so much! Awesome job!

    xo Sam

    DIY Huntress

  13. Shaunna says:

    Girl, it is AMAZING. Seriously outdid yourselves…tell your hubby he and Matt should get together–would they ever sleep? Beautiful!

  14. Monica~It’s beautiful!! I love everything about it. I would be out there every day reading with a cup of hot tea during this beautiful fall time. Enjoy!! ~Linda

  15. Karin Chudy says:

    I love it! We added a brick patio off of our deck this year too.. I love it, but man oh man..I WANT your table and blue chairs!!! I just love the decor!

  16. *katie says:

    Looks so very awesome!! I love the stone floor, the wall–everything!

  17. HI! Your patio is beautiful, and you dog – so cute!!!
    I was wondering which plans you used from Ana White – I am looking to build a new picnic table this spring and love yours!
    thanks 😉

  18. Absolutely gorgeous!

  19. Monica says:

    Gorgeous! Was hoping for details on how it was built. Did you lay stones/sand down first or does the EP Henry work without it?

  20. Annie M. says:

    Not sure I recognize what your pavers are made of. Are they cement? We started our patio 2 years ago. Back breaking work digging out all the dirt for the stone base. Filled 2 HUGE dumpsters. Then couldn’t get in our garage for 2 weeks while we hauled all the rocks, one wheel barrel at a time to the backyard via our little gate entrance. We installed 8 sonotubes for our pergola supports. It’s been a journey. Haven’t layed out crushed stone base yet. Still deciding on pavers. Very expensive here in Connecticut.
    Your project is beautiful!

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