Our Patio and Screened Porch Renovation

Hello and welcome! More than a few of you requested seeing the transformation of our outdoor spaces, so today I have pulled together photos of our patio and screened porch renovation. When we purchased our home, it had sat vacant for a year. But even before that year of vacancy, the landscaping had gotten out of control. This aspect of the overall renovations felt the most overwhelming. So, let’s start there.

Before: When Nature Takes Over

Our home is at the end of a cul-de-sac and it sits in a little bit of a gully. While the front yard had some degree of intentional shaping to it, the sides and backyard were not really used by the original owner and so didn’t have any shaping, or landscaping aside form the little patch of grass shown below.

In the image above, you can see the original screen porch with a flight of stairs leading down to the little patch of grass.

Side yard before

We wanted to transform this area into a side yard, with a space for outdoor cooking, relaxing and entertaining – an outdoor extension of the screened porch. The first order of business was to tackle all of the overgrowth, and remove the diseased tree in the center of the side yard.

side yard overgrowth clean up

Once the overgrowth was cleared out, we removed the staircase from the screen porch. You can see how steep the grade is on that side yard. To create the side yard, we had to do some earth moving to build a retaining wall. This retaining wall will give us a clear distinction between the side yard and the backyard.

grading the landscape

The Side Yard Takes Shape

The landscape crew found a tremendous number of giant boulders hidden under the soil in that side yard slope. Some of them were too large to move. So we worked with the designer to integrate them into the design of the retaining wall.

retaining wall

When the retaining wall was in place, it was time to build the decking. The new deck would extend out from the screen porch and step down to a longer deck. The top deck would become the outdoor cooking area, while the lower portion would be for lounging and entertaining.

patio decking

This was an exciting period of the renovations. A lot was happening simultaneously. The exterior of the house was painted between the last two images, and that was a gigantic transformation. We could really see the new design taking shape.

retaining wall and privacy screen

Above is an image of the view from the backyard looking up, toward the side yard. We added a privacy screen along the top of the retaining wall. In the image below you can see how we further utilized the boulders we found to shape the backyard. We created a fire pit area, with steps leading down to the fire pit. We also had enough boulders to run most of the length of the backyard to create definition between a walkway and the wooded area along the back of the property.

landscaping with boulders

Framing the upper side yard, we have that privacy screen on the retaining wall and then we have a privacy fence that runs from the garage to the edge of the property, along the very top of the side yard, with steps leading down to the backyard.

After: The Patio and Side Yard

patio completion

In the image above, you can see the new side yard, with the decking and the sod in place; with the privacy screen on the left side.

side yard lawn

This is the view from the patio deck. Dante is a fan of lounging! This photo is from when we first moved in, in March 2020. Those of you who follow the blog will know that this view looks quite different now, with the wood fired oven in front of the privacy screen. Our yard and patio area is a work in progress; we are constantly moving plants around, adding new plants – it’s one of the best parts about owning a home with an outdoor space. You can get as creative as you want to; changing it around as often as you like.

Before: Screened Porch

The screened porch wasn’t much to look at before; It was very basic. But with a few cosmetic changes, new fans and screens, we were able to design a space that fits with the aesthetic of the rest of the house. A screened porch was a must-have for me when we were looking at homes in Georgia. So for me, this was a fun space to design because I knew we’d be spending a fair amount of time out there. And it’s right off the kitchen, with two large picture windows and a sliding glass door, so the screen porch is super-visible from the kitchen and dining room.

After: Screened Porch

screened porch after

In the shoulder seasons, it’s really nice to keep the sliding door open all day, so I wanted the space to feel like a natural extension of the kitchen and dining room. We chose a ceramic tile that is a lighter shade of slate than the tile throughout the kitchen and dining room. By using the same style of tile we create a cohesive look, and the lighter color creates just enough separation to delineate the space.

screened porch after

It’s All in The Details

We are big baseball fans so having a TV in the screened porch was a must. We have an outdoor furniture set covered with Sunbrella fabric, so we don’t have to worry about the occasional rain drops that find their way through the screens.

Jessica Webber of Webber Coleman had the genius idea to use horizontal steel cables instead of spindles under the railings that surround the room; the steel cables provide protection and they basically disappear against the screen, giving a more open view.

screened porch after

This is a view of the space from the screened door that leads to the upper part of the patio deck. Other than the overhead lighting in the ceiling fans, I have several ceramic and enameled metal lanterns with battery-powered candles to give softer ambient lighting.

Our screened porch is a long and narrow space which made it challenging to decorate. But I think the concept of having it be an extension of the kitchen and dining area worked in our favor. Positioning the couch so that it faces the entryway, specifically, made the rest of the furniture positioning flow a lot more smoothly.

Thank you all so much for joining me for a tour of Our Patio and Screened Porch Renovation! I hope you enjoyed this before and after look at our most-used outdoor spaces. Be sure to follow my stories on Instagram for even more up-to-date images of the patio, as we’ve made a lot of changes since we moved in! For more tours of our renovations, check out the Home Design Series. Take care and be well, everyone! xo Kelly

Calling All Cooks!

I’d love to feature some of your takes on Djalali Cooks recipes, so for the month of September, if you make any Djalali Cooks recipes, take a picture and send me an email with the picture of the dish you made.

Be sure to include any comments you have about the recipe and the process and your first name. If you’d like me to mention your town, please include that information too! Send images to kelly@djalalicooks.com, or just save and reply to this email with your image. 

At the beginning of October, I will compile your images and feature your dish as part of a reader favorites round-up on the blog!

You Might Also Like

  • Jody
    September 1, 2021 at 9:17 am

    Wow, Kelly! Everything looks fabulous! Thank you for sharing!

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 1, 2021 at 9:28 am

      Thanks so much, Jody! It was quite the process to get that yard into some kind of shape! Thanks for stopping by today, have a wonderful Wednesday! xo Kelly

  • Gloria Bickers
    September 1, 2021 at 9:32 am

    Oh wow, Kelly! What a transformation! If you’ve covered this previously, I apologize for being redundant, but did you and Alex live in the house during renovations? From personal experience I know that’s tough, but when it’s all done, I think there’s an extra appreciation for a return of privacy, and the absence of sheetrock dust!

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 1, 2021 at 9:43 am

      Hello Gloria! I haven’t covered that; but no, we did not live in the house during the reno. We luckily found an apartment right down the street so we were close by and able to pop over to the house whenever we were needed. We have three dogs and it would have been a nightmare to be in the house! Lol! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment today, it’s great to hear from you. xo Kelly

  • Monique Wilson
    September 1, 2021 at 9:33 am

    This is fantastic! What a wonderful renovation from the kitchen, screened porch and now outside. I love seeing the “where it started” and to have such “vision”. It’s wonderful and congratulations on a beautiful home. (Love your recipes as well)

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 1, 2021 at 9:46 am

      Hi Monique, Thanks so much! It’s been a lot of fun (and a little stressful :), but we really enjoy dreaming up ideas for the house – it’s like a never-ending project! Thank you for visiting today, have a great day! xo Kelly

      • Monique Wilson
        September 1, 2021 at 9:52 am

        I forgot to ask…where is the pizza oven? Did I miss it?

        • Kelly Djalali
          September 1, 2021 at 10:09 am

          We had the wood oven built several months after we completed the landscaping in the back. So it’s not pictured in today’s post. Though if you are on Instagram and follow my stories, check in throughout the day today, as I will be posting images of how the yard has progressed since we moved in. Also, if you check the very first few Pizza and a Movie posts, I tracked the installation of the wood oven, so you can see the progress of it being built. xo Kelly

          • Monique Wilson
            September 1, 2021 at 10:14 am

            I am on IG so I’ll be sure to check it out. I’ve followed you from the beginning as I follow your MiL. !! Have a great day and keep up the good work.

          • Kelly Djalali
            September 1, 2021 at 10:22 am

            Perfect! I will also add the stories to the HOME DESIGN highlight, so you won’t miss a thing! Thanks so much, xo Kelly

  • Terry
    September 1, 2021 at 9:36 am

    The work you and Alex have done to your house is amazing. Your house is so beautiful. Obviously more beautiful in person. ❤️Mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 1, 2021 at 9:46 am

      Thanks, Mom! xo Kelly

  • Mari
    September 1, 2021 at 9:58 am

    I love the way you tied the inside and outside decks together with the same style of furniture. It looks very comfortable and timeless. It has a mid century vibe, but it looks like today and tomorrow too. The color choice was great too. That light blue really pops outside and looks great in the sunlight. The amount of thought and work that went into your yard is staggering. Once we know what we want it is easier to accomplish. I love the retaining wall and the steps too. The photos are fabulous and again look like they are from an upscale magazine shoot. The dog sleeping on the chair made me laugh. No matter what our pets are, they like to bunk down on our things. When I had cats, one of them climbed almost seven feet to get to my daughter’s old doll bed I had put on top of a bookcase, specifically to keep Spike out of it! Every day she would scale the bookcase and throw the dolls on the floor, multiple times, and then lie down for a snooze. When she was smaller, she insisted on sleeping in the palm of my right hand. Now I have birds that want to sleep under my chin. What is it with animas and body parts?! I should have had a retaining wall around the bookcase. I really enjoyed seeing the pictures of all your renovations, and thanks for all the great ideas you have shared with us.

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 1, 2021 at 10:18 am

      Hi Mari, you noticed that about the furniture! I am a big fan of consistency, lol! All of the outdoor furniture is from RH; I really like the mid-century aesthetic. I feel like the simple, clean lines of mid-century work really well in smaller spaces. And, though it’s tied to a specific era of design, it really is timeless and it’s the perfect anchor for mixing things up in a room; with swapping pillows, blankets, etc.

      Cats are hilarious! Our dogs are allowed on the furniture and they take every advantage! Thanks so much for dropping me a line today, I do so enjoy our conversations! Have a great Day, Mari. xo Kelly

  • Stephanie
    September 1, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Kelly, this is stunning! What a transformation. (You guys are brave to take this on!) I love the before/after pictures. Really love the screened-in porch. Nicely done.

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 1, 2021 at 10:20 am

      Hi Stephanie, It’s funny, I forget what it all used to look like, so I really love writing these posts and going back through the images; it’s really fun to remember all the little details and what we went through to get everything to where it is now. Thanks so much for stopping by today! xo Kelly

  • Susan Kelley
    September 1, 2021 at 10:33 am

    Thanks or sharing. Always good to see what others create in their spaces Great colors in your outdoor choices!

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 1, 2021 at 10:41 am

      Hi Susan, Thank you! Aren’t those colors so much fun?! They really make the space bright and cheery. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful Wednesday, xo Kelly

  • Kathy
    September 1, 2021 at 11:41 am

    Absolutely, stunning! Thank you for sharing.

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 1, 2021 at 12:06 pm

      Thank you so much for stopping by today, Kathy! xo Kelly

  • Suzanne Smith
    September 1, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    You’ve done a lot to the house already! I didn’t realize you moved in in 2020! Very nice! And I remember how nice your kitchen was. Looks really lovely

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 1, 2021 at 3:40 pm

      Hi Suzanne, Yes, we have! The house and landscaping has continued to be one long project since we moved in! Thanks so much for stopping by and saying hello today! xo Kelly

  • Est
    September 1, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    What a beautiful space! Well done!

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 2, 2021 at 8:51 am

      Thanks so much, Est! xo Kelly

  • Susan
    September 1, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    From your vision to reality- landscaping, recipes and blog – kudos! Your design in every posting , from dialog to pictures to layout make Djalali cooks delightful to read. Thank you!

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 2, 2021 at 8:53 am

      Hi Susan, thank you much! I am so happy you enjoy the blog, thanks for your wonderful support! xo Kelly

  • Deanna
    September 2, 2021 at 11:20 am

    Thank you for continuing to post your home renovations. So enjoyable to see how you’ve transformed your home to such a place of comfort and beauty. Your neighbors must be ecstatic to see how you’ve improved your property on the outside too. A feast for their eyes, as well as yours. Love how your dogs are at home on all your gorgeous furnishings. Living the good life!! Great family (and pets!!), gorgeous home, and all the astonishing food coming from within. You rock Kelly!!!!!!!

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 2, 2021 at 12:15 pm

      Thanks so much, Deanna! We have certainly kept our neighbors entertained with all the work we’ve been doing! It’s been really cool to chat with them about their thoughts on all the improvements we have been making. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment today, I really appreciate all of your support! xo Kelly