Friend your Mr. Furley

This time last year when I stepped out onto our back patio this is what I saw:

A real eyesore.  Who wants to spend a pretty afternoon looking at this mess?  I’m not quite sure what was behind the thinking of the original design of the concrete walkway.  Or that funky fire pit.  The fire pit was probably another renter’s classy addition.  Anyway, since we rent this little house, unfortunately we are pretty limited with what we can do to make our little home truly feel like our own. We have however managed to do some minor tweaking here and there to pretty the place up a bit.

With the back patio we actually got permission from our landlord to get rid of the strip of concrete in the back along with that funky fire pit of sorts.  We couldn’t really do anything permanent like poor concrete.  We also didn’t want to spend much money on the project either.

I was pretty stumped with what to do with this area.  Then I did some research online and found some inspiration from this photo:

enclosed patio with square pavers and gravel floor

I thought using concrete pavers like this might “flow” nicely with the existing concrete patio next to it.

If you are a true DIY’er you could easily complete this project in a weekend.  With a new(ish) baby at the time we didn’t really have the energy to tackle a project like this.  Luckily we have a friend who owns a landscaping company and he sent a couple of guys over with a sledgehammer, gravel, and pavers.  They also brought some plants too to soften it up a bit.

A year later the plants have grown in (finally!) and the pavers were a really good choice.  What a difference a little spiffing up can make!

Here’s what we see now:

And some side by sides:

So if you rent, don’t be afraid to have a friendly conversation with your landlord about making some minor updates to the place.  You’d be surprised how agreeable they might be, especially if you’re improving the overall look of the place.  They may even agree to give you a small break in rent to cover some out-of-pocket expenses.  Or they may not which is a bummer.  But if you know you’ll be renting for a few years, you want to actually feel happy in the place where you hang your hat, right?   So go ahead, take a deep breath and give a call to your friendly Mr. Furley . . . (or grumpy Mr. Roper).

Until next Monday!



23 thoughts on “Friend your Mr. Furley

  1. Hi! Saw this image on Pinterest. I am curious about the dimensions of your pavers. Would you mind sharing? Thanks!

  2. Love the clean simplicity! In fact, I’m borrowing your idea for a dog run area. I already have the very large, 24″ x 24″ pavers that I plan to use in the center and thought I would go with your idea for the borders; small squares mimicking the larger ones.

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  6. Looks fantastic! I made a patio last year with a combo of bricks and gravel. Part of it is similar to what you did, but most of it is just gravel due to the size of it. If I were doing it again, I might use your idea. Great job!

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