There are a few outdoor showhouse spaces that we haven’t shown at all in this entire yearlong process. Each of the seven showhouses were encouraged to include some fun outdoor spaces as well as indoor ones, so aside from the stuff you can see from the curb, there’s also a back porch and a back patio complete with a stone fireplace. The cool thing about these outdoor spaces is that they’re the places that we got to put our heads together with the builder and the architect the most – and they ended up being some of our favorites.
The craziest thing is that our house won 1st place (i.e. the “Gold Award”) for both Curb Appeal and Outdoor Living. With this being our first time doing a showhouse, we honestly weren’t sure we’d win anything at all, so getting those two along with the silver for Creative Home surprised and thrilled us to say the least.
We’ve talked a lot about the front porch already, since it has been one of the defining features of our home. Namely the exposed wood (stained with Sikkens in their “Cedar” color) paired with the navy siding (which is Newburg Green by Benjamin Moore) and the crisp white trim (which is Steam by Ben Moore). But it’s looking even more polished now that the landscaper worked his magic, and we got our big limestone pathway laid. In addition to the aggregate driveway and front pathway, we wanted to create some charming access from the street, so after sharing a few inspiration photos with the landscaper and the builder, they cut big 2 x 4′ slabs from the same material as the porch’s stone column caps, and laid the sod around them.
One interesting tidbit about the landscaping was that John the Builder and Chris the Landscaper had to submit their plans to the developer of this community, who actually nixed a bunch of larger plantings (we love more mature looking bushes and trees, but I guess for the show they wanted everything to have more of an open look).
The front porch is nice and spacious, with a large 14 x 11′ area to the left of the door, which is where we created the main seating area with a sofa, ottoman, chair, and a few side tables (some of those aren’t pictured in the shot below but if you look at the picture above you can get a better idea).
The other side is around 11 x 12′, which means there was room for a porch swing, a swivel chair, and another red side table (that’s hidden behind the chair in the photo below).
Most of the outdoor furniture is the Wyatt collection from Arhaus, including the sofa, the ottoman, and the swivel chair on the other side, which they kindly donated for the show (we’re sending them back afterwards). They’re all super comfortable, and the best part is that Arhaus agreed to give away an identical set of outdoor furniture to one of you for this week’s giveaway.
Most of the smaller accessories were stuff that we bought at Lowe’s (like the red metal garden stools and the medallion pillows) or Target (like the bolsters). They brought in some nice color, while the dark 12 x 24″ porcelain tiles that were donated by The Tile Shop grounded the porch.
The sun prevented me from getting good pictures of the other chair on that side, so forgive this photo from an earlier day (note the lack of sod next door). It’s a swiveling egg chair and side table from Green Front Furniture. Since Sherry is genetically one-quarter egg chair, she had to have it.
Here’s another shot from that same day, which is the best one I seem to have of the light fixture we bought from Restoration Hardware. The angles of the light are nice with the peaked wood ceiling, and the fans are from Hunter (they’re the same ones we installed in our own sunroom).
The porch swing on the other side was a purchase from Hayneedle.com, but we had to spray paint the gold chain black to make it blend better with the rest of the porch. I won’t admit to how many times we took breaks just to swing out here. Clara was that bench’s biggest fan.
The chair nearby is part of the same Arhaus collection, and it swiveled like the egg chair on the other side of the porch, which made the arrangement feel more flexible (someone sitting there could swivel towards the porch swing or towards the seating area on the other side).
The rest of the porch was filled out with random potted ferns (we bought the pots & ferns at Lowe’s), just to add some greenery.
We also had the carpenter build window boxes to liven up the trio of windows on the right side of the house (that’s actually the garage, but it has side access).
On the front porch we also went for dark bronze rain chains instead of traditional gutters, since we can probably all agree that downspouts aren’t the most charming architectural detail out there. These decorative chains help guide the water from the gutter down a drain to the ground and look pretty darn cute doing it.
If you walk around the side of the garage, we continued those limestone slabs so they lead to the patio area behind the house.
The stamped concrete patio is almost literally “hugged” by the outdoor fireplace. Most of the design credit for this area goes to the builder and his team. We gave input on the type of stone and a few details, but John and his guys built it seemingly overnight while we were tending to a few other spaces. Then we walked out back and said “yeah, we could get used to this.”
We kept the “styling” pretty light out here, since we were running out of time and wanted the focus to be on the fireplace anyway. There’s an outdoor dining area on the back porch (which we’ll get to in a minute), so we didn’t think another table made sense down here, so we landed on a casual seating arrangement. The woven outdoor lounge chairs, pillows, and planters are all things that we bought from Lowe’s.
Behind you as you face the fireplace are two staircases, one that leads up to the mudroom (which includes some closed, covered storage underneath it for yard equipment, etc) and the other that leads up to the back porch.
The back porch has the same exposed wood look on the ceiling as the front porch, but instead of tile this space has a Trex floor. The french doors lead into the living room/kitchen area, so this was a natural spot for an outdoor dining area.
The dining table and chairs were from Green Front Furniture, the indoor/outdoor rug is from Dash & Albert, and the runner & sodas are from World Market. All of the other styling accessories are HomeGoods (like the planter, the lantern on the table, etc).
So that concludes the outdoor tour. We’ve still got a few bedrooms, bathrooms, and miscellaneous spots like the laundry room and the mudroom to share along with a video walk-through of the whole house, so we hope to have all of that sourced and shared in the next week or two.
Psst – Wanna see more showhouse info & photos? Click here for Our Full Showhouse Tour, which includes final pictures of every room, the floor plan, budget info, a video walk-through, and shoppable showhouse furniture & accessories.
Love the outdoor spaces! Do you know what type of wood the builder used for the porch ceilings? We are trying to have wood installed on our porch ceiling and there is a lot of conflicting information out there as to whether the type of wood matters. Thanks!
That was sourced from a local timberyard. It’s cedar I think, and sealed with Sikkens in the “cedar” color.
I can’t get enough of that outdoor fireplace. That is number one on my list of must have items for when I get my own house. Thank you for sharing!
I didn’t even notice that this house HAD gutters until you mentioned the rain chains, they’re adorable and so much better looking than downspouts! My house doesn’t have gutters at all but I’d like to have something for drainage, so I’ll definitely be looking into these.
marsha miller says
Outstanding job! My hubby just finished construction of our front porch and I came away with some great ideas from your post. Thank you!
You do everything with such style and grace. Congratulations in the awards.
Samantha Izaks says
Wow! Trying to get my head around the fencing situation. For me that just seems really werid. I’m sure the fencing at my place is over 6 feet as I’m 6 foot tall & I cant see into any of my neighbors backyards. Will take some pics & email them to you so you can see for yourself. I don’t know if I would feel comfortable without fencing. I would feel exposed.
Would love to see pics! I know what you mean about feeling exposed. Here many homes can be on large lots if you like privacy (ours has a wooded area behind in, and our second and first houses did as well) or you can add some privacy plantings (like some screening trees, which will most likely go up between the showhouses after the show).
WOW, my heart skipped a beat when I saw the fireplace. Soooo… weird question… where did they place the septic system? Or is it hooked up to town septic> My biggest roadblock in adding an outdoor area/porch is the placement of our septic system.
The showhouse is on the sewer system, so there’s no septic going on.
And one more note — you should totally link all your posts to this house on your house tour page. :)
We’d love to do that as soon as we’re done sharing all the details :)
Well done! The other houses are so over the top, yours is clean and simple, this time less is more!
The front porch without a railing really opens the view and connects to the street plus the porch swing connects with past memories for many people.
Totally agree with you John – this is a house that real people would live in.
Jenny B. says
Love it all! Congrats on the awards! :)
Noel M says
We went to the show this weekend and loved everything! I might be remembering wrong, but didn’t you have a charming little deck off the master? I can’t remember if you covered that or not or if it’s hush hush.
And btw – I ADORED the powder room. Couldn’t stop petting the wall and it made me feel very “sherry like”. My other favorite were the string of lights in the little girls bedroom. So awesome!
Oh yes, it’s just impossible to take photos of that since it’s such a small space, but that was going to just be a roof there, but we thought turning that into a little bonus balcony would be sweet for the master.
Paige @ Lux Per Diem says
Love that porch, I need a good outdoor rug.
I’m usually not a fan of new developments, but holy amazeballs. That fireplace! I can see why you took the gold.
Congratulations on your well-deserved prizes! I am in LOVE with the backyard area. That lovely porch and spacious patio and the fireplace. Oh my, that fireplace. I want to take it home and cuddle it, although I’m pretty sure it would be about half the size of my house.
Rain chains! I don’t think I’ve ever seen those before. I’d love to know more about how they work.
Water just hugs them and runs down those little cups and chains to a diverter or drain at the bottom (on the ground) – it’s pretty amazing to watch. You picture water splashing all over the place, but it stays really sleek and close to the chain and follows it down like a drainpipe!
They work thanks to the capillary action of the water, the capacity of flow without the help of any external forces, that make it to cling to the chain.
Is the same that allows you to get paint in a brush or dry a surface with a paper towel :)
Lanie Kubes says
How does one see the generic floor plan (or purchase) of this house? I love the outside and am curious to see the layout. Thanks and you did a fantastic job!!
Here’s a post with that info for ya: https://www.younghouselove.com/2013/09/laying-showhouse-plans/
We visited last Friday and had a blast! I think the consensus was that our favorite and most swoon-worthy spot out of all of the houses was the front porch of your house. We LOVED it!
There isn’t one thing I don’t like about your showhouse. I cant wait to see the rest of the pictures.
I keep thinking how busy you guys have been this past year and that you are probably needing a good long break to simply stop and smell the roses (and baby Teddy’s head, because, baby’s heads smell = amazing), yet I want more! Is that so wrong?
Sure hope they ask you to do a showhouse again next year!
Came down from Norther virginia to see my brother’s family and tour homarama for mothers’ day! We loved all the homes, and of course, your’s was the show stopper! I have never been into “art” because nothing speaks to me but then I saw the blueprint in the laundry room and fell in love. My grandfather was a home builder and my first job out of college was selling homes (for Ryan Homes), now, I love DIYing my own home. So, the blueprint art spoke to me! Where did you get the print in the laundry room? I need to find it!
Thanks Hilary! That was a HomeGoods find!
Love it! Curious about the red garden stools. Are those the actual color at Lowes? I just looked online at them and they look more pink on there website. I hope they are the like the red in your pictures because I want them!
Yes, they’re bright fire engine red. LOVE THEM! They also come in white and blue I think.
I could totally live in just these outdoor spaces! they are gorgeous
caroline [the diy nurse] says
The steps to the house were one of my favorite things. So fun and modern. SO happy you won first place- you deserve it- your hard work was obvious when touring :)
OMG, all that. Just… all THAT!
You fully deserve those awards, hands down, congrats! I need to come up with a plan for my own teeny backyard, and I think I found my inspiration pictures! And I have to redo my gutters, I think I want to look into those rain chains too.
Looking forward to that Arhaus giveaway, that’s awesome that you guys worked that one out!!! Thanks!
Do you know where the white outdoor light next to the garage is from?
Definitely an awesome home. I had been driving around the community looking at different shades of blue houses trying to find the best color for our home someday. This is the color I was looking for (along with the stain color for our deck)!
Thanks Scott! Those garage lights are from Shades of Light.
Mary @ Redo 101 says
Congratulations on the awards, fabulous job y’all!!!
The more I see it, the more I am into that blue color for the exterior, especially combined with the wood.
And, I have been thinking about your post from a while back when you announced you will cut back on frequency. This is a great move on your part. I have long admired the way you organized this website – I know how much work it is and I commend you for the execution. It makes the website an interesting destination even if you don’t have a new post that day. You have really built something here, congratulations!!!
Love the little shot of the window boxes – they make any house so happy. I’ve always gone heavy on blooming flowers, but I really like the green patina of the one you have pictured. I think I see vinca vines as the spiller, but what are the bedding plants behind them? Thanks for sharing. Things are just starting to bloom in MN so it is a relief to see some serious green from out east!
I hope John or Justin drops in with that info for you. Or it anyone can ID those for Maggie, feel free to chime in!
Congrats on the awards!!! I for one am not one bit surprised that y’all aced the curb appeal. When I saw the pics of the other houses I was like “Wow John and Sherrys is my fav by A LOT!!” I mean that is just my exact cup of tea and I am so in love just wow. So if anything it’s gratifying to have my taste validated lol. Y’all did an amazing job and you deserve all those accolades and more!
So beautiful! Congratulations on the awards – they are well-deserved.
Congratulations on the awards! All the houses are beautiful, but I think yours is the most friendly and inviting outside. Plus, you had by far the best front porch, and people love those. The patio didn’t hurt, either. Great job!
This is my dream house. Looks amazing!
I visited the Homearama this past weekend and thoroughly enjoyed your house. Your attention to detail went above and beyond some of the others. And I like how you used so many local resources…including items from the Richmond Craft Mafia. I loved seeing one of my co-workers stuffed creatures in the boys room:)
We loved working in some Richmond Craft Mafia items! They’re all so talented and their stuff definitely added those homey touches :)
Jen D says
I just LOVE your outdoor space! And the color of your home! I want to repaint my house a navy. Is it navy or more greenish-blue? We built our house just 2 years ago and still need to finish up the backyard but can’t decide on what to do. We also built a huge deck (800 sq ft) last year but the landscaping isn’t done yet. Husband wants artificial grass (we have vole problems digging up turf) which I have shutdown. LOL. Totally inspired by this outdoor space! Thanks so much for being an inspiration! And congrats!! =)
It’s definitely a dark blue color but there are green undertones in some lights (it’s one of those colors that looks very dark and navy in some lighting situations and at other times you can more clearly see those green undertones) but it would still be described as a deep blue color by everyone I think.
Liz || Shopping My Closet says
I’m in love with the blue paint!
Liz @ http://www.shoppingmycloset.com
Love this outdoor area! The furniture is perfect for the space!
I really like the idea of that rain chain.
The whole exterior is wonderful. I didn’t realize you all did so much of the design there, too.
Have you considered doing design for clients? I mean, in all that spare time you’ve got. :D
We have thought about branching into something like that someday – maybe when the kiddos are older? We still have a lot to learn!
Hi guys! Gorgeous work as always!
You give excellent sources for everything, however the one thing I’m most interested in is the one thing you didn’t source: I love me some rain chains! Where’d you get that one?
I think the builder got ours through the landscaper, but I’ve seen them on places like overstock.com and joss & main so maybe you can catch a deal there?
Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork says
You guys are amazing. Seriously! You need to start a decorator business. Not that you don’t have enough to do already, but I think this would be a great project for your portfolio should you want to do it someday. Love!
Fantastic job on the outdoor spaces! So glad you guys included window boxes. They are just so ‘homey’ and cheerful. I am also curious as to what is planted in them! Also, what did you put at the bottom of the rain chains to divert the water away from the foundation?
There are pretty oil rubbed brozne square drain covers that funnel the water into underground diverters to keep water away from the house. Wish I had a picture for you!
eileen marie says
Congrats on your win(s)! My burning question is this…would you do it (Homerama) again next year?
They usually only have one every other year, so maybe in 2016 we’ll jump back in. We definitely would love to work with John the Builder and his team again!
The outdoor couch from Arhaus is amazing!! :) And love that fireplace for smores — so beautiful.
Can you share more about the landscape uplighting? Is it professional grade? It’s very soft and inviting.
Yes, it was put in by the landscaper (named Chris, he was amazing!). One tip the builder gave us was that landscapers often can provide amazing landscape lighting instead of hiring a lighting company (who often can charge more and it’s one more person to manage). Maybe Justin or John can drop in with more info on the specific lighting for you?
Erin J. says
What color Trex boards did you use? We’re about to break ground on our new deck and have been trying to decide between the different Trex colors and quality (i.e., Transcend, Enhance, or Select). I like what you guys chose and would love your input! :)
Oh man, we chose the color/type from a booklet that John gave us and then he ordered it but I can’t remember the specific type. Hope he or Justin can drop in with that info!
Reshma Sanjeev says
Sherry & John, Congratulations on the award….not one but 3!!! The patio’s look simple and comfortable….not overly crowded and cluttered. Loved it.
Hands down, you deserved the awards. Stunning, simply stunning!
Valerie Broaddus says
Any plans on making a “Show Home” tab at the top of the YHL home page? I have a feeling I am going to want to come back and reference all the info yall have documented later. :)
It looks gorgeous!
We’d love to add the showhouse to our House Tour tab when we’re done revealing all the sources/rooms for sure!
Sara Palacios says
New reader here from Austin, TX. I just stumbled upon your site and am so impressed with your work. I think the two of you are so talented! Can’t wait to explore all of the other postings!
Wow, I see why you keep saying the outdoor spaces are some of your favorites! Looks amazing!
Suzy B says
Wow…love the outdoor space especially the front porch. Wish we could hang a porch swing but no place to fit one. Still think the blue house color and white trim is so new and fresh. Congrats on the awards. Should have won a lighting award….best lights out of all the homes!!! I got some many great ideas from all your pics. Love you guys!