Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | March 12, 2014

Creating Memorable and Functional Walkways

When we move to the Small House we had no sidewalks or pathways to enter our home. While this is not uncommon in rural areas, the problem was every time we walked out to the car our shoes got soaked with the dew from the grass. I took to wearing my muck boots and carrying the shoes I planned to wear but in pain for me and a bit embarrassing for my guests.

So we began to save up our money for sidewalks and I began to make my plans for what I wanted.

Because we own a ranch-style home with very linear lines I knew I wanted curving sidewalks.  We also have two driveways, one driveway as you approach our homes front door and another at the pole barn a short walk away.

We also have an issue with too narrow doorways in the former garage side of our home and anything large like a sofa or a refrigerator has to arrive using a dolly through our second front door and that meant cement that ran up to the kick board and door frame.

So each sidewalk had its own unique needs.

Three Season Porch East Sidewalk: This classic style sidewalk links our pole barn driveway turnaround and the three season porch. This egress want right by an existing crab apple tree so I curved the sidewalk around the tree making a circle bed under it and places cement benches along the way for visual interest and a resting spot.  This has become a favorite spot to sit, sip lemonade and watch the birds in the spring and summer.


An early spring view of the circle bed sidewalk, benches and when the crab apple tree is in its bloom.

Three Season Porch Back Sidewalk: This sidewalk is my favorite one of the three. I love its seriously curving lines and the low planting beds I have created on both side of it. I choose low growing plants because I did not want to block our view of the birds coming in for a meal or a bath when we sit in our porch. This sidewalk links our three season porch with the bird feeding bed beyond it.


The curving sidewalk framed by low growing plants outside our three season porch.

Front of House Sidewalk: This sidewalk with its landscaping makes a kind of low courtyard that runs parallel to our home and then curves up to the West side front door.  I created flower beds on both sides of this sidewalk for visual interest and placed a limestone bench at the end as a kind of sculptural element. This sidewalk is wide enough to haul our garden cart over it or a moving dolly carrying something heavy in and out of the house.  The poured cement gradually rises up meet the door frame for the minimal amount of lifting possible.


A summer view of the front of the house sidewalk and limestone bench at its end.

My overall goal was to design three beautiful entry points to our home as possible, while providing functionality for us, our family and  our guests.

Small House / Big Sky Donna


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