My Great Outdoors: Paula's Pizza Patio Makeover

Name: Paula
Location: Matteson, IL
Type of space: Outdoor patio
Tell us about your outdoor project and how you enjoy it: For Father's Day this year, my mother and I decided to go all out for my pizza-loving father. For many years we used our back patio as a dumping ground for our seasonal junk. This summer (actually only an astonishing 11 days) we turned it into a pizza coliseum. The structure consists of a pergola with monogrammed edging, a one of a kind countertop, and a wood-burning pizza oven. We also made detailed mosaic pizzas and a stone seating area to honor the chef.

How did you create it? With the help of my Aunt Michelle, we drew up a plan and made a list of supplies to build a one of a kind structure. The pergola is made of red cedar which we cut, built, and notched together. The base is made out of cinderblocks and covered in stone facing which took the bulk of time to construct.

The countertop is concrete, which we mixed and poured into place, and in laid two mosaic pizzas for a special touch. The project was then finished up by some quick landscaping and lighting just in time for Father's Day this year. It was a grueling eleven days with a small crew consisting of my mother, aunt, sister, and good friends who were willing to work in hopes of a "Poppy's Pizza" in return. The end result was more than any of us expected, and definitely worth the work.

Recommended store, site, product or resource? Home Depot(supplies), Fox Lumber (wood used), and Forno Bravo (pizza oven).

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.