Our house has two small atriums, one is off of the kitchen, and the other is actually located in the master bathroom (it’s very tiny!). On all of our real estate paperwork, the house is called a townhouse, although it’s more like a patio home in my opinion. It’s one story and has a front and backyard, but no side yards – because those walls are shared with the houses on either side. Because there can’t be any windows on the sides of the house, I really appreciate the natural light from the atriums. I’m assuming that’s why they designed the house to have them!
The atrium located off of the kitchen was in a pretty sad state when we moved in.
When my Mom was in town, she and Shawn removed all of the bricks together.
I wanted to install some sort of decking in the atrium and use the space for a container garden. I wasn’t too keen on planting directly into the soil, mainly because I didn’t want to be consistently watering plants so close to the walls of our house. I’m a bit paranoid about water damage.
The search to find an affordable decking option led us to Ikea (of course). We bought Platta decking, which comes in squares and snaps together easily.
Shawn raked the atrium floor until it was as smooth as possible. It would’ve been ideal to lay the Ikea decking on top of a flat surface like cement or bricks, but it ended up working fine on top of bare soil.
We laid down some landscape fabric in the hopes that it would suppress weed growth.
And Shawn began laying down squares. We found that the Platta decking doesn’t actually give you a satisfactory “snap” together feeling – it’s more like they just lay down next to each other.
We only needed to use the clippers to snip off the black plastic loops to fit the last row of squares into place.
It was random chance that we didn’t need to cut any of the squares to get a (semi-) perfect fit. The back wall does have a small gap, but we plan to have so many plant pots in the atrium that it shouldn’t be noticeable. I’m also considering snipping off some individual pieces of wood from more Platta decking to fill the gap.
For about a month we had a lizard hanging out on the atrium screen door every day, without fail. I loved it – it felt like we were in his atrium instead of him being in ours. Here’s a totally necessary photo of Shawn having a moment with the lizard…
Moving on – I knew I wanted a small statue among the plants in the atrium, and I ended up finding a buddha statue that I liked at HomeGoods, of all places.
We don’t have much of a container garden yet, so I’ll have to post again when we do. Here’s our atrium for now.