Sarah Renner is an elementary teacher turned organization coach over at Organized with Kids. She helps moms with young children who are overwhelmed by their home and busy schedule by teaching them a step-by-step organization method, allowing them to feel in control of their busy lives. Sarah and her husband, Jason, have two girls and recently remodeled their outdoor living space. With so many family memories already made, we spoke with Sarah to get the details on how she turned her dream into reality with Wolf Serenity Decking™.
How did you become an organization coach?
I have been drawn to organization since I was a young girl! I loved keeping my room neat and tidy and felt best when everything was in its place. I spent 15 years teaching grade three and Kindergarten and experienced the benefits of an organized classroom and teaching children to contribute! During my maternity leave with my youngest daughter, I decided to start a blog to provide parents with simple tips and resources to get and stay organized. The blog grew and so did my passion to help mamas experience more freedom in their homes, so I decided to take a leap of faith and leave teaching in 2018 to pursue organization coaching. I recently started the “OWK membership” for mamas and it has been an incredibly fulfilling experience!
What inspired you to remodel your outdoor living space?
When we first moved into our home nine years ago, the backyard was a blank slate. We created a simple gravel patio and laid down sod and that was about it! We found we weren’t spending as much time outside as we hoped we would, and the little rocks from the patio were always finding their way into our home. We began to save up and plan a “backyard retreat.” We wanted to be able to walk out onto the deck barefoot, host family and friends, lounge, grill and eat outside. We were specifically looking for low maintenance products.
How was the planning process for designing your deck?
The planning process is the most important aspect of creating a space that will truly serve the needs of your family! I always teach my clients to take time to reflect on their ideal vision for the space we are working on before beginning the project. Your vision helps to keep you focused on the end goal as you make decisions, and it motivates you to keep going when you are in the middle of the mess. We decided we wanted to go with a modern lake house design as that complements the interior style of our home. I headed to Pinterest for inspiration and researched maintenance deck boards and furniture online. We made sure to double check all measurements to be sure everything would fit. We made lots of tweaks and adjustments to our plan before buying our product.
How did you choose Wolf Serenity Decking? What performance features do you value the most?
We have always been drawn to quality and were impressed that we could get a premium product without the premium price! The Deck Store in Edmonton offered Wolf Serenity Decking in Sand Castle, such a stylish and timeless option and exactly what I was looking for to achieve the “lake house” feel. The texture of the boards was so believable, and we were excited to find out that the deck boards are both stain and fade resistant as we have a dog, kids and a West facing backyard! Wolf Serenity Decking is the only product we could find that had double sided boards, which meant that we could use it for our gorgeous and functional privacy screens! We chose Weathered Ipe from the Tropical Hardwoods collection for our privacy screens as it contrasts beautifully with the Sand Castle floor boards. Finally, our deck is low to the ground, so we appreciated that PVC decking is good against moisture and doesn’t absorb water.
Who designed and built your deck? How was the install process?
Jason used a program called, Sketchup to design our deck in 3D version. Jason is not a contractor, just a handy guy and a teacher by trade, but he found the deck building process smooth and enjoyable! It turned out to be a special Father-Son project as Jason and his dad built the deck together. Because of the planning that went in before deck building, each deck board had a home and there was practically no waste after the deck had been completed.
Tell us about the ‘zones’ you created.
During the “vision stage” of deck planning, Jason and I thought about how we wanted our deck to serve us. We decided to build our deck around 3 zones: Grilling, Dining and Lounging. The top deck is our grilling area. Jason loves to use his Louisiana Grill almost every day so having quick and easy access was a must. A few steps down, we created a dining area that was big enough to comfortably seat 8 people. We also have room for impromptu dance parties next to the table! Finally, a step up and you are in the lounging area. We added extra seating, an umbrella for shade and a fire table so that friends and family could really put their feet up and relax!
From when you first visualized your new outdoor space to now that it’s complete, do you feel you got what you wanted out it? Is there anything you would do differently?
It’s exactly what we wanted. Our vision came to life! In fact, the custom privacy screens made out of the gorgeous Weathered Ipe deck boards are even more beautiful and functional than we could have ever imagined!
How has updating your deck changed the way your family uses the space?
We have fully embraced outdoor living! This beautiful and welcoming space has encouraged family togetherness. Jason and I enjoy morning coffee on the deck, our daughters often read or play on the deck, we eat almost all of our meals outside and we love hosting family and friends in this space.
Can you share any special memories that took place since the remodel?
One of our favorite memories is experiencing movie night on the deck! We all cuddle up on the couch, turn on the fire and bring out a TV for Friday night movie night. We end the night by gazing up at the stars!
Have you held family gatherings; do you entertain?
YES! We love to entertain. We use the large table to enjoy long dinners, turn up the speaker for impromptu dance parties, and enjoy long conversations in the lounge area around the fire late into the evening. Everyone feels so relaxed when they are at the “Renner Retreat.”
How has having a newly remodeled space transformed your home?
We have large windows at the back of our home and every day we enjoy looking out into our little backyard oasis! We now feel like the transition from indoors to out is seamless and so welcoming!
Would you recommend Wolf Serenity Decking to a friend?
100% recommend! The quality, beauty and functionality cannot be beat!