It has been a major labor of love over the last three months, but I’m so excited for this backyard reveal! Hopefully you can glean some backyard ideas for your own home.
BEFORE BACKYARD IDEAS
I would like to say that this image and video (taken before implementing any backyard ideas) was a fair representation, but it snowed lightly that day in late February, and it almost made the mud pit of a backyard look pretty…almost.
Note: All products mentioned here were sponsored but the opinions are 100% my own.
In addition to the mud pit, which hasn’t grown grass in the last three years, I want you to notice the exposed roots. The absence of soil was caused by the lack of grass to hold it in place. The grass wouldn’t grow because the trees were too lush and shady…but the trees are a necessity bc of road noise…so here we are.
I also want you to notice the slope of the yard. Not fun.
Also, in the video I you can see that I had a hodge-podge of furniture, but I was able to reuse most of it by staining the wood, adding trim, and sewing cute Spoonflower fabric.
The Plan: Back Yard Ideas
Here was the plan that I made around December/January time period. My approach was to treat the backyard like I would a huge room in a home by breaking it up into zones. Pictured in the graphic you can see that the plan was to extend the patio to create two seating areas. I wanted to softed that space by installing flower beds. Then, as both a pretty and practical element, I had planned to build out a gravel walkway. Everything beyond the walkway was to be covered in mulch.
Other zones included a small but very usable patch of imitation grass and a trampoline zone on the far end of the lawn. Our kids are all big enough that we are now able to put this eye-sore out of site a ways.
As far as landscaping goes, we planned to extended the brick patio out with only a slight slope…just enough to keep proper drainage. We also intended to leveled off the grass area a little.
One thing that changed from the conception to the completion of the project was the elevation of the walkway. My plan was to let it follow the natural slope of the yard. My husband, however, wanted to build it up. Time will tell how our tree roots like this decision.
AFTER: Backyard Ideas
It is fun to look back at where we started, what I envisioned, and how close we actually got. Ready for this?
I can’t even tell you how much fun it has been to have such a lovely and usable space. Now that you have seen the pull-back images, let me show you the lovely vignettes from each of the zones.
Backyard Ideas | Patio Designs
To anchor the two zones I used two 8×10 Ruggable rugs. I love a crisp black and white element in an outdoor space but was concerned about black and white rugs getting dirty until I remebered that Ruggable sells an outdoor machine washable rug. Now I can give the top part an occasional wash to keep it looking fresh. Save 10% for a limited time by using FUNJEWEL10.
I built a frame and added this white plastic lattice element to the space. Again, it adds a freshness that wasn’t there before.
Remember that old bench? It got a face lift. See how I added finials, lattice, stain, and Spoonflower fabric? This fabric is such an epic design and I was able to ask Holli to resize it larger for me. I printed it out on Recycled Cotton Canvas, Spoonflower’s indoor/outdoor fabric. I hope to spray it in a colorfast spray to make it last even longer.
I faux finished that gorgeous pair of tierra Verde Piazza planters. They are unbreakable, can be used indoors or outdoors, and come with an integrated water reservoir.
I like the way the two Safavieh umbrellas I purchased coordinate without being a perfect match.
I used Spoonflower Recycled Cotton Canvas fabric on the chairs too. The Shagreen design was made by Danika Herrick, and I’d say she knocked it out of the ball park. Danika has a huge collection of prints on Spoonflower, many of which are classic chinoiserie.
Backyard Ideas | Patio Designs
One of my very favorite backyard ideas that we implimented was the use of a curved sectional. Why curved? Our deck is curved-ished (perhaps octagonal is more accurate), and the trampoline is obviously round. I wanted to keep with the organicly shaped theme and installed a round-ish brick patio extension. Then it only made sense to go with a round sectional.
We are obsessed with this Jesvita Safavieh set. I love how it LOOKS like wicker but isn’t! That should help it hold up to the elements longer. Also, the half circle is comprised of three sections that can come apart if you need to social distance or if your firepit gets a little too hot.
I also really like the light color of this Jesvita Safavieh set. I have seen a lot of dark brown or black patio furniture but this light wicker color is a breath of fresh air.
The ottoman is a great size. If we ever decide to put a firepit here I plan to move this piece to the sunroom for a much needed coffee table.
I paired the sectional with two plinth base swivel chairs and painted them in Kelly Wearster x Farrow and Ball Palm Green. Such a gorgous color! You can see the before images on my DIY chair cushion tutorial
Backyard Ideas | Imitation Grass
We wondered if going with imitation grass would be the right choice. Now that we have had Select Surfaces artificial grass from Sam’s Club for a few weeks we know that it was. It is so soft, the kids love it, and it beats a year-round mud pit any day.
Luckily the grass is pet and kid friendly. We opted to use Zeolite as infill and it is also advertised as safe, so I have no worries as they play out back. Our backyard isn’t huge, but this little patch is enough to kick the ball and play around. If you are considering this option, you may want to check out my faux grass installation tutorial.
Backyard Ideas | Hammock
My kid’s have been asking for a hammock for years. My plan is to sew on this fun Hollie Zollinger fabric for Spoonflower. I was able to ask Hollie to custom color all of the fabrics.
Backyard Ideas | Deck Ideas
We repainted our deck last summer and made over some chairs and got a new table from Candace Heil.
Brick Mason- Tony Mossomele (703-930-9820)
Holly Zollinger for Spoonflower Fabric (Herons) Recycled cotton Canvas
Holly Zollinger for Spoonflower Fabric– on Hammock in Recycled cotton Canvas
Danika Herrick for Spoonflower- Shagreen in Recycled cotton Canvas
Black and white machine washable rugs- Ruggable
Palm Green paint on chairs- Kelly Wearstler x Farrow and Ball
Planters- Smith and Hawken for Target
Tierra Verde Piazza planters (painted with faux finish)
Imitation Grass- Select Surfaces
I purchased the Umbrella
FYI- (a gift from a good friend years ago) Kate Spade New York Pierrepont Place Serving Tray 17.25”
Thanks so much for joining me on this backyard makeover. It has been quite a journey and my hope is that you may have been able to find a backyard idea that you can take back to your own home.
Beautiful Jewel. I know you are thrilled to have all of that wonderful space for family and friends. Super congrats on a fabulous makeover. Susie from Chelsea Project
I passed out from awe. Just Jewel. Truly unbelievable. You deserve more than ice cream for a reward!!
I am blown away! You all did a fabulous job and it is so inviting & beautiful!
Thanks so much for reading it Susie! I hope you are well. Are you doing the ORC this time?
Thanks Nancy! I’m secretly going to miss hauling rocks, dirt, and mulch. LOL. It was actually kind of fun.
Thanks Michelle! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. That is so kind!
This is absolutely amazing! My backyard is gross, so I spend zero time outside (missing vitamin d). But this transformation just gave me the energy I might need to work on it! Beautiful Jewel!
This is an amazing transformation!!!! 🤩 Inside or Outside you have the MAGIC touch that makes everything better!
LOL 😆. I’ve been there! Good luck to you Cassandra. The good news is that I really enjoyed doing it! Thanks for taking the time to comment.
Aw thanks Diane! It was so great to meet you today!
I love everything about this space. My favorite is the lattice area. Will the mirror and candlesticks stay out or where they used for staging? I love all your designs. You are a fierce and adventurous designer!
Jewel, this looks incredible! Super inspiring!
It turned out just beautifully and I’ve really enjoyed watching the process! I’m really interested in the turf because we live in the hill country, which is really just rocks. I’m glad to see that I can actually diy it one of these days!
Thanks so much. That’s a great question. I’m debating keeping them up. I have some spar varnish I could throw on the mirror frame. I’m wondering how that would look though. It may turn it yellow. The candles would probably melt during the heat of a Virginia summer but I’m sure I could find a faux candle substitute if I really put my mind to it. So short answer…I don’t know yet. 🤣
Thanks so much Haneen! It has been a really fun project, especially working during glorious Virginia Spring time.
Hi Traci! It’s definitely a lot of work, but doable.
I love the zones! I love the turf! I love how it feels simultaneously elegant and playful! Your hard work has really paid off and I’m so excited for this amazing oasis you and your family have cultivated! Well done – I hope you have many joy-filled gatherings here for years to come!
Thanks so much Mandy! I hope so too!!!
You amaze and inspire me with your gorgeous projects. Love this outdoor space!
Oh Veronica, you are so supportive and I love you for it. Thanks!