Our New Favorite Place
First off, let me just preface this backyard makeover DIY post with 1. This project was NOT done in a weekend! That would have been INSANE. and 2. I did little to no work. Full disclosure here! I picked out flowers and pots (my specialities, as you know….couldn’t give that up!), and that’s it. Ryan did this whole thing by himself (yes, I am absolutely serious, he needs a standing ovation for that) with the exception of two days when he had a friend help him move rocks. So when I say this outdoor area was truly a labor of love, it was.
For the last two-ish months, Ryan has spent every spare second he had in the backyard shoveling gravel, moving pavers, re-sodding, building planters, wiring and moving electrical outlets, power washing, planting, and all around being manly in an effort to elevate our backyard landscaping from drab to fab. I should also mention this was all his vision. So, as much as I want to take credit for this glorious backyard transformation, I cannot.
Backyard Before And After Pics: A Disclaimer
I debated for a LONG time whether or not to show you the before photos because they are BAD. Like, embarrassing, truly terrible, like-who-even-are-these-people bad. We had seriously let the backyard go, and it was far from a pretty sight or the oasis we desperately wanted. Between a busy travel schedule and being overloaded at work, we quite literally couldn’t keep up with it. But one afternoon, Ryan had enough of me calling our backyard “The Land Before Time” and decided to bring it back to life! And that is just what he did. The transformation is maybe one of the best overhauls of all the outdoor spaces to ever exists. Dramatic? Accurate? I’ll let you be the judge, but I’m feeling pretty confident about the After pics!
^^^ Notice the random garbage can?? Not sure where that’s from. So very sorry you have to see that.
^^^ This was an old gravel bed filled with large river rocks. Last year, we had hauled ALL of those rocks out and far FAR away, but never quite finished the job!
^^^ Note the hammock stand with no actual hammock. What.is.happening. And, it’s sitting in a dead flower bed. Wow, I’m in shock. Is anybody else?! I really shouldn’t be showing you all of this! It was soon taken over by weeds.
I honestly cannot believe what he pulled off. It’s so incredibly beautiful, peaceful, comfortable, and the ultimate outdoor living space. We practically live out here now, spending as much time outdoors as we possibly can. It’s hands down my favorite place in our home. I’m so thankful for Ryan’s serious handiwork (should he maybe be a landscape designer or landscape architect in his free time?! ha!), and the hundreds of hours he put into this project because our house really feels like a home now–raised beds and all. Next up, I’m ready for maybe…a full outdoor kitchen? A water feature? What does everyone think about a fire pit? Truly, I’m thinking the possibilities are endless, now that I know what we (okay, Ryan!!) are capable of!
Backyard DIY Series
So, since Ryan DIYed the heck out of this–from the concrete patio to the outdoor dining space!–and he’s always an absolute perfectionist, we have the step-by-step instructions ready for you to make this happen in your home! And don’t worry, he’s going to walk you through some really fun and easy projects that will change your backyard in a snap. Even though our backyard as a whole took months, he finished each project a weekend at a time.
So have no fear, this is totally doable! Plus he/we already made the mistakes… so we’ll let you know how not to make the same ones. Again, did I mention he’s a perfectionist?! You are in good hands!
Next Week’s DIY: How to Hang Canopy Lights
Next week, I’m going to let him take over on Wednesday and show you how to DIY your own backyard canopy lights the right way! Believe me when I say this: there is a right way to do this, and a wrong way to do this. And we may or may not being saying that based on experience! HA! I’m serious though, these things aren’t going ANYWHERE. Plus this is one of the first projects he finished, and it made suuuuch an impact! You’ll be doing dinner alfresco in no time!
Outdoor Furniture Joss & Main c/o // Garden Stools Joss & Main c/o // Picnic Table (Craig’s List, similar here) // Umbrella, Pillows, & Pillows Pottery Barn // Anthropologie Earrings // H&M Skirt (Similar) // Draper James Top
Keep Reading Our Backyard DIY Series:
Part 2 ““ How to hang String Lights
Part 4 ““ How to Build a Cedar Wood Planter
Part 5 ““ How We Installed the Pavers & Gravel
Photographed by Gregory Daniel