I’m really excited to share one of our biggest DIY projects to-date.  Before we get into the details I have to give credit where credit is due.  Aside from our design collaboration and help from a friend to lay some of the bricks, this project was all Chris.  He worked hard and the results were beyond what I had imagined!

When Chris and I bought our house it was in need of some major love.  We bought it “as is” and as such it needed a few cosmetic procedures.  We’ve repainted, redone some flooring and landscaped among other things.

A couple of years ago we decided to make our backyard our focus project.  With a second baby on the way we knew having a functional backyard to hang out in would be really handy to take care of a newborn and toddler at the same time.  At the time we only had a deck, which we had built for us the year prior.  The grass, if you can call it that, was in a sad state.  It’s especially hard to keep your lawn nice when your surrounding neighbour’s yards are full of weeds (those suckers spread fast!).

What’s great about our design is that it really maximizes a small space.  I mean postage size small.  Our lot is only about 20 feet wide.  Our goal was to create a backyard with specific design elements to cater to everyone: a play area, seating area and cooking/dining area.

As I mentioned above, the results really did exceed my expectations.  We removed all the grass and installed turf for the kid’s play area.  We created a stone seating area, referred to as the conversation area, which wraps around the turf and leads out the back.  With the deck already in place we simply configured it to make the most out of the area.

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Deck Collage

You’ll notice in the pictures we still have a garden bed that is empty.  It’s an ongoing joke in our house that we only ever complete 90% of a project.  Eventually we’ll get that garden going, but it hasn’t been a priority.

My one regret with this project, I didn’t back up the before and during pictures I had taken, so you can’t see the state our yard was in.

This project is a great example that with a little planning, lots of consultation with those in the know, and some sweat equity, anyone can create their own backyard oasis, even if you live on a postage stamp lot.

Backyard DIY