Even an interior designer can neglect the “exterior design” when moving into a new house. But the day comes when it’s definitely time for a backyard makeover.
That pretty much describes the situation with Eileen Beaver. She’s all about excellent design, as you’ll see on her blog A Creative Day, but her backyard was kind of underwhelming.
That is, until she took part in our Patio Style Challenge. That’s where we send some of our favorite design and décor bloggers new patio sets from The Home Depot to generate great patio and deck decorating ideas.
Eileen’s new, improved backyard is colorful and stylish, but keeps comfort and outdoor relaxation a priority. It’s great for lounging or entertaining. (We’re hoping for an invitation to brunch on her back deck sometime soon.) There’s a hanging herb garden, too!
Take a look…
The mister and I are true South Carolinians–year-long outdoor living is our way of life. The weather is gorgeous most of the year, which calls for many backyard brunches, glasses of wine and grilling. We bought our 1940s bungalow in the winter of last year and spent most of the year renovating the interior, which left our sadly neglected back yard to be tackled this spring.
When The Home Depot asked me to participate in the Patio Style Challenge, it was the perfect push to create a welcoming living space out of an area that had definitely gotten the short end of the stick!
Here is a glimpse at the backyard before we got to work on improving it:
Before we bought our house, it was a rental, which meant the backyard was in a sad state and the super bright white trim next to the red brick hurt my eyes.
The first step was warming up the trim and constructing a small deck for dining. The deck steps down onto a pea gravel patio, where our long beloved fire pit and Pawley’s Island Hammock now live.
Adding a Deck and Fresh Paint
The mister built the deck. (Did I mention he is super handy?)
While he worked on that, I tackled the trim on the house with Behr Premium Plus exterior paint. I had Home Depot match a color I had been considering. I was thrilled with how the Behr paint covered. We went from bright white to a warm grey/taupe in one coat.
I did a fun color on our back door too– Behr’s Dragonfly.
It’s amazing the difference fresh paint can make to the outside of a home!
The Outdoor Dining Set
I knew I wanted a round dining table that would be comfortable enough to encourage everyone to stay for another glass of wine.
The Hampton Bay Santa Maria was the perfect pick for us. The chairs swivel and are so comfortable. Plus the cast-aluminum construction makes it easy to clean the dining set off when pollen creates a yellow layer on everything!
We strung patio lights over the deck and patio areas to create a lovely soft lighting at night.
A Colorful Brunch al Fresco
Brunch is one of my favorite meals of the day, so I was happy to host a fun (and delicious!) late-morning meal with friends the other weekend. I pulled out all my favorite dishes and picked up some fresh croissants and mimosas for the perfect brunch menu.
The Otomi fabric table covering adds such a fun punch of color. It’s the perfect background for all the spring buds and blooms.
I also used stems from a gorgeous cherry tree in our backyard to fill vases throughout my house.
Some Added Color
To brighten up one corner of the deck, I grabbed some simple planters. I spray painted one orange and added some mint paint to the bottom of the other. The Home Depot had some gorgeous succulents, which I planted along with some grasses that go great with my lemon tree.
A Hanging Herb Garden
We do a lot of grilling in the backyard, so one thing I always like to have on hand is fresh herbs. With that in mind, we built a fun and easy hanging herb garden. I got the idea for a kitchen organization DIY project from A Beautiful Mess, which I modified for plants. I painted some simple pots and shower rods, and then hung them using shower hooks. I added chalkboard labels to the pots, making it easy to switch out herbs if I accidentally kill my basil!
The hanging herb garden added some much needed color to this corner of the deck and makes it easy to grab whatever herb our recipe calls for.
The Fire Pit
Our other favorite part of the backyard is the fire pit area, which has already seen many s’mores parties.
I placed Adirondack-style chairs around the fire pit. They’re extremely comfortable, and I love that I can hose them off when they get dirty.
The hammock is a very popular spot to curl up on and read or take a nap. Even our Golden Retriever Rowan likes to get her swing on.
The backyard has come so far since we started and I’m so grateful for such a beautiful and inviting space to enjoy this gorgeous spring weather.
Eileen Beaver studied architecture in college and now spends her time working in interior design. She and her husband are about to undergo a fairly radical change in lifestyle, though–they’re expecting twins! Read her ideas on design and decor (and soon, motherhood, no doubt) on her blog A Creative Day. You can see more photos of her new backyard on her blog.
For more backyard makeover ideas and inspiration, see other Patio Style Challenges as well as our Patio Style Challenge board on Pinterest. And browse our online Outdoor Living Department for everything you need for your patio, backyard or garden.
Style Challenge is a series of posts from guest contributors who aim to bring you fresh inspiration and ideas for your home and garden using a single Home Depot product as a starting point. Eileen received the patio set from The Home Depot and a gift card. The opinions and ideas Eileen expressed are her own.