Backyard makeover: A DIY renovation
Before the backyard makeover
Click on this image to see how this backyard was transformed.
Sleek square-cut flagstone makes up the new patio. Staining the raised planter beds the same colour as the stone lends the space a seamless feel while allowing the varying tones and textures of the greenery to take centre stage. The lush foliage also softens the hard contours of the patio and outdoor furniture.
Thinking of adding a patio to your backyard? Check out our helpful guide on how to install a hardscape patio. In order to afford the backyard I envisioned, I knew I’d have to do everything myself – tear down, clear out, rebuild. A complete overhaul meant I could do whatever I wanted, and what I wanted was a sleek, contemporary backyard. I liked the slate but needed to find a more climate-friendly solution that wouldn’t flake and disintegrate. Enter square-cut flagstone. I also liked the planter beds surrounding the backyard, but this time I’d use pressure-treated wood and plastic lining to protect the wood from the soil and make the planters more modern-looking by staining them the same colour as the flagstone. The pond would need to be ripped out and rebuilt as well; a clean, rectangular shape would echo the look of the flagstone nicely. I had some time off in the spring, so I figured I could get this sucker wrapped up in about three weeks, maybe four, if I took things at a leisurely pace. It took longer – and there was nothing leisurely about it.
After 127 days, the completed project looks like it was done by a team of pros, right down to the furnishings, which continue homeowner Karen Bertelsen’s vision of having a contemporary retreat.
Revamping the backyard
Karen took on the challenge of revamping her derelict backyard with gusto. From digging to sawing to levelling, there was no job she couldn’t handle.
Karen reused leftover pieces of slate from the old patio to create the waterfall in the pond. To make things interesting for the fish and pond plants, she made the pond two levels deep.
When Karen’s real estate agent first took her to view this property many moons ago, she brought her through the back door because the yard was the showpiece. The outdoor living space is now just as beautiful as it was then – but even better.
For more outdoor decor advice, we have the top backyard design tips and essentials.