Whether your dream backyard is designed for entertaining a crowd or just relaxing with a good book, our landscaping and remodeling pros pull out all the stops to take these backyards from blah to breathtaking.
Before: Buggy Backyard
Buying a cottage on Cape Cod was the homeowners’ dream but the weedy, wooded, spider- and mosquito-filled lot had become a nightmare.
After: Dream Realized
Chris Lambton and crew push back the wilderness and clear the weeds and fallen, rotting trees then extend the deck to create designated dining and food prep areas. Insect-repellant flowers and herbs, like lavender and marigolds, keep pests at bay while a slate pathway and patio lead off to a small pond and a shady hanging daybed.
Before: Barren Lot
With just a few weedy patches surrounded by overgrown bushes this backyard isn’t the relaxing retreat the homeowners envisioned.
After: Private Oasis
New turf, borders filled with low-maintenance plants and an Old World-inspired fountain give this backyard a park-like feel. Landscape designer Sara Bendrick added a long, open pergola leading to a shady garden oasis that features cushy bench seating and an outdoor fireplace that can also function as a grill.
Before: Safety Hazard
A too-small deck that’s literally falling apart and neglected, overgrown lot filled with leftover building materials make this unusable backyard the family’s least favorite area of the home.
After: Picture Perfect
A sprawling two-level cedar deck and brick patio anchored by an outdoor fireplace and pergola provide ample space for alfresco dining and relaxing with friends or family. To soften all the hardscape, Chris Lambton and crew pushed back the wooded area to make room for a sinuous bed filled with perennials for year-round appeal and blooming annuals for color.
Before: Partially Finished Rooftop
When you call an urban high-rise home, your “backyard” is hundreds of feet above the ground. The views from this Chicago rooftop are spectacular but the full-sun exposure and lack of privacy mean this awesome outdoor space is seldom used by the homeowners.
After: Party Perfect, With a View
Interior designer Alison Victoria gives the outdoor space an indoor feel with exotic ipe flooring and an outdoor kitchen complete with a functional sink, mini fridge and granite countertop. Planters filled with mature trees lend privacy while a pergola with retractable fabric awnings provides shade.
Before: Basic Backyard
The homeowners love to entertain outdoors so they added a brick paver patio, small grill and dining table to their backyard — but the only way to access the outdoor area is down a flight of stairs and through the basement making grilling out a hassle.
After: Multiple Outdoor Living Areas
Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri, the Cousins on Call dramatically increase the home’s outdoor living area with a 2-story deck featuring a full outdoor kitchen upstairs with a cozy Moroccan-inspired lounge beneath. A massive bluestone patio, hanging fire pit, new sod and dining table complete the backyard’s transformation.