A Gorgeous Backyard Makeover With an Interior Designer’s Touch

Posted by: on May 9th, 2014 | 33 Comments
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Gorgeous Backyard Makeover by Kristin Jackson of The Hunted Interior

What happens when an interior designer turns her creative attention outdoors? You get a gorgeous backyard makeover that raises the bar on backyard redesigns everywhere.

We’re talking about the amazing work of designer Kristin Jackson, who’s the author of the very popular blog The Hunted Interior. We were thrilled that she agreed to take part in her second Patio Style Challenge

In her previous Patio Style Challenge, she focused on the deck on her house. This time, she transforms her whole backyard into a big, beautifully decorated outdoor living room. There’s so much to love–the tree-hugging deck, the ingenious use for a tree stump… and the glam flamingos. 

Get ready to take notes. This backyard makeover is amazing.

After completing last year’s Patio Style Challenge, I had no idea what we were going to do this year. There was no way I was going to redo all the hard work we put into last year’s project, so I proposed a brand new outdoor space to utilize our completely under used plot of land in our backyard. After living in our home for six years and doing nothing with the landscape under four large trees, we made a plan to create an outdoor oasis to entertain, play and enjoy.

As you can see below, not much playing has been going on here folks.This was our before. Granted this was taken in January, so the view definitely improves with some grass, leaves and beauty that spring brings, but let’s just be honest… there is zero curb appeal here.

Gorgeous Backyard Makeover: Before and After

The Problems with the Backyard

  • The wide canopy of all the trees keeps any grass from growing below.
  • The lovely powder blue shed has been a thorn in my side since the day we moved in. It was functional yes, but was just an eyesore to me.
  • We love, love, love our neighbors, but… we have zero privacy. And my style isn’t really chain link chic.

The Backyard Makeover Plan

  • Create a floating island deck within the trees.
  • Give the shed a little loving.
  • Add a privacy screen of some sort.
  • And have some fun!

Gorgeous Backyard Makeover

After two months of hard work (all on our own), we have surpassed all of our goals and have never been happier with our now backyard oasis. Every inch has a purpose for our family, and for the first time ever, our neighbors are stopping by and complimenting our yard.

The new Brown Jordan Highland outdoor furniture could not fit in any better. The transitional lines, the beautifully woven rattan all merge right into our space perfectly. Wanting to achieve my absolute dream look, I did recover the original Cinnabar cushions using a black and white cabana stripe. Recovering your cushions is such an easy way to add a custom look to any new or existing set. Now the best part is, we have two sets of covers when one needs to be cleaned… or when the mood strikes! I’m always switching things up around here!

Gorgeous Backyard Makeover

The Floating Deck in the Trees

We maintained the existing landscape and built our deck around the trees. This provides the most beautiful view when you are lying on the sofa looking up into the trees. Although we are only one step up off the ground, it has a bit of a tree house effect.

Building the deck was a two-weekend project for my husband and me. I’ve written a quick rundown on how we built this deck here on The Home Depot Blog.

Gorgeous Backyard Makeover: Kristin Jackson on her backyard deck

Giving the Shed Some Love

The shed always felt like a postage stamp placed in the middle of our yard. Now that it attaches to our new deck, it feels purposeful rather than a mistake.

I took into account that I wanted an outdoor room, and dressed the side of the shed with art as I would in any of my interiors. I used a collection of plates we have had for ages. They previously had picture hangers glued onto the back as they were hung in a similar fashion years ago. I pulled them out, laid out my design and hung them on screws and added some outdoor caulk for a little extra insurance as they are in the elements. I have to say, they have been up for almost two months in the rain, snow, sun and are holding up beautifully!

Gorgeous Backyard Makeover

Tree Stump Becomes Outdoor Serving Table

Along the way, we ran into a few problems, as you would in any large project. One of which was learning our Black Walnut tree was diseased. Once we took the tree down and were left with a giant stump, we went with it… We added a wire wheel round our neighbors had and attached it to the stump at standard bar height.

Now it is a great place to stand around and have a drink.

Gorgeous Backyard Makeover

The Bocce Ball Court

Another major goal with this space was to have fun. So we decided to add our own little bocce ball court.

It is no where near regulation size!!!  But we have had fun having our own little tournaments. Our three year old loves it!! I can only imagine the fun that will be had during late night summer parties.  It’s the perfect size for corn hole, horse shoes and a great cartwheel alley!

Gorgeous Backyard Makeover

We made a frame as you would for any raised garden bed, filled it with sand and then topped it with the best artificial turf!!! This stuff looks so good and feels amazing on your feet. My husband wants to do our entire yard in it!! It is pet friendly, by the way, and it hoses off really easily.

I have a description of how we build the bocce ball court and erected the privacy fence here on The Home Depot Blog.

As promised, I told all of my readers I would be using faux grass and plastic flamingos. That I did. But my little feathered friends got a glammed up makeover thanks to some gold spray paint.

Gorgeous Backyard Makeover

The Backyard at Night

As you have probably noticed, we have also added a few light strands around our trees, here is a glimpse into our patio at night…

Gorgeous Backyard Makeover

I can’t wait to see the rest of the space bloom and grow as the spring and summer progress. It is so lovely to be proud of our yard now.

Kristin Jackson is an interior designer who specializes in creating luxurious spaces while making every dollar count. She shares her design ideas and tutorials on her blog The Hunted Interior. Take a look at the gorgeous holiday dining room she created for our Holiday Style Challenge series. And take a moment to look at more photos of this amazing backyard makeover on The Hunted Interior. 

Kristin chose the Brown Jordan Highland Patio SofaBrown Jordan Highland Patio Lounge Chair and the Highland Patio Coffee Table for her backyard makeover. 

For more simple backyard makeover ideas, see other Patio Style Challenges here on the Home Depot Blog.

Follow our Patio Style Challenge pinboard on Pinterest, too, for outdoor decor inspiration.

And browse our online Outdoor Living Department for everything you need for your patio, backyard or garden. 

Style Challenge is a series of articles 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. Kristin received the patio set from The Home Depot and a gift card. The opinions and ideas Kristin expressed are her own.

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  1. [...] design. Kristin used a chunky twine to hang these boxwood balls from tree branches above her gorgeous DIY floating deck. We’re loving the combination of bright green with black and white [...]

  2. Oh my! This is absolutely incredible! Such a stunning makeover— and so much inspiration! Love!

  3. [...] at night because in the shade, it’s much, much cooler. I wish so hard it looked like this backyard oasis though. The black and white stripes obviously caught my eye and I love the unexpected touches of [...]

  4. Christi says:

    I would love this for my backyard. You can relax and enjoy company all at the same time.

  5. Sophisticated and whimsical! Love the shed now! Great job, Kristin :)

  6. Liz says:

    I LOVE this make over – it’s just gorgeous! There’s so much inspiration here, great job!

    xo Liz // Pretty Sweet Life

  7. [...] 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | [...]

  8. Shelley says:

    Did you paint or stain your shed? What color? Love it and everything else too!

  9. Absolutely beautiful. Love all the little details. The hanging plate instillation and kissing balls are my fav! Way to inspire lady:)

  10. This is beyond stunning! So much inspiration – I cannot even believe this is the same space. Amazing job Kristin!!

  11. Jen Prendergast says:

    Love, love this space. I was thinking of doing a bocce ball area in my backyard ( as well as outdoor chess!). Just wondering if the material is Sunderland. Love the plates hung outside. I need an idea for the back of my garage. Thanks again for such great ideas. Love your website.

  12. Gwen Hefner says:

    Like there was any doubt it would be amazing? Way to knock it out of the park, Kristin!

  13. What an amazing transformation!! When we do our backyard I’m going to have to consider the brown Jordan highland outdoor furniture it is fabulous!! Bravo!

  14. Richard Turner says:

    I agree with Martha Jackson;
    This girl needs her own TV Show!

  15. I knew her makeover would be fabulous! That is one amazing backyard!

  16. Kristin always knocks it out of the park! This is no exception! AMAZING transformation!!

  17. Luren says:

    Absolutely amazing and inspiring!!

  18. Everything is perfect! I love the bocce ball court, the gold flamingos, the striped cushions – the list goes on and on! What an amazing space to hang out in!

  19. Beyond amazing…everything she touches turns to gold, including flamingos! IN. LOVE.

  20. The bocce court! This is amazing!

  21. Martha Jackson says:

    This girl needs her own TV show!!

  22. LEGIT. All of it! Can you swing by and help us build a deck now? My husband has office hands… :)

  23. I am completely blown away…I know Kristin is good, but somehow she always manages to top herself!! Home Depot scored getting her to create this for you!!! Amazing job…now come do my house! ;) xo

  24. Brandi says:

    Simply put, stunning!!! You have such a great eye and some serious talent, Kristin! I love it all and your attention to detail. Beautiful makeover!!

  25. Kristin always does a beautiful job, but she really knocked this one out of the park. So many great projects anyone can use.

  26. Simply divine! What a perfect space to spend a summer evening! Kristin always knocks it out of the park!! xo Kristin

  27. Absolutely amazing! I had no doubt, but gah, you totally knocked it out of the park! Can I come over?!

  28. Emily Clark says:

    Kristin, I could not love it more! All of your hard work paid off!

  29. Tina says:

    This is beautiful!!! What a huge transformation. I love everything you did!

  30. Wow…what a beautiful outdoor space and what an amazing transformation. Graat details and loads of inspiration.

  31. [...] her recent backyard makeover, Kristin Jackson had the brilliant idea of adding a bocce ball court to her yard. She’s well [...]