How I upgraded my inner city yard to outdoor living room perfection!


Sadly, my backyard had become 'that place I walk through on my way to the garage' and nothing more.

As a designer, who loves to entertain, I had to do something to change this! 

How was I letting this perfectly usable space go to waste!

Every space deserves to look beautiful and every inch of your home should pull you in and invite you to sit, laugh, lounge…

Outdoor livingroom with stone tiles, grass between stone tiles, small inner city yard


“Great design speaks softly to those who care to listen”  has been my motto for years!

And here I was, with my perfectly usable yard, giving me nothing but grass I didn't want to take care of and a boring deck that definitely did not inspire me to lounge on a Sunday afternoon.

So this spring I decided to transform my small, dark, inner city backyard into a true backyard oasis!

First things first, that grass had to go!

Backyard Garden Room, Diamond Stone with Grass between, Chris loves Julia style patio, patio stones with grass

Who wants to get a lawn mower out for space that is barely big enough for a decent cartwheel? AND, who wants to cut the grass when they could be lounging, feet up, enjoying a pressed pear panini sandwich (keep scrolling! I wrote you the recipe.)

Not this girl!

Feet up in outdoor livingroom with large built in planter and beautiful outdoor furnishings. furnishings


The first instinct, in a moment like this, is to rip out the grass and pave it all.

But *proceed with caution* this tends to make an already dark and lifeless space even more sparse and cold.

To avoid this, add some interest, or *soul* to the space by creating an interesting pattern with the pavers outlined with faux-foliage (aka fake grass). Zero Maintenance with all the charm!

Next, bring the greenery back! The feeling I wanted was that of a lush, abundant garden room, a 'living wall' type feeling, BUT it had to be easy.

(Remember, we have summer soirees to hostess! Who has time to weed + water?)

 Built in cedar planters with petunias, large palms and fountain

To do this, Chris built a series of custom, self-watering planters! (Look for more on these in an upcoming issue of the Delight Diaries)

With construction done, all that was left was to make this the most comfortable room (not) in the house.

How? Add all your indoor favorites to your outdoor setting!

Outdoor Cushions on outdoor sofa in outdoor livingroom with slate tile and grass

Do you HAVE to pop your feet up when you are sitting on the couch? Get an outdoor poof for your lawn chairs.

Make the cool summer evenings cozier by adding a throw to your outdoor sofa.

 And make sure everyone is cozy as you chat the night away by the fire by adding comfy cushions all around!

 Your backyard is actually a dream living space waiting to be discovered!




PS...remember that delicious panini I mentioned?? Here is the promised recipe!

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