A Gorgeous Backyard Makeover With an Interior Designer’s Touch

Kristin Jackson

Article Posted By: Kristin Jackson

of The Hunted Interior

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.