Before + After: The Back Yard

Jul 23, 2012 | Home + Studio Tours

We’ve lived in our house for about two years and all the while our backyard has been a bit of a disaster. With only 13 weeks to renovate and move into this house before baby True arrived, the focus was most definitely on the inside and not on the outside.

We’ve been slooowwlly working on it and we’re finally enjoying an actual backyard as a family. I wanted to share the befores and afters with you!













This was a huge project that played out over two years, but essentially we put in some stairs from the house to a deck that we built. After that John had a big vision for a tin roof coming off the garage with a seating area underneath that, plus an extra structure for gardening supplies (the doors on the gardening shed were found deep in our house’s crawl space when we were renovating!). We added some detailing structure above the garage door, and cut the garbage door in half to create another dutch door like the one we have on the house (and in the house for baby safety). The hammock chair came off amazon and the deck gliders are from Grandin Road.

The most dramatic thing that finished the project was getting new sod – best move ever. That, and we put in a privacy fence that has sections custom made for climbers. And lots and lots of pruning the overgrown tree (it’s a blooming dogwood tree) and bushes.


I can’t tell you how nice it is to finally give True an actual yard (vs a construction site) to run and play in. Here he is watering the plants, one of his favorite daily activities.  By the way, his little wooden playhouse came from Costco.

Thanks, friends. I hope you liked the tour!
Biggest lesson I learned from this project? Patience – 24 months of it 🙂

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (25 comments)
  1. Angelina Garcia

    What an amazing transformation! I really do love the change! You were able to give your backyard a whole new look. What I love the most is the deck with those lovely chairs and table. It’s a good idea that you didn’t remove the tree. It lends a refreshing atmosphere to your deck. Your new deck is very inspirational. Kudos for this excellent job!

  2. Sheilagh

    A stunning makeover, both of you have such creative vision, a match made in heaven.

    Thank you for sharing


  3. Caatje

    That is just wonderful! Now come on over here and do my backyard! 😉

  4. Terry

    Beautiful Kelly! You have done a wonderful job! now enjoy!

  5. MelissaC

    Kudos to John…that overhang of the garage roof is Da bomb! I'd be out on that deck sketching or painting anytime the weather allowed 🙂 Beautiful project completed!

  6. Baby By The Sea

    I stumbled here, and I am in love. Thanks. Duuude, your yard is awesome. We;re in our second historic home, still in the midst of a renovation. And, I love before and after pics. Here's a high five to a job well done.

  7. thepear

    I so Love the color of your siding….. I am admittedly horribly envious of your whole place what a beautiful job you've done! thanks for sharing it all so generously with us.Amazing!!!

  8. Terry

    Beautiful! Isn't it wonderful when we love and care for where we are planted.

    Have a wonderful day!


  9. carolyn

    What an AMAZING transformation! It must be so relaxing to spend time outside in such a beautiful backyard.

  10. Michelle

    Congratulations on such a beautiful transformation. That definitely is a space to enjoy!!

  11. Anonymous

    Such a tranquil retreat for friends & family. Love the colors!
    Thanks for sharing with all of us!!….love!

  12. Ellen

    What a beautiful backyard retreat. I. LOVE: ))

  13. Willowseed

    Absolutely beautiful.

  14. Giggles

    Beautiful job!! I full well remember those years of hard work and patience! Well worth the wait!! Enjoy!!

    Hugs Giggles

  15. Isabel

    wow!!! what an amazing job!!! Looks great!!! Thanks for sharing:O)

  16. Sue Allemand

    Looks totally AWESOME Kelly Rae! So jealous! Wish I had some handy people to do mine! I HATE yardwork and so does my hubby — so the remodeling gets put on the bottom of the list… EVERY list… hehe. LOVE the hammock!

  17. JC

    Wow! What an amazing space. Kudos to Jon for such vision, you for your patience, and yay! for True's new playland! 🙂

  18. Two Halves Whole

    Color me jealous…what a beautiful spot! Please tell me there are lots of twinkle lights at night and then color me very jealous! Way to go! 🙂

  19. Shahrul Niza

    Amazing transformation!. I LOVE every part of it, especially the shades underneath that dogwood tree. One haven for True to play & watering plants!!. So happy for you :).

  20. Emily

    I am truly impressed! It's a beautiful space, and I'm sure it was worth the wait.

  21. Sleepandhersisters

    I am sure True will have many wonderful years playing in his amazing new backyard… and you too.


    huwoww Kelly, your backyard is truly heaven now, mine still 'before' at the moment lol.. i am very happy for you :))


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Hello + welcome!

I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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