July 15, 2012

LANDSCAPE CHRONICLES || urban backyard makeover

The time has finally come, yes I know you've all been waiting with bated breath - well hopefully at least some of you have!? The BIG backyard reveal!!!

I'll give you one last look at the bland before pic...
If you head back over here, this is where I ranted about my industrial glamour vision for our urban yard reno.  I think we managed to execute the essence of the vision BUT... the backyard ended up having more of a mid-century modern flava, still glam, less industrial.  Either way we LOVE! 

Drum roll please......

WHA BAM! Squealing with JOY! I didn't dare step foot outside last summer, now I can't stay away.

The to do list was long and it read like this: paint the deck and siding, lay a modern limestone patio, plant an ornamental grass garden along the fence, furnish a lounge and dining area, and sod the lawn.  The last task was the most difficult, there's an insane raccoon population in our area, they roll up new sod to pick for grubs. We managed to keep the li'l buggers away (for the most part), with 50 layers of chicken wire and 10 inch jumbo stakes holding it down, I had to beg hubs to pull it up because it felt like we were in a prison, he said the grass hadn't "rooted" yet.  As you can see it's barely hanging  on for dear life.

Right off the bat I found these fantabulous, white side chairs at Ikea, they're really what started the space off in a mid-century direction.  I accessorised using pillows in my favourite colour combo, black, white and yellz - I'm thinking now I may need to throw in a dash of something else, it's feeling a bit "samey".  Oh, while I'm thinking of it I'll address the fence; it was brand new when we moved it, we don't like it, we almost painted it, BUT...ever heard the expression "lipstick on a pig", that would be paint on this fence, pointless. We decided to save the money we would have spent painting it and maybe consider replacing it altogether in the future.
We built this rock star of a shed last year with the help of my bro, it's a perfect fit for the aesthetic we have going on now; the ornamental grasses really help to soften it up. P.S I want to repaint it, it's reading a bit more blue than gray to me. You think?   
I sprinkled these little black ceramic stools around the yard, we use them as end tables for drinks etc.

And then, the dining table and chairs. Because we're obsessed with entertaining we needed a table that could fit 6 peeps, at least. We got this Emu table, because truthfully we were running out of options! I do really like it, it just isn't my first choice, but it fit the space and the budget. The chairs are super fab, they're plastic coated cording, I guess you would call it, ultra comfy, from Ikea too - they had great outdoor stuff this season.
You can see we also painted the deck gray, Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray for the spindles and railing and Kendall Gray for the floor; you actually can't tell the difference between the two, the floor was supposed to be a darker contrast but it looks the same; shizz.
Another big paint transformation was the siding at the top of our house, originally it was this awful rust colour, we had the painters use a charcoal colour to cover it, vast improvement, it also makes the siding look brand new.
And there you have it, our wonderful mid-century, modern, industrial, glam, black and white urban backyard retreat. We adore it; from blood, sweat, tears and cold hard cash to dining, lounging, champagne and marshmallows, this new "room" is my  city dwelling dream.  

Source Guide:

Sofa- Cane Line
White side chairs and Dining Chairs – Ikea
Cushions and Ornamental Grass – Sheridan Nurseries
Limestone Patio – Banas Stone
Umbrella and Lanterns – Home Sense
Shed (building materials) – Home Depot
Paint – Benjamin Moore
Fire Pit – Restoration Hardware
Rug and Galvanized Planters– Fresh
Dining Table – Emu
Ceramic Garden Stools – The Bay


  1. Nicely designed.a film compelling documentary that chronicles the relocation of the hidatsa/mandan/arikara nation of north dakota as a result of the construction of the garrison dam in the late 1940's.it also tells the story of the director's family, whose life choices were influenced by this powerful reshaping of the landscape.

  2. Thanks! A labour of love, sooo worth it :)

  3. That's fabulous! Those garden furniture have fantastically transformed your exterior area for the better.

  4. Erin, I love how your backyard turned out! I bet your guests love hanging out here. And about that shed, it actually looks gray in this picture. But if you ever change it, I suggest that you match it with the color of your new siding. The dark tone is actually cool to the eyes, and gives off a relaxing effect when looked at. =)

    -Saundra Wordlaw