Over the weekend, conversation with my husband turned to our yard — as it usually does this time of year. If my domaine is the house, then his is the outdoors. He always likes to ask my opinion on the flowers he’s planting, or what veggies to grow in the raised beds this year, but for the most part I just let him do his thing. Until now.
Our yard is huge by my standards. It wraps around the entire house, and, truth be told, needs a ton of work. So while I’m leaving the landscaping to him, the hardscaping is a whole other story. So I turned to Belgard for some help in envisioning what our backyard remodel could look like! But first: a little inspiration and the current state of things in the yard.
To define my style for our yard, I had to go on a little pinterest binge to hone in on what works for us. While I typically like a more refined, and structured look, I do think English Country Garden really suits our home and the style of our yard.
The overall shape is very organic and we need to have landscaping and hardscaping that provides structure while also allowing for a natural flow. My biggest must-have is an area like in the photo above: a space defined by pavers for outdoor entertaining and dining.
This garden has some structure in the beds, but still allows for a little of that wild country garden feel! Also, we have similar borders in our yard to their brick pavers. This is the same garden below…
I love how this garden looks like it’s settled in over time — and I want ours to do the same! You have to create a space that nature can grow into, right? Also, we have a couple very large trees like this in our own yard, and I like seeing how they’ve been defined here.
Ok, now for what we’re working with:
I’m not going to show you the full yard because the south side is a whole other story, but this is the main area that we hang out in. I love the hedge around the yard that gives us complete privacy! We recently trimmed it way back so it’s nice and shapely but not as full as it usually at the moment. Things I don’t love: our very uneven lawn, lots of spaces that still need to be filled in, and our ‘water feature’ which I’ll get to in a moment.
So up front we’ve got this big gorgeous old evergreen to work with, and then towards the back side…
This is where things get a little ugly. The previous owners put in a pond that you can barely see here, but it’s just to the right of the patio. The water feature starts mid-yard and trickles down to the pond and recycles back up. Great in theory, but guess what? It’s broken. And frankly, I don’t want to spend the time or money to fix it when this simply is not how I want this space to be used. In the meantime, we’ve let this area get very overgrown knowing that at some point we’ll rip it all out… which makes it a bit of a visual disaster to look at at the moment.
What you don’t see here is that to the left of this little patio is where our back deck comes out. My dream scenario is having a space that flows from the back deck into this patio and creates one seamless entertaining space. Enter Belgard to the rescue!!
Thanks to the Belgard Design Studio, this overhead view helps you see the entire north end of the yard, totally reimagined. My type-A personality is lovingthe newly defined areas that break up the space but also add a nice flow! I also see how adding these areas can help us bring some subtle tiered structure to the way the yard slopes down to the back.
I hadn’t even thought about moving the fire pit to another location, but I really loved the idea of taking this seating elsewhere, thus opening up the main patio area to more entertaining space and possibilities! The curved seating is perfect for a little definition between the flower beds and the fire pit, and helps add some shape to the beds and the yard.
If you like it too, you’re going to want to scroll to the bottom of this post for more details on how to win your own fire pit kit!
Coming down from the back porch, the space now flows into the defined patio area where we get a big fireplace (so cozy!) and a BBQ! All of these elements are by Belgard and come in ready-to-assemble sets that make them easy for contractors to install. The use of different materials really defines the outdoor living space just like a rug would do inside. Genius little trick!
I like that we have a soft seating area here with the fireplace, along with enough space for a dining table too! Having the BBQ down here also helps open up more space on the deck, where I’d like to put more potted plants. I’d probably do a small bistro table up on the deck and actually have an even larger table down here on the patio for when we entertain. Our friends love our yard so much already, but all of these changes would make it much more functional and cozy for guests!!