The College Housewife » lifestyle » Before & After: Our backyard reveal!

Before & After: Our backyard reveal!



This post has been in the making for a few months now and I am just SO FREAKING EXCITED to finally get this patio out in the open and to the world (aka this internet home of mine). I am currently writing this post in this exact same spot as the photo above. I am going to walk you through the why, how and how much of everything! Keeping in mind this is totally a rental space ‘makeover’ so everything is made to be budget friendly. Last year we decked out our apartment rental patio makeover and we were so excited to play around with a backyard space! 

After I finished our rental kitchen project, I moved straight outside! We started redecorating this area of the yard in early April so it would be in tip top shape for summer 🙂 

I pretty much like to live, eat and work outside as much as I can from May-September. We live pretty close to the beach so we are lucky enough to get a nice breeze most of the day and temps never real too unbearably hot. I’m also just a little weird and really LIKE the heat okay, okay?! We always joke around that I would probably thrive in a climate like Arizona or Texas but for now, California has my heart.

While I am living in the home state of mine, I love incorporating the California cool perspective in my home inspiration, especially a backyard space! 

I always give full disclosure in these rental makeovers of mine that yes, we actually spend money on our rental. I use this space of mine as so much more than just a ‘house’. We film and shoot very often and need a space that is well… camera appealing. I also have a great deal of fun transforming these spaces and never feel like I am ‘breaking the bank’. So, no Dad I promise I’m not crazy and I do actually want to buy a house one day! Okay…. let’s get to the good stuff!! Bear with me okay… it’s going to be a longer one! 

This photo was taken on the initial walk through of the house in September 2017. 

This photo was taken just last week, so June 2018. We didn’t actually really start on this project until April (and we went slow!), so you still have time to get your backyard looking great for the warm months 🙂 

This first few months that we were in the house I slowly started noticing the grass begin to die. Mostly on the side of the yard near the garage. This side got little to no sun and the grass slowly started to turn into mud. You try having a 1 1/2 white bellied golden retriever in a muddy backyard. Holy hell, it sucked. I was constantly wiping him down and cleaning off his paws because Rascal would just track EVERYTHING inside. It was tiring and time consuming and something just had to give. I explained to our landlord that changing the design of the space would really give us part of the backyard back. He totally agreed and realized that mud is a horrible problem to deal with.

I pitched the idea of grey patio pavers to lay down on the mud and he loved it! If you are able to, I always recommend to rent with the land lord/ home owner directly, it’s so much easier! Jeff offered to payfor half the material or help us install them. I was lucky enough to snag my insanely crafty and talented Dad for a day to help us ‘install’ them. Which really just mean’t smoothing down 2 inches of dirt and laying an even layer of sand down before the pavers. They aren’t cemented or anything and totally removable if need be! The pavers themself were only like 90 cents a piece and the whole paving process cost less than $150!!

Not only did we totally eliminate the mud problem, we are also using that space in the best way possible now. I like to call it ‘our outdoor living room’.

Once the pavers were in, we were left with quite a muddy mess around the perimeter and needed to grow in some grass. These are adult problems that I NEVER ever even thought to deal with but there we were casually reading the back of ‘grass seed’ packages making sure Rascal wouldn’t accidentally eat the seed and get poisoned by it. I was feeling way off into adult land. We decided to go with this bag of grass seed and it worked like a freaking champ. I was pretty anal and watered it twice a day but we literally had grass come up a week after we laid it down. You can’t go wrong. 

Okay, should we get out of landscaping and talk furniture?! I’m pretty sure it’s everyones favorite part of a makeover! 

In our old apartment we had a patio table set for (6) but not a whole lot of lounge and comfy space. Does anyone else have a boyfriend that loves really ugly, over size yet insanely comfortable furniture? When it comes to projects and house makeovers Jared’s one request is that it’s always ‘comfy’. He doesn’t care if it’s the ugliest damn lounge chair out there, if that thing is comfy he loves it. I tend to fall somewhere in the middle of comfort/style but I really wanted this to feel like an outdoor area where you could have a cocktail and even take a nap at if you wanted to. A very relaxing, and very comfortable area. 

We decided to partner up with The Inspired Home and go with this 4 piece lounge set which has a really nice California wicker feel to it but believe me when I say that they are comfy enough to take weekly naps on. I know from experience. I was so happy with our choice. I love to personalize staple pieces of furniture with funky pillows and accessories. 

Speaking of accessories! No patio area is complete without an obscene amount of twinkly lights! We picked up ours at Costco and they were really pretty simple to install! We also picked up a few plants and lanterns to give the whole space another design layer. I did reuse the bistro table I have as an end table. Jared and I just bring it out into the yard when we want a dinner table for two. Sometimes we have a random romantic dinner for two and it’s nice to have. 

I go back and fourth on maybe painting a design on the pavers or laying a rug down but for now we are just enjoying it. I get a lot of questions on what I do with everything when it rains and truthfully it probably won’t really ‘rain’ here in California until October so until then we are going to enjoy it how it is! 

Scroll down to grab all of the links and sources to make your own outdoor living room for summer!

1. Patio set | 2. Tray | 3.Lanterns | 4. Clear Lanterns  | Bistro Table | 5. Woven Pillow | 6.Yellow Pillow  | 7. White Pillow | 8. PIllow | 9. Planter | Lights  | 10.Glassware



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