Magical Backyard Makeover

Everyone’s thinking about spring right now as we all make spring break plans and start to enjoy the warmer weather.

It feels like the right time for a magical backyard makeover since our last update was seven long years ago!  And by update I mean painting the worn cement pad to a golden wheat color and adding new plants. Nothing major and certainly nothing memorable.

Magical Backyard Makeover: Liveable Space

For spring break, our plans are to stay put this year. This is partly due to budget (hello master bathroom renovation!) and partly because the weather here is so gorgeous and with so much to do here in Socal, it makes sense to have a staycation! But I’ve noticed that we don’t seem to ever go outside as a family very much to hang out in the backyard. It inspired me to design a magical backyard makeover!

I’m often asked by many where I find the energy to constantly rotate furniture, flip around layouts and find a million ways to transform my home in general. First of all, I’m an Aries and we’re an impulsive group that loves change.

Secondly,  my family is growing and it’s imperative that our home adapts to our functional needs.

This is the same rationale for my obsession for  bringing in wellness and great design.

My design challenge: create more liveable space outside. Currently, we are outgrowing our common areas to hang out at home. Most recently we had a get together and the adults could barely hear each other because 5 kids playing xBox LOUDLY.

Ideally, it would have been nice for us to be hosting our guests outside and while the kids played inside.

Don’t get me wrong, we used to play out there almost daily and grill dinner from spring to fall.

Lately, I noticed the backyard has been quite quiet.

It makes me a bit sad because it’s a great space that hasn’t quite reached its full potential.

When we were house hunting originally, a huge deal breaker was no houses that  backed up to a street. I was hell bent on nixing every home that came up. However many months later of being outbid every time and literally in Seattle looking for preschools, our current home came up.

The realtor assured us that yes, it is backed up to a street but a quiet one.

My cynical self scoffed but at that point we were desperate and it fit the bill on so many other criteria.

10 years later, he was right. We love our property. No homes behind us feels so open and free.

And because we are in cookie cutter land, the lot is bigger too. Which you can guess is primo real estate.

Magical Backyard Makeover: Must Have Design

The other day I was at Target and discovered a plethora of outdoor patio rugs!

They are so versatile, 100% water resistant and full of personality.

All 3 lines of Target’s signature collections had their offerings. Project 62, Opalhouse and Threshold each had a couple that drew my attention.

Here they are!

First up, this round colorful woven rug is perfect for spring and summer if you have a bistro set or round patio table. In my mind, I envision a white tulip table. Make sure it is for outdoor use though! I left my IKEA table outside and after awhile the tabletop started peeling.

Here is what I think would look great:

Second, the backyard is a great excuse to be as playful as you want to be!

Unlike the front yard where there is more formal inclination, the backyard let’s you be adventurous even if you tend not to decorate as bravely indoors.

Why? Because just the simple fact of being outdoors makes us breathe more. We are forced to be aware of our surroundings. With less restriction comes relaxation and with relaxation we are open to new ideas!

This rug definitely speaks, “Look at me, I am your next adventure!”

And lastly, here is the rug I think I will be adding to my own magical backyard makeover!

What do you think?

The only issue is that the existing concrete pad is yellow and these rugs are 8×10 at best.

There is no way to cover the whole area with one rug.

So unfortunately for Travis (who never knows when the next DIY will spring up and inevitably involves his help) we are going to paint the cement.

The weather has been quite moody never knowing which way it wants to go. One day sunshine reaching almost 90 degrees and two days later thunder and rain.

Despite the unpredictable weather, we are going to go ahead and plan for this DIY soon so we can start living outside more!

It is so easy to get stuck at home, especially kids with devices, I really would like to create an outdoor oasis for all of us.

Magical Backyard Makeover: Fire Pits

As my kids are getting older, our functional needs at home change. In the past, we used our yard for playdates and birthday parties galore.

Those days are still with us as Natalie has just begun her love for having friends over.

Recently, a wonderful landscape designer friend told me the best way to get teens outside to hang out is a fire pit.

I was relieved to hear that because a swimming pool is not feasible. There is simply no space for it however appealing it may seem.

So fire pit it is!

Here are a few that piqued my interest:

Which one did you like the most?

Would you consider a fire pit in your backyard? I am just dreaming of summer days where lots of s’mores can be had! Yeah, food before function? Maybe.

So this is what I have in mind so far for the backyard. Have you noticed what is missing?

The furniture?

Mmhm, that is something I will be designing soon! Can’t wait to show you ideas that you might like too. Until then, have a s’more for me mmkay?

Happy day!

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  1. Addie wrote:

    I cannot WAIT for this reveal! Did you check out Em Henderson’s backyard makeover? Even though it was a HUGE redo, there is so much great insp there… and also, I love the cement fireplace. What is the style of this backyard makeover? Like will we being seeing some of your signature Cali Cool/boho here, or something different? Thanks!

    Posted 3.21.19 Reply
    • Anita Yokota wrote:

      I am so excited that you are looking forward to it as well! Mine is a temporary refresh and I think you will still be amazed lol! Thanks for being patient, I am waiting for the weather to be better to start the DIY! xo

      Posted 3.22.19 Reply