Elizabeth and her husband just recently finished fixing up their backyard in Central Austin, which has had to grow to accommodate three young kids and two energetic dogs! Their solutions were simple and effective, and could be applied to a yard of any size...
Their grass had taken a beating after years of dogs running around, and so they decided to build a deck that covered much of the backyard. Combining neat details and clever ideas, their yard has now expanded to include a lounge area, tire swing, standing counter spaces and an outdoor eating area (perfect for not having to clean up after kid messes).
They had the edges and stairs of the deck curved for aesthetics, but also for the safety of running kids and dogs. Adding wood shelves at a standing height on the rail of the deck, they were able to add extra space for guests to rest their drinks on during outdoor parties or as a garden and plant workstation. Making sure to include lots of different seating types, many possible activities can take place in their yard. For privacy, they planted large bamboo plants along the edge of the fence that eventually grew tall enough to help obscure the view of their neighbor's tall house. And for the kids and the dogs, the corner of the yard not taken up with deck was filled in with gravel to end mud pits forever.
What small, fun details have you added to your yard (whatever its size) that have substantially improved your enjoyment of the space? Let us know!
(Images: Elizabeth McGuire)