Before & After: The Renovation Diary Reveal of Erin & Ken's Backyard Redesign

Before & After: The Renovation Diary Reveal of Erin & Ken's Backyard Redesign

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Dabney Frake
Jul 21, 2016
(Image credit: Erin Francois)


Name: Erin & Ken Francois
Type of Project: Backyard Redesign

Location: Upper Tangletown — Minneapolis, Minnesota
Type of building: 1930s Tudor-Style Duplex

Erin and Ken were complete DIY rock stars, and completed their backyard redesign right on schedule — which was a tall order considering how much labor went into the project. Let's explore their newly finished backyard!

(Image credit: Kevin Kory Studio)
An angled shot of the patio and back of the house.
(Image credit: Kory Reckinger)
The finished al fresco dining area.
(Image credit: Kory Reckinger)

The backyard is done! Tell us about your new space— have you used it yet? How satisfied are you with the outcome?

After a busy few months DIY-ing up a storm, Ken and I couldn't be more thrilled with our new outdoor space. So far, we've had a few quiet dinners back here just the two of us, and we hope to host a 'thank-you' gathering soon for everyone who helped make this space a success. Remember the patio-laying weekend? Yeah, we owe our generous friends and family big time. For this reason, we specifically chose an expandable patio table with the capacity to fit 8+. Needless to say, we're looking forward to putting it to good use!

Adirondack lounge seating around the fire pit.
(Image credit: Kory Reckinger)
A straight on view of the back stoop and dining area, with string light and new barn sconce.
(Image credit: Kory Reckinger)

→ Full step-by-step tutorial: How to Deck Over An Ugly Cement Stoop

A view of the winding paver path leading back to the garage.
(Image credit: Kory Reckinger)

→ Full step-by-step tutorial: How to Lay a Brick Paver Patio

The new lighting and man door upgrade at the garage.
(Image credit: Kory Reckinger)

What is your favorite element of the new backyard?

We both agree that our favorite addition to the backyard is the new lighting, both the gooseneck fixture over the backdoor and the sconces at the garage. Though lighting is a seemingly small element it really helps the yard feel 'grown-up' and finished.

The raised vegetable gardens and stepping stone path on the side of the home.
(Image credit: Kory Reckinger)

→ Full step-by-step tutorial: How to Build Raised Planter Garden Beds

Anything else you'd like to add?

The recent warm weather here in Minneapolis has helped our new vegetable gardens really sprout up, and it's been gratifying to be able to cook with fresh food we've cultivated in our own backyard. I guess you might say, it's our own little city version of farm-to-table.

Erin enjoying the patio at sundown.
(Image credit: Kory Reckinger)
The red mandevilla vines beginning to climb the trellis.
(Image credit: Kory Reckinger)

We're also looking forward to some of our other plants maturing over the summer (i.e. the mandevilla and hops at the trellis, and privacy grasses behind the grill) to be able to enjoy them in all their glory.

Overall view of the backyard
(Image credit: Kory Kevin Studio)
(Image credit: Kory Reckinger)

Read Erin and Ken's full diary series or, check out all of our renovation diaries.

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