Before & After: Leah Steen's Lovely Garden

Leah Ball Steen, who owns the Revival Home and Garden shop in Seattle, didn't even know she wanted a garden until she lived in an apartment. Without any outdoor space to speak of, she found herself longing for some land. Then when she and her husband finally found a little house they could afford, it did indeed come with some land... but that's really all it was: LAND. A lawn with a few sad shrubs, just begging to be tilled and tended into a beautiful garden. So that's exactly what they did...

Over time, with a lot of dedication, labor hours, and help from Leah's garden-loving mom, both the front yard and the back have taken shape beautifully. We love the paving stones they've installed leading to the house from the street—it's such a welcoming design, especially compared to the slapdash concrete path that was there before. A stunning clematis, intertwined with a yellow climbing rose, hangs over the door, completing the warm and cottage-y look.

In the back, a concrete fountain built by Leah's husband anchors the garden. The fountain is pretty but simple, so it blends into the garden instead of calling attention to itself, like so many elaborate fountains do. The paving stones underneath the fountain are demolished pieces of an old RV parking pad that used to be behind the house. Leah's husband (who sounds like a pretty good guy to have around!) also built a concrete fire pit, as well as the shed you see pictured above.

To read more about the garden transformations, visit Leah's Revival Home and Garden blog. And of course if you like her style, you'll also want to check out the Revival Home and Garden web site, where you can browse through Leah's vintage finds and shop online.

(Images: Leah Ball Steen)