Name: Erin & Ken Francois
Type of Project: Backyard Redesign
Location: Upper Tangletown — Minneapolis, Minnesota
Type of building: 1930s Tudor-Style Duplex
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Yesterday, we got a good look at Erin & Ken's backyard and all of their redesign hopes and dreams. Today, we take a look at all of the beautiful backyards that inspired their plans.
Our predominant style is Handmade Modern: we like visually clean and modern spaces, with traditional architectural and handmade elements added to soften the look.
Right now, the backyard is pretty unfocused. It’s overgrown in some areas, bald in others; there’s mid-century Christmas-colored pavers connected to a 1930s Tudor style home, and a burgundy door without an exterior light nearby. I’m all for mixing styles, but this is too much!
There are so many unrelated elements going on, so we hope to streamline the backyard’s aesthetic in order to unify it with the home’s Tudor bones, all the while keeping things feeling fresh with modern furnishings and accessories. The endgame is to create a thoughtful and comfortable al fresco space with which to enjoy in the summer months.
Even before we moved in last fall, Ken and I knew we wanted to tackle the backyard this spring. When the weather warms up, Minnesotans can’t help but want to be outside enjoying it, and we’re no exception. So we spent the last six months scheming and sorting through how we wanted to use the backyard. As winter came to a close, we drew up a plan and began selecting materials, so we’d be all set to get started as soon as the weather warmed up!
We plan to DIY the entire project with the help of family and friends. Ken manages commercial construction projects, and he grew up framing and landscaping homes, so he has a pretty good knowledge base to work from. My background is interior design, and I LOVE to DIY, so it was a no brainer that we’d tackle the project ourselves.
The home’s existing beige stucco exterior was the main jumping off point for our selections. The plan is to use a brick paver in a 90-degree herringbone pattern for the patio and walkways. We chose a more traditional paver in an effort to make it feel like it might have always been there. Then we’ll balance the traditional and modern styles with a mix of bronze, terra cotta, and natural cedar finishes in tandem with black and ivory furnishings and lush textural plantings.
Finishes: brick pavers in color chestnut, natural cedar stoop decking, A/C fencing & raised planter beds, bronze gooseneck light above the backdoor, dark bronze backdoor paint color
Furnishings: aluminum wood-look dining table, black metal dining seating with ivory outdoor cushions, indigo Otomi outdoor throw pillows, canvas market-style umbrella, cedar Adirondack lounge seating, terra cotta pots and café lights.
Plantings: ornamental grasses, hops, lavender, forsythia.