Before and After: A 1950s House’s Overgrown Yard Becomes a Dreamy, Functional Patio Retreat

published Jul 2, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Project Type
Cost
N/A
Post Image
Credit: Heather West

Heirloom homes are often some of the best sites for home renovation projects. The house is paid for, so why not use what would have been your house-hunting budget to make what passed down to you into the home of your dreams (and Pinterest boards)?

After Heather West and her husband, Nick, inherited their small 1950s yellow home — located on eight acres of forest — they took time to live in it and really zero in on which home projects would upgrade the space. “Patience has been my mantra for any home project we have taken on,” Heather says, adding that it’s important to “have a clear plan of what you want before digging into anything major.”

Credit: Heather West

And their patio addition was pretty major. Before, the side of the house was overgrown, unusable space. “It was basically a small forest,” Heather says. “It was a bit anxiety-inducing, not only because it was unusable, but also the plants were growing right up to the house and trying to get into the siding.”

Credit: Heather West

Heather says this particular spot was the perfect place to create a large yard and take advantage of the surrounding natural beauty. The house had a window that would be fairly easy to replace with a sliding door in the same spot. After that, they would need to control the yard and add the finishing touches.

Credit: Heather West

Nick replaced the window with a Pella sliding glass door from Lowe’s, and then they hired a landscaping company to excavate the yard, build the paver patio, and install the fence (a $13,000, one-year venture). Heather planned the design and painted the exterior a deep blue (Magnolia Home’s Signature).

Credit: Heather West

“My husband saved us money by building our furniture,” Heather says. “What cost him a few hundred in materials would have been thousands for something comparable.”

Credit: Heather West

Nick opted for cedar furniture, a good moisture-resistant option for the Pacific Northwest where the two live. Another PNW essential? The rain cover. Heather loves that it’s clear, so it lets a lot of light in even on gloomy days.

Credit: Heather West

Nick built the round wall art above the sectional, plus the dining table and bench (for about $300). The dining table is one of Heather’s favorite parts. Nick also built the sectional and the chevron coffee table, which is the same height and doubles as a daybed extension — perfect for catching some afternoon Zs outside.

Credit: Heather West

After the yearlong project, the couple now has a space that brings expands the spacial footprint of the home by bringing the comfort of the indoors out. “I love how it truly feels like an outdoor extension of our home,” Heather says. “It makes our small house feel much bigger and is just the perfect retreat.”