Before and After: A Dark, Muddy Storage Area Becomes a Dreamy Backyard Escape

updated Sep 1, 2020
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Credit: Tabitha Sewer

Over thee past several months, almost everyone has had to forego vacations and get creative about how they spend time at home.

For Tabitha Sewer and her family, that led to a reno. After the family had to cancel their first-ever cruise due to the pandemic, they decided to redo the under-utilized space beneath their deck. The space started out as a muddy, dark space that was a storage spot for scrap wood but not much else—it was hardly an inviting space to spend time in, after all. But, Tabitha says, the family wanted to “make sure we had a place that embodies the tropics we were missing!”

Credit: Tabitha Sewer

The whole process took about 10 weeks, with some delays due to weather and waiting for ordered products. Tabitha and her husband first hired a pro to lay a concrete foundation, then completed every other aspect of the makeover themselves. The most time-consuming aspect of DIYing the space proved to be laying the tile, which took them nine days. (“Never again!” Tabitha says.)

Credit: Tabitha Sewer

They also laid sod and grass, custom-built the new cushioned loveseat, covered a brick wall with artificial boxwood, and hung string lights and the most adorable swing.

Overall, Tabitha estimates that the project cost about $3,500, including labor, materials, and decor.

Credit: Tabitha Sewer

Now, the family has a permanent staycation spot. “I love that the results exceeded my expectations!” Tabitha says. “The area has gone from being an abandoned storage area to an area that always feels like I’m stepping into a resort—it’s so relaxing!”

Credit: Tabitha Sewer

For anyone taking on a similar pandemic project, Tabitha advises creating a mood board. “It’ll be a lot easier to find the perfect pieces to make your dream a reality!” she says.

Inspired? Submit your own project here.