HGTV Yard Takeover Backyard Transformation: California Dreaming

Find inspiration for your own backyard project with these tips and ideas from the Yard Takeover crew.

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/ Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover.

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/ Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover.

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/ Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover.

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/ Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover.

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/ Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/ Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover.

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/ Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover.

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/ Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover.

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover.

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/ Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover.

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/ Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/ Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/ Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/ Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/ Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover

Backyard Bonanza

Before a HGTV Yard Takeover yard makeover by designer Chris Lambton, homeowners Jason and Elen Carr of Van Nuys, CA, were disappointed with their lack of outdoor space to entertain their large Armenian family. To solve this issue, Chris designed a dining area that houses a custom built table with warming drawers, a large barbecue grill for traditional Armenian barbecues, as well as a exercise area and recycled playset for the Carr's young daughter Isabella.

Kale Flower

This ornamental purple kale adds lovely color to the planting bed separating the lounge and dining area, helping distinguish between various outdoor rooms.

Garden Fresh

This custom built table by Dan Faires, has seating for twelve, a built-in herb garden and a pair of built-in warming drawers to keep food hot, as seen on HGTV's Yard Takeover. In addition to the aromatic herbs providing a delightful centerpiece, a sprig of herbs tucked into each guest's napkin continues the herbal, outdoor theme.

Pergola Power

The newly built dining area of the Carr residence features a custom built wood pergola and Roman sail shades to keep diners cool while giving outdoor dining room a more refined look, as seen on HGTV's Yard Takeover.

Play It Cool

Inspired by a treehouse, this repurposed play structure incorporates new and reclaimed materials. The ground beneath the play structure is soft, rubber playground mulch that is made from recycled tires.

Lemon Tree

The existing lemon tree is now part of the play area built for the Carr's daughter Isabella. To create a sense of separation and privacy, sword fern plants hang from the tree limbs. Red geraniums beneath nicely compliment a festive red chair, perfect for an adult supervising play. Think about the comfort of both children using the playscape, and adults who might enjoy a little bit of shade.

Bang a Gong

Elen and Jason Carr both enjoy martial arts and like to stay in shape. The former driveway received a resin bonded aggregate to create the platform for the outdoor exercise studio, and has been surrounded by a sod border, and a background of live bamboo, as seen on HGTV's Yard Takeover. The space is now ideal for the practice of yoga, tai chi, and kung fu. The bamboo planter also contains mother-in-law's tongue and agave plants.

Tray Table

Warming trays are built directly into Dan Faires' custom wood table to make food service convenient, and with covered tops, bug-free.

Have a Plan

These outdoor rooms have been very strategically planned, so that adults lingering over dinner and drinks are able to easily supervise children at play. Exotic metal and glass lights create a warm, atmospheric ambiance at night.

Industrial Touches

The custom built table by HGTV designer Dan Faires, includes a frame structure that was built with pipe fittings for an industrial chic look.

Herbal Essence

The built-in herb garden in this custom build table contains a medley of popular herbs that do well in the mild California weather: basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary and mint.

Lounge Act

After enjoying family meals, the Carrs and their guests can retire to a custom lounge with seating for everyone. The L-Shaped bench seating is integrated into the back of the deck and vegetable planter, and is offset by the fire pit in the center of the seating area.

Setting Boundaries

Large, raised vegetable planters create a distinctive boundary between the wood-deck dining area and the sunken lounge with built-in bench seating. The large vegetable planter includes purple ornamental kale, bell peppers, artichokes, onions, crookneck squash and sweet alyssum.

Playing House

Bright tomato-red curtains continue that color motif from the rest of the garden. A basket filled with favorite toys can be easily moved inside if the weather becomes harsh.

Safe House

Handrails for safety are created in rope, with the same bold tomato red that appears in other aspects of this backyard design.

Roman Meal

Roman sail shades are included in this dining area to create intimacy, separate the garden rooms and keep diners cool.

Play It Safe

As important as the safety of the play structure itself, is the surrounding landscape. A mulch of recycled tires provides a safe landing for children and edging keeps the mulch from traveling into the grass.

Get Your Grill On

The Armenian BBQ area of the Carr residence contains a motorized kabob rotisserie grill and is the centerpiece of the outdoor kitchen.

Still Life

Rustic vegetable baskets and a wooden herb garden adorn the Armenian BBQ area of the Carr residence and tie the space together. When designing an outdoor space consider both large and small details to get a cohesive feel.

Soft Landing

A resin bonded aggregate creates the platform for the Carr's outdoor exercise studio.

Fitness Studio

Consider little details, like a place to store towels and creating a tranquil setting for exercise with plantings.

Serene Setting

Don't underestimate the power of a water element to create a soothing, restful ambiance and set a contemplative tone in your garden. With a well-planned exercise surface and decorative touches like this fountain, the Carr's exercise space is now complete.

Puppy Pad

If you have a dog, plan for their comfort and recreation when you design your outdoor space. This entrance to the new dog run is specially built for the Carr family dog Charlie. Before the yard makeover, Charlie had the run of the yard, so the team wanted to make sure that he still had an area to call his own. This feature will come in especially handy when barbecues or movies are on the menu and the family wants to entertain without Charlie underfoot.

Plant City

This backyard design uses a number of unexpected architectural features to incorporate plantings. The built in kitchen contains a small vegetable planter featuring ornamental kale, parsley, sweet alyssum and tomatoes.

Go Vertical

These new wall-mounted planters contain mondo grass, sansevieria—or mother-in-law's tongue—and coleus.

Pillow Talk

Throw pillows soften the lines of this wooden bench and can be moved inside in inclement weather. Think about the durability of the materials you use in your outdoor space.

Pit Crew

Situate a fire pit at a safe distance from any wooden structures and at enough distance so that guests can stretch out in comfort.

Light Bright

Backyards are wonderful during the day but also at night. Think about a lighting scheme when you are planning your backyard design, whether you are considering solar lighting, a professionally installed lighting plan or just an atmospheric row of candles to also provide relief from mosquitoes.

Roman Holiday

A vine-covered pergola isn't your only option for a covered outdoor dining space. Roman shades shield diners from the harsh sun.

Al Fresco Film

Talk about multi-tasking. Just across from the seating area is a pull-down screen on the side of the garage where the Carr family can watch a movie in the evening. When the screen is pulled up, the previously unsightly garage is accented with colorful plantings that brighten the space.

Movie Night

Even with the movie screen pulled down, a planting bed beautifully frames the screen. When designing an outdoor space, think how you will use it, and plan for ways to inject plants and flowers into even the most utilitarian spaces.