Backyard JungleThe Wagners are living the all-American suburban dream in the heart of urban Brooklyn, but their backyard is anything but a haven from the surrounding hustle and bustle. Host Matt James takes on the challenge of reclaiming the yard and creates a fantastic getaway using antique paving and reclaimed furniture.
This once tranquil and tidy yard where the kids used to play has become a redundant overgrown mess. Now that they're grown, they no longer use it, and the garden has fallen into disrepair. Finally after five years of looking out on this jungle, parents Helayne and Leslie have called in Matt to reclaim their yard for more grown-up uses. The homeowners want to be able to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and relax at home with their family.
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Stylish SanctuaryThe new design offers a curvaceous patio, antique materials and reclaimed furniture. It has a nostalgic but contemporary feel. One "room" on the newly-paved patio can be used by the homeowners' teenage children for hanging out with friends. The other room has a nice picnic area where the family can enjoy a backyard barbecue. Most importantly, the overgrown backyard has been replaced with colorful plantings and comfortable furniture.
table and chairs (Java teak table and chairs set) - Yardiac.com
antique granite paving - Stonecleft
cedar fencing (Stockade) - Natural Beauty Fence Co.
oak barrels - Bissett Nursery
low voltage lighting (Malibu) - Intermatic
Paving and PlantingsGranite slabs form two curved seating areas, bringing definition to the new backyard. Granite is a timeless, natural material that can instantly add a sense of history to a garden. However, it is very expensive, so the trick is to use it sparingly. Matt offsets the costs by outlining the pavers with inexpensive blue-gray gravel. It provides a lovely texture and color contrast to the granite but is also budget-friendly. (To keep the gravel from washing into the planting beds, Matt uses industrial-strength steel edging around the patio perimeter.)
The easiest way to create a harmonious link between the house and garden is by using complementary colors. Here the pink, purple and red planting scheme is taken from the existing house colors. A low-maintenance yew hedge provides an evergreen background for the colorful perennials and provides privacy from the neighbors.
Nostalgic ChairsThese chairs are a classic reclamation yard find for this contemporary space. The homeowners already had two beautiful blue chairs, so Matt found another pair to match. After a little TLC and a few paint touch-ups, they provide seating in the shaded part of the yard. Rusty and ancient-looking, they look like they're packed full of history and are a nice fusion between old and new.