Contemporary Classic Backyard

Host Matt James uses a combination of sleek granite and old brick to transform this space into a contemporary oasis where the couple can spend time with their new arrival.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionAn existing birch tree is kept as a focal point, and the rest of the yard is kept simple for safety sake and the illusion of a larger space.
An existing birch tree anchors one corner of the space, providing shade as well as an interesting focal point. Matt proposes building a retaining wall around the birch and along one side of the wall to protect the tree's roots from any damage during construction and planting. Three sleek and modern containers will be placed at the foot of the stairs. Because the fire escape ladder descends to the pavement, the patio needs to be clear of any obstacles, so Matt opts for simple garden furniture that isn't too bulky for the space. The paving will be laid at a 45-degree angle to give the illusion of a larger space.