The Morgan family needs a backyard where the children can play, the adults can relax, and everyone can form lasting family memories. Chris thinks outside the box to transform the family's forgettable backyard into a unique space with plenty of comfy seating, a lounge area with a hammock and stretches of grass for playing. But the unexpected element that thrills the homeowners is an outdoor movie theater where the entire family can gather and create lasting memories. Chris shows how to effectively plan outdoor spaces that will incorporate multiple uses and unexpected surprises.
Chris creates a yard that literally goes from trash to treasure. The homeowners had been saving old bathtubs and coffee urns to use as planters, but simply didn't have time to create the eclectic yard of their dreams. Chris and his team tackle a huge clean-up project before they can begin designing the small backyard. They expand a tiny deck to be closer to a hot tub, redesign an outdoor shower, add a stone patio with a fire pit and extra seating, and create a unique rebar arbor that leads to a children's play area. To enhance the small yard's growing area, the team attaches planting pockets to the side of a garage and creates a beautiful vertical garden.
A young couple determined to live close to the land, hires Chris and his crew to create a beautiful urban farm in their backyard. The couple already have a beehive, but they want to be able to walk outside their door to harvest an entire meal, and serve and prepare it in an outdoor dining area. Chris designs an eclectic backyard where the couple can grow and eat their own food in an inviting outdoor space. The new yard comes complete with raised planters for vegetables and herbs. Using a door salvaged from the couple's rickety wooden shed, Chris creates an adorable chicken coop and tool shed.
El and Sharon Sanders have a cluttered backyard that is overgrown with weeds and full of unsightly storage bins. Chris has to demo a deteriorating carport, concrete and fencing before he can build a modern low-profile deck with built-in storage, a relaxation space with a fountain and low maintenance plantings.
Julie and John are proud owners of a 100-year-old Craftsman bungalow with one big problem: its grassy backyard lacks the charm and character of their home. The couple ask Chris to create a backyard that incorporates their eclectic taste and their 5-year-old son's need for outdoor space, while preserving the integrity of the Craftsman style. Chris' design includes a new deck with columns that perfectly match those on the home's front porch. When the homeowners ask for a roof, Chris cleverly creates a see-through roof that lets in light while protecting the deck from the elements. A concrete water feature with lily pads and koi is an unexpected surprise off the deck. And the feature everyone will remember is the vintage bike fence that blocks unsightly views while keeping the couple's antique bike collection ready to ride. Chris and his team finish the transformation just in time for the couple's celebration of the home's 100th year, one in which the new backyard is as charming and interesting as the home itself.
While the large, woody backyard looks beautiful from a distance, up close, the bugs and overgrown bushes keep a pair of new homeowners and their dog out of the backyard. They want to be able to entertain and relax in their shady yard, but the small deck and unkempt woodlands are impractical for parties of any size. Chris uses a backhoe, chainsaw and inventive new plantings and hard-scape to create a yard that seems to grow right out of nature, but is inviting and relaxing as well. Chris extends the deck and adds stadium steps to create a new dining and cooking area. A flagstone patio becomes a natural floor for an outdoor living room. A waterfall surrounded by river rock looks as if it was created by nature. And a huge swinging daybed is tucked into the yard's far corner under a pergola. The frisky dog isn't forgotten as he gets his own grassy enclosure as well. New plantings are the unsung heros of this yard, however. Chris uses insect-repellent flowers and herbs to help keep spiders and bugs back in the woods and away from the homeowners new outdoor retreat.
A theatrical family of four wants a backyard where they can entertain and put on performances, but they have little privacy, an unsightly oil tank and a scorched yard that keeps everyone away. Chris and his team create a massive outdoor kitchen, complete with a pergola, pizza oven, fire pit and loads of extra seating. Lush sod, colorful plantings and a clever outdoor stage make this a yard to where entertaining takes center stage.
Chris and his team tackle a huge backyard overrun with poison ivy and wood chips. A couple and their toddler daughter are only able to use a small, old deck for entertaining because the rest of the yard is too hazardous. They ask Chris to design a space that will allow them to host large family barbecues and play dates.
Chris tackles a yard so unusable, the homeowners' two young daughters would rather play in the driveway than in the large yard behind the house. The space opens to an uneven brick patio, sloping yard and a play area that's too far from the house for the parents to easily supervise. Chris and his team design a space that blends in with the home's natural surroundings, yet is functional for the family's needs. The team demos the dangerous patio and levels the yard. They create a massive stone patio, with raised dining deck, a natural-looking waterfall and pond with fish and a beautiful gazebo set high on a slope, designed for gazing over the yard. And to keep the children happy, a hand-made outdoor xylophone becomes the centerpiece of the garden.
When a couple can't agree on how to create a beautiful, but low maintenance backyard, Chris and his team take over. The homeowners love to dine, practice yoga, and entertain outside, and ask Chris to create a space that will meet their needs. Chris extends the home's covered patio to include a steel pergola over a new dining and yoga area. Decking extends through the yard, leading to an unusual sunken fire pit with comfortable cushion seating. And the focal point of the yard is a no-maintenance yin-yang garden with decorative footbridge leading to a side yard. Easy-care grasses and flowers give year-round beauty, without needing to be groomed.
Chris and his team must work around a beautiful, but rooty tree to give homeowners the backyard creative retreat they're asking for. The tree's shade and prominent roots prevent grass from growing in the backyard, so Chris builds a deck to level out the space over the roots. An attached bar and seating area makes the deck an enticing hangout. Nearby, a dining area and propane fire pit provide additional seating. And a rustic outdoor cabana becomes the creative retreat the couple has always wanted, complete with desks where they can set up their laptop computers. Chris plants shade-tolerant and colorful plants to give the entire yard a cohesive feel.
A well-traveled homeowner creates the perfect design challenge when she requests a Caribbean backyard in Cape Cod. With colorful, beachy inspiration, Chris gives the homeowner what she wants, with a twist. Chris creates a wrap-around deck that leads into the new backyard and solves a tricky backyard access problem. A Caribbean-themed bar with a clever metal roof becomes the yard's focal point, surrounded by a stone patio with a fire pit, dining area and sitting area. Chris reuses the homeowner's hammock, under a new pergola to give her a shady space to relax. And to complete the tropical theme, Chris uses colorful, lush plants and even sand, to mimic the feel of the Caribbean.
A family of four is desperate to have an outdoor space as beautiful as their recently-renovated Mediterranian-style home. The home has beautiful french doors that open to a miniature deck with a yard filled with dirt and renovation left-overs. Chris and his team tackle the cleanup and demo first. Then they create design elements that will enhance the home's classic style. They build a huge deck off the French doors that opens to a grass-and-stone tiled yard, a cobalt blue fountain and an oversized gazebo with canvas shade panels that enclose an outdoor living room. Chris also has a beautiful solution an unattractive driveway that edges next to the new backyard space.
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