Rebel Wilson Turned Her Friend’s Barren Backyard Into an Outdoor Oasis

Actress, writer, producer and fashion designer Rebel Wilson surprises her hairdresser and one of her closest friends, Nicole, with a stunning backyard retreat.

May 11, 2020

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Rebel Wilson + Nicole

When Rebel Wilson first moved to Hollywood from Australia in 2010, she was in search of two things: friendship and a good dye job. Lucky for Rebel, she met Nicole. “She came to me to get her hair and makeup done,” Nicole said of the day she and Rebel met. “I was told that she was an Australian comedian and immediately I thought that she was going to be so mean to me.” Nicole couldn’t have been more wrong. She and Rebel hit it off, and they soon went from hairdresser and client to close friends who consider each other family. “She’s so genuine and heartfelt and when she gives me advice it’s from the heart,” Rebel said about Nicole. “She’s just an awesome person.”

Wanting to give back to her closest and first friend in America, Rebel saw the perfect opportunity to surprise Nicole with a backyard renovation at her home in Burbank, California. Together with Jonathan and Drew Scott, Rebel transformed Nicole’s barren backyard into an outdoor oasis complete with a living space, dining area, fireplace and pool.

Rebel With a Cause

Nicole’s backyard was pretty much a blank slate so there wasn’t much to do demo-wise aside from leveling the land off. In order to do so, a large concrete slab needed to be removed. Rebel hopped in the excavator armed with a jackhammer attachment and got to work. “I loved it,” Rebel said of the experience. “Normally I’m just sitting at home at a computer writing jokes, or I don’t know, getting glamorous for a red carpet. Very different, but I’ll tell you what — I really, really enjoyed it.”

Property Sister

Rebel played the part of general contractor really well — it’s a shame there wasn’t more demo for her to tackle! Even Rebel started thinking that maybe this was a missed career opportunity. “I wish these two were my brothers and then I could’ve been a Property Sister and been part of it from the beginning,” Rebel said. “At least I’m in one episode, so that’s good.”

The Patio, Before

Rebel mentioned that Nicole and her husband had put their entire savings into purchasing this house in Burbank, California, and were unable to allocate any funds to the backyard. One good thing about the original patio was that it was already wired for electrical.

The Patio, After

Jonathan and Drew paired neutral furniture pieces with white walls to create a beautiful and airy outdoor living room. Large format terrazzo tile brings a touch of elegance to the space. Pops of greenery offer some color and tropical vibes.

Patio Details

Drew and Jonathan wanted Nicole’s new patio to look as nice as an interior living room. Cozy details and décor that look like they could belong inside create an elevated feel. A slat wall privacy screen helps enclose the space while hiding the cement block wall. A rattan swing chair adds a touch of boho charm.

The Backyard, Before

Nicole’s yard was so barren it was hard to believe anyone was living in the house at all. Beyond dirt and a concrete block wall, there wasn’t much to look at.

The Backyard, After

With plenty of room at their disposal, Jonathan and Drew gave Nicole an outdoor dining space complete with a stainless steel grill and refrigerator. The upholstered chairs offer an elevated look and nicely complement the patio furniture. A new concrete slab and custom pergola help anchor the space.

The Barbecue

To quote Rebel Wilson, “Is this like the sickest barbecue you’ve ever seen?” Jonathan and Drew picked out this outdoor modular kitchen with a stunning custom finish just for Nicole. Surrounding greenery and the custom pergola add interest and color to the space.

The Backyard, Before

This part of the yard was slightly less barren — in that it was home to a concrete slab. Before the renovation could begin, the slab was removed so the backyard could be leveled off.

The Backyard, After

In addition to the covered living area, Jonathan and Drew wanted to give Nicole an outdoor lounge space complete with a fireplace and water feature. Neutral furniture keeps this space consistent with the others. Lush greenery and another privacy screen work to hide the cement block wall and create an oasis-like environment.

Great Balls of Fire

Jonathan and Drew chose this linear fireplace with ceramic balls to kick the space up a notch. They opted for a tall fireplace (which had to be placed via crane!) for an even more impressive look. Rebel mentioned that Nicole is the type to sit outside and look up at the stars. This space gives her a comfortable and stylish spot to do so.

The Pool

A pool was high on Rebel’s list of must-haves for Nicole’s new backyard; but with only four weeks to complete the renovation, Jonathan and Drew needed to get creative. The pool you see here is actually made out of an old shipping container and is 12 feet by six feet. With the frame of it already built, all Jonathan and Drew needed to do (more or less) was drop it in.

A Backyard Oasis

One of the best parts about living in the Los Angeles area is that outdoor living is possible all year round. From the covered patio and outdoor kitchen to the lounge area and pool, this backyard has something for everyone. This angle of the backyard offers a look at how Jonathan and Drew created three distinct yet cohesive spaces.

The Reveal

Though Nicole knew Rebel was working with the Property Brothers to renovate her backyard, she was absolutely taken aback by the result. “There was nothing in the backyard and for years I’ve had to look at concrete and dirt,” Nicole said. “This is beyond what I could’ve even imagined. The memories I’m going to be able to have back here with family and friends … it’s just really special.”

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