It’s been just over a year since completing our GIANT backyard project. We moved to Utah for one main reason- the outdoors. The landscape here is unlike any other! Emmett and I both love spending time outside, so it only made sense to overhaul our yard. Over the course of a year, some things have changed, but the majority of the yard looks the exact same. We planted a tree, touched up the landscaping (fresh mulch is a game changer), but the biggest change you’ll notice is the new Article outdoor furniture surrounding the fire pit. Things got a whole lot more comfortable. Click through to see how it looks today, as well as read about things we’re still loving and three items we’d change if we could do it all over…
If you’ve been following along for awhile, you might remember- over a year ago, I participated in Article’s “A Night In” with some of my favorite design bloggers. Check out that post here! It’s crazy to see how much our house has evolved in a relatively short period of time. Our bare living room wasn’t even finished yet and we hadn’t even started on the backyard. Anyway, that’s when I fell in love with Article products. I remember thinking, “they are shaking things up in the furniture industry”. They don’t have showrooms or salespeople, but offer their beautifully designed (and comfortable) modern furniture at fair prices since the middle man is removed. It’s really pretty smart. That’s why I was excited to partner with them once again for our outdoor space- so without further ado, here it is!
Per usual, I tried to shoot right before sunset into golden hour so you’ll notice the lighting and mood change drastically! It’s actually one of my favorite things about the backyard.
The most recent addition to the space is the updated seating around the fire pit. After having friends over on multiple occasions, it became clear we needed larger, comfortable lounge chairs as opposed to our previous small settee. I landed on the Ora Lounge Chair from Article for a couple different reasons…
The first and primary reason was the seat hight. Since the chairs are positioned around the fire pit, I wanted to make sure it was functional- sometimes we’ll prop our cold toes against the edge, or lean over to roast marshmallows for s’mores. Much like a coffee table, the existing fire pit influenced the low chair height. These ended up being the perfect scale!
The second reason was the charcoal color and aesthetic. After painting our veranda black, I knew I needed something on the opposing side of the yard to balance out the moody and dark outdoor dining area. These chairs totally fit the bill.
Remember my planter DIY from earlier this spring? Look how much those succulents have grown!! Have any of you attempted the DIY? I hope yours are thriving and doing as well as mine. They’re seriously the easiest outdoor arrangement to keep alive.
I also got this cute outdoor side table because every seat needs a place to sit a drink. I also like lots of surfaces to scatter my citronella candles around the yard because mosquitos seem to LOVE me (unfortunately). The candles really ward them off and do the trick.
On the opposing side of the paver patio is the outdoor sectional. This permanent, DIY outdoor sofa is still my proudest project to date. Everyone who hangs out in our yard asks about it, and it’s something I could talk about forever. I loved the process, the overall aesthetic, and of course- the end result. It’s holding up SO well. Sure, I added a fresh coat of paint, but this thing is my pride and joy.
Please tell me some of you have attempted the concrete sofa DIY? Definitely comment at the end of the post, because I want to hear all about it!
I have a basket of throws I tote in and out as we use the backyard. Living in Utah, the evenings can drop into lower temps. I love finding a seat and curling up under a blanket. I could sit outside like that forever! The alpaca throw shown above is one of my new favorites. It’s medium weight, super soft, and I’m smitten with the tassel fringe detail.
I have to say… there’s something magical about our backyard in the evening. The twinkle lights come on, the mountains turn pink as the sun sets, the air cools down, music is playing, the dogs are doing their thing, and Emmett & I have our best conversations. It’s an inviting and charming spot I’ve loved from the very beginning.
The backyard has really become more of an evening hangout for us. We’ll usually eat breakfast or dinner under the veranda if we’re in need of fresh air, but when it comes time to lounge- THIS is where we end up.
We’re lucky to have a fairly secluded backyard. We didn’t have much to work with and it was in terrible condition, but we’ve really turned it into a great green space…. of course that wasn’t without a LOT of hard work. Here’s a couple images of how it looked when we purchased the home, followed by a shot of the newly installed privacy fence (prior to sod).
To be honest, I really can’t even remember this space before we transformed it. Maybe my memory just blocked out all the bad? I can certainly remember all the work though. Ha!
Quite the difference, right? So… after a year of having a totally finished outdoor living space, Emmett and I both agree there are lots of things we absolutely love and a few things we’d definitely do differently.
T H I N G S W E L O V E (aka, I’d make these same design decisions a million times over):
- the privacy fence (a must for households with dogs)
- the sod, because I’m a barefoot kind of gal
- the pergola WITH the fan & shade panels (life in Utah is HOT during the day)
- the paver patio (which made designing this space so much easier)
- the concrete sofa (obviously)
- the fire pit hangout area (everyone gravitates to that spot)
- landscaping (I’m convinced Emmett should’ve been a landscape designer- it’s 100% his creation)
- all the accessories (outdoor heater, grill, string lights, pillows, throws, candles… we still love it all)
On the contrary, there are a few things we were less than stoked about. I’ll touch on each of them below…
T H R E E T H I N G S W E ‘ D D O D I F F E R E N T L Y :
#1 : Irrigation // We added a sprinkler system prior to installing sod and to be totally transparent… despite very careful planning- we didn’t do a great job. Although it’s efficient and we’re big on conserving water (remember, we live in Utah), it doesn’t cover our entire lawn. Therefore, dry spots have occurred which results in dead, crispy grass. Emmett is working on solving the problem and is planning to add additional sprinkler heads, but it’s probably something we could’ve avoided. If we could do it over, we’d both swap those brutal hours digging and installing pipes, and let the professionals handle it.
#2 : Landscaping // After a year, it’s very evident that we should have fenced in our emerald arborvitae trees (the shrubs along the fence line). Obviously it would be a short (3 foot or under) wrought iron style that is hopefully minimally noticeable. The sole purpose of this would be to keep the dogs out. We have two male dogs, and as you might imagine, there is a certain contest that occurs… one pees, the other pees, the cycle repeats- our poor plants. We’ve tried a variety of things and a fence is our last resort- at least until the trees mature. The dogs also like to run around the back side of the sofa and the result is black mulch scattered alllllll over the paver patio. It’s not pretty and I hate sweeping it off. The fence is happening, mark my words! Hopefully soon.
#3 : The DIY Sofa // I know what you’re thinking! Why would I change my most favorite DIY?! I actually already have… I wish I would’ve painted the sectional from the get-go. It looks SO good and the paint actually increased the durability. A year later, it’s painted and I’m loving it even more. I wish I would’ve just taken the time to research and do it earlier. It’s a thousand times easier to clean and I love the way it looks. See that tutorial here.
There you have it! Our backyard, one year later… it’s safe to say I’m loving it more and more each day. One last touch I added was the woven coffee table basket. It comes in handy for napkins, matches, candles, etc… basically anything I want to carry outside when entertaining. I love the organic look, but the scale is most amazing. It’s really large, sturdy, and functional!
If you want MORE of the backyard… there’s no shortage of blog content when it comes to our outdoor living space. I’ll link everything below for easy reference. If there’s something you’re curious about- odds are, there’s a post about it! Anything else? Drop me a comment below!
- Paver Patio DIY
- Summer Backyard Reveal
- Custom Outdoor Seating DIY
- How I Painted the Outdoor Sofa
- Cornhole Board DIY
- Our Landscaping Design Plan
- Why You Need an Outdoor Fan
- The Backyard Budget
- Styling the Backyard for Fall
- How We Winterize the Backyard
- Citronella Candle DIY
- Candle Turned Into Outdoor Planter
- The Outdoor Dining Space Makeover
- My Favorite Fire Pits
- Outdoor Succulent Planter DIY
*This post is sponsored by Article. As always- all content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we actually use & enjoy!