Backyard Makeover: BBQ, Patios & Pool, Oh My!

Wikiwikiwhat! Backyard makeover time! Yes, our backyard is officially MADE OVER!

If you’ve already taken the tour of our backyard before we moved in, you’ll be more up to speed.

For those of you who haven’t taken that tour, have no fear—I’ll put in many of the “befores” so you’ll feel all caught up. (Although I still think you should check out that original tour because it’s a fun one and shows more than this!)

You may also want to check out our “Apocalypse Preview: Why We Ripped Out Our Backyard” to get a glimpse of what Armageddon will look like.🤣


Area #1: The Side Yard

Anyone remember how the side yard of this house looked before we officially bought it? She wasn’t too pretty.

side yard of house before painting

After painting the house, sinking the trampoline, doing some landscaping, and adding a built-in BBQ & kitchen area, she now looks like this:

side yard of house with sunken trampoline and updated landscaping
5 genius must-haves for your outdoor kitchen!

And yes, our house is a “she.” She needed this makeover after 30+ years of looking the same, poor thing.

PS: If you’re working on any kind of backyard project, you’ll need THIS!


Area #2: New Raised Patio

The view from the back lawn towards the pool used to look like this:

backyard of house before makeover showing pool and lawn

Where there used to be nothing but grass, Mountain Lady spotted a view to the mountainsIF you got the right angle a few feet higher up. So we dreamed up a way to get a raised view without having to build a treehouse. (Which is another fun idea with these massive trees we have. You know I love me some Swiss Family Robinson.)

The brilliant idea was a raised patio, where we have our dining furniture, to take advantage of the view of the mountains. So that same “before” shot now looks like this:

backyard showing raised patio dining area pool and lawn
Wanting to make a change in your home? START HERE!

Click to read about Building Our Raised Patio with Retaining Walls, or see The 15 Perks of Building a Raised Patio Instead of a Deck!


Area #3: Pergola Sitting Area

The pergola attached off the back of the house looked like this:

sitting area under pergola with pool

We’ve discovered this spot gets the sweetest, coolest shade in the afternoons, so it makes this an ideal sitting area.

sitting area in backyard after makeover showing pool
Wondering what type of outdoor furniture to get? I got over the pros + cons of outdoor furniture materials!

Everyone should read my post on the 15 Easy Mistakes to AVOID in your backyard!

Below is the old view towards the pool:

Our current view:

sitting area after with wood furniture pool fence and pool
Don’t forget to grab our FREE Interior Design Guide!

See how this all looked being ripped up HERE!


Area #3: The Pool

The view through the pool fence that used to look like this…

view of pool through removable pool fence

…now looks quite a bit different after we got ahold of it.

view of pool after makeover and new pool fence
Want to save some serious money on your own backyard reno? Of course you do, CHECK THIS OUT!

We replaced the removable pool fence with a permanent one.

Someone suggested we keep it removable “because the backyard looks nicer without a fence,” but we decided against that. We think the black fence looks beautiful, Matt installed all 75′ of it himself so we know it was done right, it ties in with the other black elements we have going on, and more importantly, it’s safe! We have young children, and even when they’re grown we’ll still want anyone coming over with kids to be able to let them run around the rest of our huge yard safely—without worrying about the pool.


Area #5: Mountain Views

Before we bought the house, the views of the mountains were blocked.

view of pool with overgrown landscaping in backyard

After spending quite a bit of time clearing out all the overgrowth (which was fun, don’t get me wrong), that mountain view—even from all the way back here on this side of the pool—cleared up quite a bit. Mountain Lady is happy.

view of pool with mountains in background after backyard makeover
Our complete list of backyard remodel tips + design ideas!

Now if you were to rotate slightly to the right from this view, you’d see our next area.


Area #6: Outdoor Bar Area

(a.k.a. “The Sunset Bar)

“Before” view from this spot:

view of landscaping in front of pool equipment wall

This spot gets a great view of the sunset over the mountains in the evenings, so we started jokingly calling it “The Sunset Bar.” (And yes, our children call it that too although they have zero idea what a “bar” is!)

view of bar area with deck and pergola
You can grab our FREE Interior Design Guide!

We’ll go into all the details about how we created this outdoor bar HERE!

Right now we’re just doing a quick spin through, from afar! (Closeups of every area—including the two firepits not pictured—will come another time, we promise.)


Area #7: Looking back to house from pool

If you rotated yourself left from that same spot again, past the pool, you would see towards the house. That view used to look like this:

view of back of house with pool

And today it looks like this:

view of back of house with updated hardscape and fresh paint
Don’t forget to grab our FREE Interior Design Guide!

Say hello to my bougainvillea babies! I’ve been training three bougainvillea plants to grow up the pergola and it’s been so exciting watching them grow and flower. (Yes, more adopted plant babies for Jess to nurture!)


Area #8: Raised Chaise Patio

This spot gets almost all-day sun. Before we moved in, you may remember us sharing this view:

view of chaise sitting area by pool
A full ‘before’ tour of our backyard

Today, if you came over to enjoy a cool drink with us in the chaises by the pool, you’d see this new view:

after view of chaise sitting area looking at pool backyard makeover
We now have the backyard of my dreams and we were able to do it while staying on a budget!

If you’re serious about saving money on your backyard, you need THIS!

You can also just see the edge of our black chairs for the firepit area on the left (well, one of our two firepit areas), but we’ll go into detail with pics of those spots another time. Looking towards the house from the chaises, you used to get this view:

view of back house with pool fence and pool
A before tour of our backyard. Sometimes I can’t believe what we were able to turn it into!

Now here’s what we see:

view of back of house with pool, new pool fence after makeover
Want to save big on your backyard reno? Check this out!

We’ll go into all the details and closer photos of everything later, because there is SO MUCH MORE TO SHOW YOU GUYS!

But before you buy a single stone or piece of outdoor furniture, you need to make you’ve got THIS right!

  1. See Our Outdoor Kitchen!
  2. How to Save Big Money On Your Backyard!
  3. Do you know the pros & cons of patios vs decks?
  4. If you missed seeing the views that’ll give you a preview of the Apocalypse, just go to this post.
  5. Don’t miss the full tour of our outdoor spaces!

View The Complete List of our backyard remodel! We’ve already made changes to our front yard and our courtyard, and there’s more to come!

PS: To browse all our house renovations, click HERE!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. C.P.

    Your pool backyard makeover is nothing short of awe-inspiring! The transformation is evident, and your attention to detail in the planning and execution is commendable. The juxtaposition of before-and-after pictures vividly showcases the incredible journey. It’s not just a makeover; it’s a testament to creativity and dedication. This post will undoubtedly inspire many to turn their pool spaces into havens of relaxation and joy.

  2. Maunank Patel

    I am getting my backyard done as we speak and middle of finalizing the colors for borders and concrete area. I really like you selection. if you can share what is the concrete base color and Border color that will tremendously help me finalizing the selection

    1. Jess

      Ah, you’ve hit on a previously tender subject for Matt and me!🤣 We spent time choosing exact concrete colors for the guy who poured it and in the end he didn’t do it (and much of it doesn’t match either!). He ended up giving us a hefty discount but still…it wasn’t what we’d spent time choosing but it’s cement so…🤷🏻‍♀️😂 It’s fine! Grin and thumbs up at that point, right?🤣 So glad you like how it turned out overall and that it’s not noticeable.👍

      Best wishes on your project (and if your concrete guy messes up your color, may it turn out ok in the end!🤣)!
      – Jess and Matt

Leave a Reply