Designer Spaces Outdoor Living

Jo Alcorn’s Backyard Makeover

With all the restrictions in the world, backyards are where it’s at for this spring and summer. Homeowners are looking to leverage every square foot of their homes, including their outdoor spaces.

With the price rise in lumber, furniture and all things outdoor, I want to give homeowners some tips on how to utilize what they have and add a few new things to spice it up.

When it came to my clients, they really didn’t like their original space; it was cluttered, there were no defined zones and they just kind of abandoned it. With the various lockdowns, they enlisted me to take the space from drab to fab.

Although the deck needed to be replaced, like many others, they were not ready to pay double the price for lumber, so a fresh coat of paint modernized this dated deck. Paint really goes a long way to freshen things up. The conversation set is over 15 years old but the shape and cushion color was still perfect. With a little elbow grease, and a can of mat black spray paint, they were able to freshen it up to look sleek and modern.

I really wanted to take this outdoor space from day to night so lighting was important to take afternoon drinks into the twilight hour. I grabbed these Edison LED String Lights and Hurricane Lanterns from Rona and Lowe’s Canada (their curbside pick up is simple and makes me feel safe when shopping). They give off a warm, inviting light that can take you from dusk to evening.

To take it a step further in the outdoor experience, I added this gorgeous Outdoor Wooden Bar creating another zone and focal point, now if it only it came with a bar tender!

Growing your own food is becoming a trend among many, whether you have a yard or a small patio. Rona’s modular and vertical planters ensure you have fresh herbs and veggies no matter your outdoor size. This system is also great for those just getting into the green thumb lifestyle. Bonus: they match the décor perfectly. I love when a design comes together seamlessly.

What’s a backyard oasis without a BBQ? While gas or propane grills are the norm, this weekend chef really wanted to try his hand at a charcoal grill. This gorgeous Weber 22-in Black Charcoal Kettle Grill is sleek in design and easy to move around, perfect for the space.

We brought in textured pieces to really finished off the space and add that cozy feel. With some two-toned throw cushions from Lowe’s with their stunning burnt orange tassel and black and white pillows. I defined the fireplace area and upper deck sitting area with rugs from Lowe’s as well to truly define the zones for a comfortable feature.

From lounging in the conversation area under the pergola, to toasting marshmallows at the fire pit, to grilling burgers and grabbing a drink at the bar, this backyard getaway is sure to get lots of use this summer and be a little home away from home.

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Canadian Home Trends' Style Editor, Jo Alcorn, Principle Designer and Founder of Alcorn Home. Jo has over 15 years experiences as a celebrity interior and home product designer, expert instructor, corporate ambassador, TV personality and a strong female entrepreneur, Jo has created a fabulous fan following. To add to credentials, she is a style editor & writer for multiple publications and blogs, a public speaker, and an avid animal/environmental advocate.

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