Interior Stylist Jaclyn Harper's Backyard Retreat

When I decided to tackle my backyard, I felt overwhelmed. There was so much to do! Can you relate? After much deliberation, I chose to put in a new concrete patio, creating a clean slate for the backyard. This really was the jumping-off point for the entire design. It was my vision to have three different zones (dining, lounging and food prep), and concrete served as a great way to separate the spaces.

Once I had decided on the dimensions of the new concrete areas, I needed to measure the spaces for furniture. I had fallen in love with an eight-ft. reclaimed teak table, but it was too big for my side yard. That didn’t stop me! Last minute, I decided to increase the area of the concrete patio to accommodate the table. I just couldn’t live without it.

When choosing the sectional for the lounge area, I knew I needed something that would be durable and weather-proof but comfortable as well. The South Beach three-piece aluminum outdoor sectional seating set from Home Depot ( was a perfect choice. It has an aluminum frame, so it’s lightweight and rustproof, and is completely covered in Sunbrella fabric so it’s UV resistant and weatherproof, too.

Once the furniture was in place, it was time to accessorize. This is the most important step if you want your outdoor living space to feel like an extension of your indoors. My biggest tip? Use lots of pillows and tons of throw blankets (check out for a great selection). This not only looks cosy and comfortable but makes for an extremely inviting area. Anyone can put patio furniture in their backyard, but accessories can help completely personalize the space.

For lighting, I used stringed lights and low-lying lanterns to create an intimate outdoor feel (cost effective as well). Plus, they look pretty. And last but not least, incorporating splashes of colour here and there (I chose a sapphire blue Weber barbecue and lots of greenery) can bring a backyard to life. I’m thrilled with my backyard retreat, and I hope it can inspire your own makeover.


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