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Designing the Ultimate Backyard with HGTV's Matt Blashaw – Part 2 Creating a Beautiful Space

How to Create a Beautiful Backyard

Now that the prep work is done it is time to dig in and let the dirt fly. Here are some of my best tips to building a yard that will not only look gorgeous but make you enjoy it as much as sitting inside your own living room.

Outdoor lights are an incredible way to bring life to the outside after the sun goes down and help you enjoy your new yard for more hours in the day. They make some outdoor chandeliers now that are completely weather resistant and look incredible over an outdoor dining table. Even if you already have a shade structure, you can add a new light fixture that will give the space a whole new updated look. Be sure the lights are on a dimmer made for the outdoors to get the perfect look at night.

Back yard bar

Outdoor area rugs placed in a seating area or under the outdoor dining room table give a space instant color. They also help define your different spaces, give a yard texture and last for years. There are so many sizes, colors and patterns out there now that you are bound to find a rug that fits your style.

Another element that you can bring into your yard to give you that living room feel are outdoor curtains. I typically will hang these from the posts on a pergola by installing galvanized 3/16 cable with eye bolts as the anchor, so it mimics a curtain rod. It can act like a privacy panel, block unwanted sunlight and make your plain outdoor space pop with color. Be sure to shop curtains that are made for the outdoors, so they can hold up to the elements. And don’t be afraid to buy curtains with bright color or a high graphic design. This is the one element that can make your yard look like it was ripped out from the center of a magazine.

“…don’t be afraid to buy curtains with bright color or a high graphic design. This is the one element that can make your yard look like it was ripped out from the center of a magazine.”

Outdoor lighting
Outdoor room

Don’t over think the layout of your yard when you start to build. I typically design my yards with three spaces in mind. Too many elements can overwhelm a backyard and make the flow confusing. For example, I will typically design a dining space, seating area and add one feature like a waterfall or fire pit.  Be sure to have some breathing room between each and make it easily walkable from space to space. Now as far as how to layout these spaces, I have a trick that I use that gives me the perfect starting point. I will walk inside the home and look out the sliding glass door into the backyard and place my best element (like that fire pit or water feature) straight out from there. I do this so that you can see the feature from the inside of the house and it becomes a focal point from both spaces. This feature will be your anchor for the rest of the spaces to be built around and make your yard look incredible even from the inside of the home. I mean, if you are going to be spending some good time and money on a water or fire feature, why not make sure it’s front and center right as you walk outside?

Fire pit


By implementing these concepts into your yard renovation, you will be able to create a beautiful clutter-free space that will not only give you that outdoor living room feel you’ve always wanted but also an amazing sense of pride in your new yard.