Fittest loser
Article posted: 5/19/2013 6:00 AM

Outdoor makeover week 3: The place to be!

A seat wall and expanded paver area will give this yard a larger place for the owners to enjoy the outdoor space.

A seat wall and expanded paver area will give this yard a larger place for the owners to enjoy the outdoor space.

 
A seat wall and expanded paver area will give this yard a larger place for the owners to enjoy the outdoor space.

A seat wall and expanded paver area will give this yard a larger place for the owners to enjoy the outdoor space.

 
A seat wall and expanded paver area will give this yard a larger place for the owners to enjoy the outdoor space.

A seat wall and expanded paver area will give this yard a larger place for the owners to enjoy the outdoor space.

 
How can this reader transform her backyard from a place kids love to play to a place adults love to relax at the end of the day?

How can this reader transform her backyard from a place kids love to play to a place adults love to relax at the end of the day?

 
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By JoAnne Lee of Arlington Heights

Having been a licensed daycare provider for 10 years now I will say that my backyard belongs to the nine little people that I care for everyday. When my 11-hour day comes to an end I very much enjoy a relaxing evening with my husband and a glass of wine sitting outside and socializing with everyone that comes out in the summer after a long, cold winter.

My backyard is filled with cars, swings, slides, bikes, sandboxes, etc. It is a fun place but not a very relaxing place. We use a very small space alongside our front door with a small table and two chairs for our summertime outdoor relaxation spot. I have often thought of building a small deck in this area for our little table and chairs maybe removing a small tree for more space and adding some flowers but I really have no ideas on how to do this myself and finances right now will not allow. I would love even just some advice or plans on how to make this a more user friendly space so that we can get our summer on!

Transformation by RYCO Design Group

Budget: $5,000-$10,000

From the experts:

A busy home daycare provider has busy days in her backyard. She wants to unwind at the end of the day with her husband and get away from the chaos. A small front sitting space needs a little sprucing up to make it more inviting and comfortable.

• Expand brick paver space to include a portion of the drive. It will connect the two spaces together so the small sitting space will appear larger.

• Add a seatwall next to the patio space for extra seating for visitors. A column finishes off the wall with a spot to place a colorful planter of annuals.

• Low flowering shrubs and grasses are planted next to the patio space to bring texture and color to the landscape.

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