Create the Ultimate Backyard & Patio!

Create the Ultimate Backyard & Patio!

Now that we can FINALLY enjoy the outdoors, check out our team’s top tips to make the most of your outdoor space.



Backyards can be overwhelming to tackle. Decide if you need professional help: do you have to do significant grading, stonework or fencing to get the foundation started? Do you have a plan? You can work with professionals at every stage…design, structural, planting, lighting. Just as you might need a pro with interior renos, don’t underestimate the value of working with one for your outdoor space!



For any backyard to feel complete, incorporate the following elements

Fencing and privacy
Green space
Patio surface
Varying plant heights
Furniture & Decor



What you need to know: 

–       If you are adding a shed or garage you may need a permit.

–       Fencing heights are a maximum of 6 feet in the city.

–       You can’t install artificial turf in your front yard.





Structural Elements

When you’re planning your yard, consider how you will use it. Are you entertaining or just creating a personal retreat?  Do you have a dog?  What is the sun like in your yard and do you need shade?  Are you trying to create more privacy?


Fencing: Consider the air flow of your yard…while smaller yards may dictate more privacy, you also need air to enjoy them!




Stone: Stone elements can act as a retainer or be decorative – stones can even act as a target for your dog so they avoid your plants!




Patio: Put some thought into the location of your patio and where the sun lands in the afternoon. Many people automatically think right off the back of the house but in our experience the rear of the yard is often a great idea.



Shade: To stay cool you may have to plan for shade. There are some great options for prefab or custom pergolas to provide shade and structure in your yard.





What you need to know: 

For any structural elements the foundation is key. Grading, base preparation and often professional help, will ensure that the base of your outdoor space will last for years to come.




It seems like a green thumb is a dying art but here are some great ‘go-tos’ that can add depth and structure to your garden.  Don’t forget the option of going upwards with a green wall and vines to bring greenery to your fence!


Columnar Trees – beech and hornbeam trees are great to add instant privacy and height.





Evergreens – ensure you can keep privacy and greenery during the winter.




Hydrangeas – they grow full quickly and add instant elegance.




Boxwoods – great for providing definition and structure.

Grasses – they give you instant height and look incredible when lit up at night.

Hostas – very hearty and can be split up and replanted to multiply.





What you need to know:

Take your time to talk to someone at a nursery to learn what you CAN grow in your yard.

Consider irrigation for your property to ensure your plants live and grow beautifully.

For more tips check out Real Simple:






Most people forget to add lighting to their yard which adds a huge amount of ambiance but also doubles the use of your space! While you can go to a professional for installation and design, there are some great solutions that you can install yourself. We suggest talking to the lighting pro at Lowe’s or Rona if you’re going the DIY route. If you’re working with a landscaping company they typically take care of lighting. If you’re in-between the DIY and Professional route you can work with an electrician to complete the wiring.





What you need to know: 

Make sure you have the proper power to support your lighting plan and ensure you won’t damage the wiring with any future landscaping projects by noting where the lines have run.







There are so many options for patio furniture to fit any budget.  Keep in mind the key difference will be durability and fade resistance of fabric, ability to store outside during the winter, comfort and service from the supplier. Here are our design team’s top picks for the 2018 patio season!





What you need to know: 

If you’re making a significant investment in your patio furniture make sure the supplier can replace and repair any future damage to cushions and frames later on.



Decor & Accessories


Just as you would do in your interior space, don’t forget to accessorize and decorate your outdoor space. We LOVE the pillow and lantern selection at West Elm, and Canadian Tire has some great woven planters. Don’t forget to have a few blankets on hand for when the early summer nights still get cool so you can enjoy the outdoors even longer!


What you need to know: 

Make sure your pillows are made of outdoor fabric.

Don’t skimp on quality when it comes to umbrellas.