Back yard-Converting Unused Space into a Relaxing Area

Posted in DIY Projects, My Home


Sharon M for the Home-back yard makeover

My back yard.

This summer marked 6 years of living in my home and in my last post I described what we had done since then. Now that this area has been transformed I now feel that the back yard is complete. Every area has its purpose (well, almost all).
It all started at the beginning of this summer when my daughter mentioned how it would be cool to clean up behind the shed and put a couple of chairs to be able to relax. She actually suggested we just hook up a hammock that we have laying around-simply wanted a shady spot to go and read when it got too hot. The area is cool, shady, and quiet. A perfect place to hide out but it had become an unsightly “storage” area!

Sharon M for the Home-converting back yard spaces

There are two entrances to our little retreat-one from one side of the shed and the other one and the side of the hedges as shown in the first pic.

So right away the wheels started to turn.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of money because I wasn’t sure if, once finished, the space would actually be used but I liked the idea of at least cleaning it up. The space reminded me of  a tree house. If you look up at the branches, you get the impression you are literally up in the air and since I’ve always wanted a tree house, why not build one on the ground-safer for us who like our wine 😉

Sharon M for the Home-converting back yard spaces

Looking up!

Sharon M for the Home-using pallets to convert back yard space

For the floor I used the numerous pallets I have and leveled each one of them.

Sharon M for the Home-using pallets as a base for a back yard retreat

My daughter sanded them to make them soft on the feet.

Because I have a chain link fence surrounding our property and taking it down was not an option (a necessity when you have 2 dogs that like adventure). It’s green and blends in with the cedar hedge but I still wanted to hid it somewhat so I decided to secure 3 posts and make a railing-now I wouldn’t want anyone to fall out of the tree house and hurt themselves….

Sharon M for the Home-back yard retreat on a budget


The posts and the wood for the railings were the bulk of my expenses.

For the finishing touches I will admit to being very lucky to have access to industrial sewing machines where I work occasionally as an industrial seamstress making hyperbaric chambers (I make them all pretty) and to fabric that would otherwise be destined to the landfills.

That being said, the downside is that my choice of colours is limited.

Sharon M for the Home-back yard retreat for reading and meditation

I mean very limited-navy blue and black but it’s a fabric that does well outdoors (it is used on boats) so maintenance is minimal. It’s free though and that makes navy blue very attractive. You just have to get creative and match it with other colours that will pop out.

Sharon M for the Home-comfortable back yard retreat

I made four 26″ x 26″ pillows-two of them are navy blue (the bottom one)

To soften things a bit I used a linen blend that I had in my leftovers to make at least one cushion that would be soft enough to nap on.  And that’s where I got lucky again and had a roll of fabric on hand from another project to make the top of our mattress.

I made shades to protect from light rain and falling leaves again from fabric that was offered to me.

Sharon M for the Home-back yard retreat

They are white. Not the most practical colour but at least it doesn’t darken the area too much. I’ll just have to wash them more often.

Then the finishing touches!

Sharon M for the Home-back yard retreat

An arch made from a scrap piece of 2 x 12 secures the posts to the shed and adds a nice entrance way from the front of the shed!

Sharon M for the Home-back yard retreat

I brought out decor from the house that wasn’t being used.

Sharon M for the Home-back yard retreat

Sharon M for the Home-back yard retreat

I added more details by using cement renforcement bars, which are cheap, by drilling holes in the posts and sliding them in to hang decorations from them.

At the beginning of this project I had my doubts about it being used much. Well , I was wrong.

Sharon M for the Home-back yard spaces

The space has turned out to be a place where I can come and just relax-something I need to do more of.

Sharon M for the Home-back yard spaces-converting unused space

Even my best buddy likes it back here!

Even our biggest critic-my boyfriend who thought this project was a waste of time was the first one to come back here to nap.

Sharon M for the Home-back yard retreat

Turns out to be worth while after all 😉

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