before and after

before & after: a new backyard

by Kate Pruitt

We don’t get to see the actual process behind renovations very often, so this video version of a before & after in the making is a special treat. LA-based author and editor Jaime Morrison Curtis decided to decorate her porch for entertaining, lounging and making the most of summer. The already enviable porch space is now even more wonderful thanks to Jaime’s handmade touches, and it’s so fun to watch the process unfold on film. Thanks for sharing, Jaime! — Kate

Time: 3 hours (for installation)

Cost: $1500

Basic Steps: First, I just thought about the space and what we wanted to do out there — entertain, hang out, play with our kid — my biggest fantasy was an outdoor bed to take naps on. We wanted to be able to barbecue and to be in the shade, so I created the canvas awning to block the sun but not the grill, then I built the daybed from two pallets and some plumbing pipe (because I wanted it to have arms — I can’t handle a daybed without arms) and finished the wood for outdoors by sanding and applying polyurethane. I bought a twin-size mattress and covered it in a waterproof bed–bug cover, and I ombre dyed the bedding and bolsters in a light dusky peach. I sewed most of the pillowcases and used gold and silver thread to do some embroidery and black and white piping.

I made a side table out of paper mache and plaster, and I made all of the fabric tassel garlands to spruce it up and tie the colors together. I block-printed the chevron fabric by making a cut linoleum block and using oil–based block printing ink. I made the seat cushions by embroidering the woman in a headdress, machine sewing the pillows, then hand-sewing the rope trim. I planted all of the succulents in pretty pots and bought some airplants for the hanging terrariums. I used rugs I had sitting around, and I moved a vintage cart I had bought on a whim outside as a sort of bar/buffet. I purchased the rope table and discovered you couldn’t put drinks on a rope table, so I added some trays. Then I hand-picked flowers and veggies from my garden with my daughter, poured some wine and got to partying with some friends. — Jaime

If you want to create a similarly awesome backyard oasis for yourself, Jaime will be posting a photo spread plus a source list and tutorials here in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

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  • Really loved all the creative touches, which make it look unique and homey. The color palette is terrific and use of the fabric garlands was a great way to pull it all together. Really a clever makeover, and it was fun to watch it all come together. (I particularly got a kick out of the dog. : ) Nice job!

  • Very inspiring!! I particularly like the added cloth to extend the shelter area. It’s a nice alternative to the traditional sun umbrella… giving it a softer and more bohemian aesthetic. and LOVE the unique pillows too! great video.

  • Beautiful! The handmade touches are so pretty. And the video is a good way of showing the whole process. I’d like to see more videos of projects like this.

  • Loved watching the video porch transform. My favorite idea was the daybed–clever material use! I want one! Great job!

  • Wow! What an epic before and after! I’m truly inspired by this set up! I just moved into a home with a backyard, and this video has my brain spinning! Thanks!

  • Wow, what a fantastic makeover! I’m blown away by all the carefully thought-out DIY that went into this. Love the awning and the daybed. Thanks for sharing!

  • This is absolutely gorgeous! Inspiring as well… I have two sanded pallets that I had planned to use as a bed frame, but never quite got around to it. An outdoor lounge seems like a much better idea! Thanks, as always for sharing such amazing makeovers!!

  • I think it’s great. Fun little space. But seriously…..if you’re going to shoot video, please learn how to use the video feature of your DSLR. It looked like you were having a freaking seizure while shooting. I’m sure I’m not the only one who got motion sickness while watching :)

  • Hi everyone! Thanks for the nice words about my patio! Sorry my video skills aren’t the best. I’ll be posting all the details and photo spread on prudent baby next week. That song is by twin sister, isn’t it amazing? Hope they don’t mind my using it. You can download their music for free at http://www.twinsistermusic.com

  • The video skills were great. I love the shakey camera to make you feel like you are peering in, then just back to the still transformation. And the music! I’ve watched it over and over. Will you give me lessons…and redo my patio?!

  • What a great video! It really makes you want to sit down and have a chilled afternoon. I really like the different pillows. Especially the indian woman one. Where can I find it?

  • Wow, seeing this patio come together and the party afterwards was so neat! I love the colors and the nautical touches and can’t wait to see the tutorials for the pillows. Thanks for sharing!

  • i agree…the videography was great. i loved the shakey images and the blurred effect. and the song was awesome too. oh wait, this was a before and after–should probably comment on that. LOVED IT! daybed on the portch? and the fabric tassles? LOVED them too! great job, thanks for sharing.

  • loved everything about this fun creation!! especially loved your cool bed area for summer naps and the large fabric above for a little shade. i need to figure out something for my very very sunny, unprotected newly designed gorgeous outdoor space..still looking for doable, inexpensive ideas. thanks for yours! enjoy this fun colorful space with friends, family or just alone…

  • I would love to have how-tos or details on things you made for your wonderful porch. What did you use for the awning above the daybed? Tutorial please on the chevron stripe block print – is this a good beginner block printing project? Also , how did you make the fabric tassels. They really did help to pull the design together, but I know from experience that making things like this can be harder than it looks. Thanks for sharing and it’s very inspiring.

  • Thanks Jaime. The website IS amazing. It’s supposed to be raining this weekend in Bordeaux so I think I’m going to try my hand at it.

  • Wonderful–I loved the camera work! The porch is awesome,great work. I am in Florida with southern exposure and have not done too much with that area except for plants. Now I want a porch like that. I recently watched a movie from 1923 and some of the camera work mimics early movie films. So creative. Thanks for sharing your before & after.

  • I LOVED LOVED the Video .
    Great to see the FAMILY working together and the dog’s interest or not was too cute.
    Great way to showcase a make-over.
    Email me privately as I would love to give you a PassItON Card…..hugs from TX
    Have an amazing trip to Oregon. LOVE that cool state.

  • I love it! Seeing the video was awesome too. It’s going to be so fun to watch all the plants grow larger around that space too. The vines in the background are awesome! Great idea with the day bed too, enveloping it in waterproof – that was my first question!

    I’m a sucker for plants, so I love seeing that you still kept so many around in the yard – people tend to rip everything out when they redo yards! Looks wonderful.

  • You know what? Although some of the details aren’t my cup of tea, it’s so nice to see something pretty enjoyed by actual people/kids/animals/family. So many “pretty house pictures” look like they are staged that way for a whole 5 minutes, or as long as it took for some uber-stylist to bring in the expensive rental props and for the photographer to get the shot. Nice work, I especially like the fabric prints and cushion details.

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