I’m excited to share photos of our backyard project with you today! This project was a major undertaking (one we’ve planned for since we bought the house!) and while the process was far from pretty, we’re so happy with the end result. We still have some planting to do to make it feel 100% complete, but I wanted to post a few before and after photos and answer a few of the questions I’ve received over on Instagram!

The pool that existed when we bought the house took up the majority of the backyard and required several updates to bring it up to current code. We were most excited to replace the kidney-esque shape with a sleeker, more modern rectangle that would allow for an automatic pool cover (our #1 priority having a pool with little ones!). We also relocated the stone wall that previously cut the backyard in half to extend the stone wall along the front of our property, replaced the rest of our fence, planted dozens of arborvitae trees around the perimeter, and swapped all the overgrown ground coverings for useable lawn space for our kids to play on. Whew! There were lots of delays and headaches along the way that I won’t get into here, but I hope you like the “after” as much as we do!

pool before

Here you can see the pool the way it looked when we bought the house. It was a perfectly functional pool for adults, but as a family with young kids, we felt strongly about being able to install an automatic cover and to replace all the gravel and ground coverings with a proper patio and lawn. The cost of removing the existing pool and constructing a new one in a different shape was about the same as it would be to build a new pool in a yard without one, but I think the peace of mind that comes with having a pool that’s completely up to code makes it one of our better investments in this house.

After relocating the stone wall that was originally beyond the old pool! This was day #1 of work on the pool, removing the old oversized concrete surround.

Removing the old pool…

…and then this giant hole is what our backyard looked like for a looong while.

Finally construction began on the new pool!

It was so fascinating to see the new pool begin to take shape.

There was another long delay waiting for the company that sprays the concrete, but the day they arrived was one of the most exciting days of the project! Then they backfilled with dirt around the new shape.

Then work started on the patio between the house and the pool…

…and eventually the plaster company came and filled it with water all in one day! Then the lawn took shape over the next couple months and here’s how it looks today:

serena & lily eastport striped umbrella and ballard designs miles redd bermuda chaise in design darling backyard

serena & lily eastport striped umbrella and ballard designs miles redd bermuda outdoor furniture in design darling backyard

english lattice fence and arbor in design darling backyard

serena & lily eastport striped umbrella and outdoor riviera dining chairs in design darling backyard

ballard designs miles redd bermuda outdoor furniture in design darling backyard

serena & lily eastport striped umbrella ballard designs miles redd bermuda chaise in design darling backyard

We’ve been in the pool with the boys every day since we got home (using the automatic cover any time we’re not in it!) and are so looking forward to making family memories out here for years to come. I’ll link our umbrellas, chaises, sofa, side tables, lounge chairs, coffee table, dining table (exact style sold out but similar shape here), and dining chairs in the scroll below but let me know if you have any other questions! Finally time to update the 101 in 1001 list. 🙂

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67 thoughts on “OUR BACKYARD PROJECT

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  1. Hi! We’re local and thinking about redoing our backyard/pool area to also make it more modern would you mind sharing who you used for the design part?

  2. Your backyard is absolutely gorgeous! Just curious about your thinking on having both the arbor and the wider gate into the backyard. Presume you also included the wider gate to allow for easier entry of bigger items/equipment etc.?

      1. Thanks so much for your reply! If you don’t mind, a few other quick questions about your beautiful pool! What size is the pool? Good for swimming laps or more for just hanging out with two little ones? Did you consider adding hand rails for stairs in the pool? Looks sleek as is and probably don’t need less aesthetically pleasing hand rails. Thanks again!

        1. It’s 16×32 and definitely more for hanging with the kids (Teddy loves walking the length of the steps and our dog will lie down on the top step as a way to cool off). Had railings on the original pool and hated the way they looked and having to store them in our garage over the winter so the cover could go on!

          1. Great point about the hand rails. Didn’t even think
            about having to store them to use the cover! Your backyard with pool is so well done! Congrats and enjoy!!

  3. I love your new white lattice fence! What company did you use? Do you happen to know the height of the fence and the height of the lattice part? We are putting in a new fence very similar and are trying to figure out how high the lattice should be. Love your style! Your home is beautiful.

  4. Wow, oh wow!! It looks so beautiful and gracious! The grass and the arborvitae really soften the space and your privacy is already amazing! Well done!!!!

  5. So inviting, so beautiful. Great job. Have you had a frog problem in your outdoor furniture. Seems like a family of green frogs have taken up residence and no matter how many times I relocate them they magically reappear or their cousins.

  6. May I ask what size the arborvitae are that you put around the pool? We need to add some landscaping and those look like such a good size already. If you can share how big those are I would love it! Thanks!

  7. It’s so cool to see this all come together – the final product is stunning, literally your backyard looks like it belongs in a magazine! I would have been so stressed during the construction process. Haha

  8. Did you use blue stone or pavers? We are redoing our patio and want this look which I’m assuming are genuine blue stone, but if they are pavers I need to know the details! Looks beautiful!

  9. Looks great! Can you let us know what you think about the lawn furniture? I looked at that set before, but was kind of turned off based on the reviews, but still love how it looks!

    1. I love it! If I’m not mistaken, the negative reviews are primarily about the cushions only being offered in white, which I agree is definitely a drawback as you have to pay more for replacement cushions in an alternate color. White is definitely not the most practical color for cushions and I could see us ordering the navy at some point in the future, but the furniture itself is excellent quality and I love that it’s aluminum so we don’t have to worry about it chipping or rotting like you do with wood.

      1. Awesome – thanks for your thoughts! I wasn’t that concerned about the cushion color, but the reviews about the furniture being uncomfortable and the drawers not working well gave me pause. Do you use the drawers? Have you found they protect the cushions?

    1. Sandy, You might wish to look at Younghouselove’s blog and look at their recent post about getting a pool installed. They are heavy with the details and how they chose the pool tiles and plaster color. I would definitely look at it if you are having a pool installed.
      Mackenzie, I agree with the other commenters, your backyard belongs in a magazine spread. It’s so green and beautiful. Hope you have many years of pool fun for the entire family!!

    1. Thanks! We have the option to heat it but it’s been so hot we haven’t needed to yet. We’ve spent more time than usual on Nantucket the past couple summers with my husband not commuting into an office but that will likely change as our kids get older, have more activities at home, etc. And yes we plan to keep it open through the fall as long as it’s not unseasonably cold!

  10. The pool looks great and so appealing in the summer, but honestly, it’s a little scary that there isn’t a high fence around it with little kids. Most drownings among young kids happen NOT during supervised pooltime – when parents aren’t expecting their kids to be in the pool. Is your automatic pool cover “childproof”? If it’s anything like the ones I know, kids can fall through them. I’d hate to not mention it given how terrifying drownings are.

  11. Gorgeous!!! Can you share details about the arborvitae? We live in the area and are looking to do something similar and have met with a few places about outdoor design work but would love to know who you worked with!

  12. You hit the ball out of the park! The whole project is amazing. A Slim Aaron print come to life. I hope you have many beautiful family memories in your new backyard.

  13. Can you share a picture (here or Instagram) with the cover over the pool? I am also intrigued! Looks absolutely gorgeous.

  14. This is a beautiful transformation! My parents put arborvitae in at my childhood home and it gives so much privacy while looking beautiful. I would love to see a photo with the automatic cover on! I’ve never seen one.

  15. What an amazing transformation! I will never understand why pools took on such weird shapes back in the day!

    I also love that you have so much more green space for running around. I am loving the new fencing you’ve put in and those arborvitae trees make for such a tranquil space. I’m wondering what sort of fencing requirements for pools you had to work with in CT, and how that impacted your design? I know in some states there has to be a particular type of fencing, plus other safety issues (when my parents built their pool in TX they had to install a VERY loud bell on the back door for safety reasons!).

    1. Oh interesting about the bell! We have alarms on both doors leading into the backyard and then 6′ fencing all the way around (there’s deer fence behind the arborvitae that’s hard to make out in photos) and then the gates on the white fence close automatically behind you.

  16. i’d love to know more about the automatic cover and how it works. is it a hard cover so the boys can’t fall in? is there a certain company that makes it? i live in an area where a lot of people have pools and have never heard of an automatic cover and it sounds great!

    1. I’m not sure the name of the company (our pool contractor coordinated the installation, but I imagine there are different cover companies all over) but it’s a retractable cover that you can walk on in the event of an emergency (like if a child or pet were to step on it). It’s not as hard as a winter cover but it covers the water completely and closes with the flip of a switch so it’s easy to keep closed when the pool isn’t in use.