{The Ordinary Moments 16} #30 ‘A Garden Makeover’

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I’ve written many times before about our little home. We have lived here for almost seven years now, in fact it will be seven years at the end of August, but it is only really in the last three years it has really felt like a home. Although before it was our home, our little bubble, for some reason I never felt truly content there, whereas for the last three years we have really put our stamp on it and it now feels such a place full of shared history, love and memories. I get so excited to pull up on the drive at the end of a holiday and there’s nothing like the feeling of being safe and content in those walls, adorned with photos of our children growing and changing. It really feels like a family home now.

I have also said before how our house is nothing special at all. From the front it is nothing particularly exciting to look at, you certainly wouldn’t say wow if you were shown a photo of it, it’s just a little three bedroom link detached house in a nice estate, with all the other houses looking exactly the same. But inside we have really spent a huge effort over the last few years to get it feeling like us. A place that reflects our style and our growing family. We have only been able to afford to do this in the last three years, before that it had a lick of paint and some donated furniture from family, because we really couldn’t afford to do anything with it. The house has seen us through maternity leaves, a tough period of redundancy and when I would cry because we actually couldn’t properly even afford to buy a weekly food shop and where we struggled to pay the mortgage, to a change in career for us both and slowly starting to find our feet.

That is why I am so incredibly proud of our home. Even Mr E who isn’t emotional when it comes to material things, also says the same. I look at it and see the result of such hard work and I am really proud of that. It isn’t anything special, but it’s our home, our castle and I feel safe and content here. It won’t be a home that we live in forever, one day we will take the ‘next step on the ladder’ but whereas before I was always wanting to move, now I am perfectly happy here until we can comfortably afford to move in a few years time. I haven’t any single desire to leave this house.

A few months ago we had our dream extension (posts here and here) put on the back of our house, and it has completely transformed our living space. We had these huge bi fold doors put along one wall, which if I am honest I still pinch myself about when we open them up. As a result you could really see our garden from the house. We have NEVER been gardeners. In fact I positively hate gardening, which is strange cause I adore doing up our home in other ways. Over the years our garden has been various states, never looking nice, but ranging from plain and at least with cut grass, to completely overgrown, rotting and full of weeds. We hardly ever went out there as it was muddy and horrible, and we really weren’t taking advantage of having a space for the girls. So one day Mr E decided to take up a little mission to sort out the garden and make it into somewhere we would all love.

One weekend when I went to London for a blogging conference, he set about sorting the garden out. I didn’t know this at the time, but I got back to an excited husband asking me to close my eyes and come out into the garden. It was there I saw he had been busy over the weekend- he had given the fence another coat of grey (we had already done one coat previously to change it from brown to grey as we had to buy a couple of new panels from them getting the digger through for our extension), he had painted our old cheap table and chairs, he had made raised beds out of railway sleepers (complete with a love seat which opens up to storage), he had made lanterns and completely weeded the patios. I was in absolute shock and couldn’t believe he had managed to do it in a weekend- it was the loveliest surprise.

It had been my absolute dream to get artificial grass for a long time. I know it is not for everyone, especially the green fingered amongst us, but I had heard from people that it effectively made your garden another room albeit outside- more useable, less maintenance and good for children as well. But with us getting quotes and it being really quite expensive for what it was, we decided that couldn’t really justify it. However one day after doing quite a big one off work project, he said that we could get it, and that we would see it as an investment. We researched companies and samples, and decided on a high quality grass, that even had a bit of brown in there to make it look more realistic. I was counting down the days until they came to do it and it was finally done a couple of weeks ago.

The Makeover

Below I thought I would use the only photo I had of the garden before so you can see exactly what it was like before. This isn’t even it at it’s worse would you believe!

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And then this is it now taken from our new extension with the doors wide open. There really is nowhere better to sit eating our dinner in the summer evenings.

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In terms of the grass, it looks extra green in this photo, but in real life it is definitely more ‘real’ looking. We went for the highest quality that the company did, although there were all different types, including more traditional looking astro turf. It is hard to describe the grass but it is like walking on a soft carpet, it is spongey, soft and Mr E even joked that he could sleep out there one night with the girls as you almost sink into it. We paid for a company to come and lay it for us- this was where the biggest expense came. The grass itself although pricey wasn’t ridiculous, but as it is a specialist job that is where it racked the bill up. However we just didn’t dare do it ourselves. They came and got rid of our existing turf, built a wooden frame work round the garden, added a layer of sand and gravel mix, and then a layer of membrane to stop the weeds coming through and then laid the grass similarly to how you would a carpet. It took them two days in total and that is it, and it is guaranteed for ten years.

I have had a lot of messages on social media asking about it, and while I know it isn’t always the ‘done’ thing to talk about money, I know that if you are wanting to do something similar it is always good to get an idea of costs. Obviously it can vary depending on the company and quality of grass you use, but as a vague idea ours cost just over £80 per square metre and that was including the grass itself and the fitting and installation. It was expensive, way more than we thought it was going to be, but as I said before it is a real investment for us and I am so thrilled we got it done. I feel like I should become an artificial grass ambassador, as I can’t stop talking about it!

Here are some more photos of our garden makeover. Bar the cushions and ‘pretty’ bits at the end, Mr E did this all himself, including making the lanterns etc, so I can’t for once take credit for this project!

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We managed to pick up the cushions from Tesco for £2.00 each (hello sale!), and all the plants, festoon lights and succulents were from our local garden centre. Mr E got the mason jar lanterns online and then bought the candles and little black stones from IKEA. We also added grey slate stones round the side of our back small patio in order to stop the weeds coming through.

Overall we are just over the moon with our new garden. Already we have spent more time in it in the last couple of weeks than we have in the entire seven years we have lived in our house. It is such a great investment and I am so glad that we decided to get it done. It is essentially like we have added another room to our house and the girls love playing out there (although it doesn’t always look as clean as this!). It is so easy to maintain and to my great excitement you can hoover the grass to get rid of the dead leaves etc, plus it is easy to brush with a soft bristled brush to get off bird poo or anything like that. We just absolutely love it!

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(You can see some more of our interior posts here!)



34 Comments

  • Wow what a complete and utter transformation – you must be thrilled! Our garden is in desperate need of a makeover too…along with the bathroom, kitchen etc etc!!
    Where’s the vacuum photos…?! Haha xx

  • Natalie says:

    Wow this looks amazing! We have also spent a little time and money on our garden this year and we love it! We have spent so many days out there already this year. xxx

  • I am so jealous and definitely want to make more of our garden next year. I say it every year of course but then most summers that we’ve lived here I have been pregnant haha!! So impressed he did it himself!

  • Emma says:

    We just got astroturf too, I LOVE it, although Rob drives me a bit mad hoovering it all the time!

  • Donna says:

    Your garden looks incredible! I would never think to have artificial grass but you have made such a beautiful, low maintenance space. It’s amazing! x

  • Laura says:

    It looks amazing! What a transformation. X

  • It looks fantastic Katie. I know what you mean about it feeling like an extra room-with our garden being done up this year too it’s been so amazing! It was very refreshing hearing of all the stages your house has seen you through! I certainly understand the plodding along dreaming but not being able to afford to do the house up and wondering how to do a food shop. It sucks and it gives me hope that we will be able to do more at some stage! I have loved all your room tours-you really do have a gorgeous family home now-well done for all your hard work xx

  • Lucy says:

    As someone who has been lucky enough to see your new garden and test out your fancy grass, I can confirm its bounciness! It really is lovely, and as transformed not only your outside space but your inside space too, as you now have such a pretty view to look out at. x

  • Kerry says:

    Oh Katie! I am just in love with your garden. Well done Mr E! It looks like something out of a magazine :) I especially like the little added touches of the lanterns and light bulb lights. Xx

  • Caroline says:

    It looks amazing, and so worth the money if you are able to spend more time outdoors. We are moving soon and the new garden needs quite a bit of love, essentially its a blank canvas mainly laid to lawn but there is a lot of weeding to do, and I really want to have the trampoline sunk into the ground. I can’t wait to get it done though.

  • This looks absolutely fabulous! You’ve done so much to the garden,it really looks like such an inviting space. Our garden is looking quite drab and I would love to do it up in a similar fashion!

  • I can understand the feeling at home more as you put your own stamp on a place. I’m slowly getting that feeling with our flat. Although we will never own a property, we are “lucky” enough to be in a council property so we have all the flexibility of decorating how we want. I am absolutely in love with your garden. I don’t blame you for spending so much time out there. If we ever got a house with a garden I would definitely consider investing like you have. I’m not a gardener at all so something beautiful yet easy to maintain is right up my alley! x

  • Anna-Marie says:

    WOW Katie, the garden looks amazing, such a wonderful space. I have absolutely loved seeing the makeover of your house through your blog. I particularly love the extension and now the garden really does set it all off! Gorgeous xx

  • I can’t believe the difference. What a lovely surprise to come home too, you have a keeper in Mr E. He needs a pat on the back, it’s amazing. I am not a gardener at all, but I want a pretty garden and a space we can love to be in. Next year I am on a mission to do it. xx

  • Jen Walshaw says:

    It really has been totally transformed. I love it, especially the grey!

  • My Two Mums says:

    It looks gorgeous. I can’t believe I was sat here nodding at a garden post, but I think it looks stunning. Well done Mr on the grafting whilst you were away, it looks fab.

  • Wow that is phenomenal – So pretty yet practical. Hope you have many sunny days ahead in which to enjoy the fruits of your labour!

  • Oy you, stop saying your home isn’t anything special. It absolutely is. And you should feel really, really proud. It looks amazing xxx

  • I love the little lightbulb lights, and grey fencing is SO much nicer than brown. You’ve made it a really lovely, modern space that compliments the rest of your house. Well done Mr E! I think I am one of those ‘will always want a real lawn’ people, but I have been curious about what the maintenance is like for cleaning artificial grass? Does it have to be shampooed or anything every now and then? I just can’t get my head around how it stays clean as it’s not renewing itself like a blade of grass does. Can’t wait to sort out our garden, it’s a huge mess after the building work, with most of the fence panels broken, but we’ve decided that’s a job for next spring/summer!

  • It looks amazing Katie… And I honestly NEVER thought I’d say that about fake grass! Haha! I hope you get to enjoy a few more summer evenings in it before Autumn heads our way! Love the blue theme… So lovely and bright!

  • I actually can’t believe it’s the same garden, it’s a testament to the fact that any space can be made beautiful with a bit of love and care! It must have transformed your day to day life to be able to let the kids out into that lovely area. And life is so much sweeter when everyone’s had some fresh air!!

  • Life as Mum says:

    What a difference ! Such a beautiful home

  • Oh wow it looks absolutely amazing!! It looks so different, and although I never thought I would be one for artificial grass I have to say it looks really really good! Our garden is a work in progress, this has been our second summer here and it’s finally nice enough to spend time out there although not quite how I want it xx

  • Oh my goodness it is so beautiful. Mr E did good!! We were talking about fake grass last night and you’ve sold it to me now!! Fab post! Xxx

  • This is amazing Katie, I’d seen the after but not the before, what a transformation and how good did Mr E do, especially with those lovely lanterns. We do a little bit more to our garden each year and it is starting to get quite nice out there now, although I am very jealous of your artificial grass. I don’t think I could ever convince my husband to go for it though no matter how good it looks, he gets suspicious of things like that, lol xx

  • Notmyyearoff says:

    It looks so so good and what a difference from what it was before. I just love all the cosey cushions and that colour and contrast. Please could you come and do ours? I hate gardening and it’s like a little wild garden of weeds right now!

  • Tanita says:

    It is just absolutely gorgeous Katie, Mr E has put in such hard work and you can really see that. To be fair I haven’t always been a fan of gardening but since we moved here and have this huge garden that needed rescuing I needed to learn. I dare not think how much it would cost to get artificial grass here! I am lucky actually because my neighbour taught me everything I needed to know about gardening and since then have absolutely fallen in love with gardening. You get the same content feeling after cleaning your home, so I’ll take that! I don’t think it matters what kind of grass you have, it is what works best for you and it is so lovely that you all use it more, definitely a great investment, and it looks beautiful too. xx

  • This looks AMAZING!!!!!!! Love it — what a transformation Katie! Clever Jon — he’s a keeper for sure! And as for — ‘our home is nothing special’ — what??? It SO is. Just lovely xx

  • Katie it looks bloody brilliant- good work Mr E! What a difference to the ‘before’ pictures, and no wonder you want to use your garden all the time now. I can’t wait to get artificial grass in our new garden (maybe purely so I can hoover it!) x

  • Gemma says:

    It looks incredible! Thank you for sharing and for also sharing the price – we’ve been thinking about getting artificial grass for a while and as our gardens smaller than yours it all sounds doable! :)

    Gemma x
    The British Feather – A UK Lifestyle Blog

  • mummybexm says:

    Wow! This looks really incredible. Well done, guys! Beautiful colours.

  • Happy Mummy says:

    What a transformation; it looks amazing! You’ve definitely inspired me to make more our ours! Love the whole design, the colours are perfect. I also love your extension with the fully opening doors – definitely on my want list for our house! X

  • Danielle Maria Smith says:

    This is simply stunning! Such simple little solutions but its made such a difference. Looks so ultra modern & chic.

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