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Landscape Design and Backyard Reveal / Yardzen Review

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We hired a virtual designer to create a landscape design for our backyard, and here’s what they created! A review of Yardzen and our backyard reveal!

Where We Started

A fixer upper home wouldn’t be complete without a fixer upper backyard, right? For the past twelve months of living in our home, our backyard has been a space we spent little time in. It was a massive blank space of grass (mostly weeds). It had the world’s tiniest deck, a slab of cement, and an eyesore of a pergola. Not to mention various other decorations, such as randomly placed bird houses and clotheslines alike. Insert Yardzen! An online landscape design platform that will take photos of your yard and virtually design it into a space that feels like home.

The Before

When Yardzen approached us and asked if they could virtually design our yard, of course we were all in. We knew we wanted to do something with our space, but it was in such bland shape that we didn’t know where to begin. It can be tough to see the vision when you’re standing in a space that doesn’t inspire you. But, that’s where Yardzen really came to the rescue. They created a landscape design that is far more inviting, unique, and beautiful than anything we could have ever dreamed up ourselves. But first, let’s take a trip to where we started out!

As you can see, it’s not great. It’s not the worst yard in the world, but it didn’t invite you to sit back and relax. The brick felt dirty, the cement felt commercial, and the deck was, well, you can see the “deck”. Overall, we just needed some help and guidance! We sent these photos to Yardzen along with a video where I walked through the yard explaining what we loved and what we didn’t. We then took a quiz on their site that helped us narrow down the direction we wanted to go in for our landscape design. So, let’s jump into that!

Our Virtual Landscape Design

Getting our first virtual landscape design back from Yardzen felt like opening a present on Christmas morning! We were stunned, completely blown away not only by the incredible design, but by the talent of the designer! It looked so realistic. Like we could jump into the screen and start enjoying the backyard straight away. Here’s a few of the photos we were sent in our first design drafts.

What next?

From here we sent the designer our feedback on the landscape design. We noted things we loved and things we wanted to see more options on. For example, we asked for warmer toned pavers and patio furniture, a wooden deck option, and to see what it would look like if we painted the brick on our house white. So they went back to work taking our notes into account and sent us another full draft of our yard to be!

One of the things we appreciated the most about working with Yardzen was how much they listened to our dreams and desires for our space. We really wanted string lights, and to see what it would look like with double the planter beds in our garden, little things like that, and they delivered more than we could have ever imagined ourselves!

The Final Drafts

Here you can take a look at a few images from the final drafts. You can see our notes from the fist draft taken into consideration too! The warmer wood tones, white brick, etc. Seeing this was so inspiring. We could have sat at the computer and stared at these images all day. But, this was the exact motivation we needed to get to work on making all of this become a reality!

Bringing The Virtual Landscape Design To Life

We ultimately decided to do all of the work ourselves, even though Yardzen was able to connect us with a local contractor. Why? Because we knew it would be a very slow process of redesigning our backyard over the next couple of years. We wanted to take our time. To start, we needed to decide what elements we liked best from each draft and which to tackle first. We sort of have three areas that we will be working on over the next few years. The garden area, the deck/patio area, and someday, a kids play area!


We chose to tackle this area first, because this needed the upgrade the most. The space needed to feel inviting, warm, and fresh. Like a place that you wanted to go sit to enjoy an afternoon cup of lemonade, ya know? We decided to take elements from both patio and deck designs. A wooden deck, but more casual like the first draft, and then the white painted brick, and warmer stone pavers from the second draft. Also a few string lights because it’s just so necessary for the ambiance, right?

2. Garden and shed

This will be the next exterior project we take on in the Spring of 2024. Yardzen suggested we paint our planter beds black and our garden shed white, and we think that will really freshen up the space! The reason we are holding off on this project is because our garden is alive and well right now. Have you seen our Summer In The Garden series on Instagram? That said, we don’t want to risk getting any paint on our produce or in the soil! So, we’ll wait until just before planting season next year to bring this area some much needed refreshing.

3. kids area

This portion of the yard will be completely making something from nothing! It’ll be the last in line since we have a little while until we really need a big outdoor play area. Plus, it will be so fun to revisit this landscape design down the road. That’s a really nice thing about this virtual design process. There is no pressure to do everything all at once, but rather slowly and in ones own time.

4. Foliage

Our designer at Yardzen did a wonderful job of sourcing foliage that would thrive in our Tennessee environment and also mesh well with our aesthetic. We will be saving the majority of this planting for next Spring as well. If it looks anything like the virtual landscape design, we will be in for a real treat.

Where We Are Now With Our Landscape Design

With some love and labor, here is where we have ended up for now in our backyard! We did away with the pergola, covered the cement slab with natural stone pavers, and ended up building out the first draft deck design, but with the wood element from the second draft. The string lights went up, we purchased patio furniture and black Adirondack chairs per the design, and painted the brick white. We are so happy with our improvements so far, and we can’t wait to continue adding more from the Yardzen design through the upcoming months and years. It really looks and feels like a transformed space.

If you are looking to reimagine your outdoor space we highly recommend Yardzen’s landscape design services! You can use this link HERE to get $100 off of a landscape design as well! We couldn’t be happier with how this has all unfolded and will certainly call upon Yardzen again when it’s time to tackle the front of our home! Thank you so much for reading! We hope you feel inspired and encouraged to create a space that feels like home.

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