5 Lush Backyard Spaces to Inspire Your Next Renovation | Architectural Digest

When architect Prentis Hale got his hands on a 1921 bungalow in West Seattle, he immediately recognized a bunch of flaws in the small home. For starters, the Shed principal saw the front steps were unnecessarily steep, and the back deck didn’t optimize its clear views of Mount Rainier. The interior was equally dysfunctional, with strange remnants of old renovations and closed-off rooms unsuitable for a modern lifestyle. But with just minor structural updates and an infusion of natural materials, the house received a major upgrade.

A large sliding door connects the kitchen to the yard, where a new L-shaped patio tiers down to a stretch of grass. The spacious platform supplies the homeowners with an outdoor spot to relax, entertain, and gaze at the wondrous peak in the distance. Both outside and in, the property’s best assets are now maximized—and all it took was a few extra feet.

John Sharp designed the backyard as a retreat with comfortable furniture and plenty of entertainment capabilities. Plus, it’s the perfect escape for all this time spent at home.

Sean Hazen

This space was transformed very quickly from a drab area to a lush backyard.

Sean Hazen

With his days spent in the world of food, the owner of a creative culinary agency wanted to update his backyard to be a special space for gathering and sharing meals and memories. So he reached out to his friend John Sharp, a spacial conceptualizer and environmental designer. 

The homeowners’ quaint West Hollywood backyard was prime for a new vision. “In smaller spaces, people can tend to shy away from larger plants and furniture, but layering and adding larger pieces creates dimension and has an expansive effect,” John says. He incorporated a rare and funky ’70s bar from Wertz Brothers within modern outdoor furniture and custom pillows to tie the different style eras together.