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Feature Friday: Buck’s Backyard Paradise

I’m back today with a really FUN Feature Friday. By now, you all have been introduced to my new friend, Buck, when I featured his charming in-town Atlanta bungalow earlier this year, his Abbeville historic home, and the Flip house he is working on at the moment.

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Buck is a talented guy who has a great eye for design. He’s a busy professional who travels around the country as a consultant and speaker, but I’d say he could definitely be a designer if he chose that profession.

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He sent me some Before shots of his house and I think you’ll agree that this is a pretty amazing renovation.  Buck has been in his home for 9 years and the backyard, with fireplace, just got completed last year.  I didn’t have this shot of his house Before when I did the feature, but now you can get a good look at how far this bungalow has come.

You can see the entire inside of the house on the Bungalow link above.

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Isn’t this a WOW now?  With everything in bloom right now, it’s a gorgeous sight.

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He’s got limelight hydrangeas all around and they are stunning.  Note to self, plant more limelights.  They are the best growing hydrangeas and I had them when I was in Birmingham.

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Buck’s house is so charming now, inside and out.

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He added this side yard gate and it’s so quaint and fits the house perfectly.

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With sod and stepping stones, it’s the perfect pathway to the backyard.

Last I left you, I showed this view of his backyard, with the promise of coming back later to photograph it during the summer.  I had no idea the treat that was in store for me when I came back this month and saw it in its full glory.  You are going to be wowed at this backyard that Buck has created behind his house.  It’s one of the best outdoor renovations I’ve ever seen!  


He covers the furniture during winter months and this is how I saw it in January.  But, the big story is how this backyard started when he bought the house.  There was nothing back here when he bought the house and he and his cousin, a landscape designer, designed and built the back yard.

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Here’s the back of the house before he added the deck and the bump-out for his cozy and cute breakfast nook.  You’ll have to click on the inside link to see that cute space, but this shows his vision on bumping out this area to create the nook.  And look at the difference in the side yard too.  From Dismal to beautiful!

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Here’s the back of the house after the nook was done, but before the deck was built.  Note the HUGE oak tree up there on the left.  What do you do with a tree like this when you want a deck added on the back?  You’ll see in a minute.

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Another view of the backyard with the stone wall that Buck built, tiering the back yard into two areas.

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And here’s the top side of the tier looking all the way down to the back yard, which you’ll see in a minute.

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It was a pretty sad backyard, as I think you’ll agree.  Needed some TLC and vision and Buck had both.

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Here’s the beginning of landscaping, with sod and shrubs going in around the perimeter.  But, the big focal point was missing.  You can see this shot was taken from the new deck.  He built those columns below to look old and the stone wall looks old too.

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The grand finale of a fireplace at the bottom of the hill.  Isn’t this just gorgeous??   The fireplace was just completed last year and I’d say this is one beautiful backyard entertaining space.  Notice the string of outdoor lights that are attached to the fireplace all the way to the deck, creating such a nice atmosphere.  I can imagine this at night.  With all those plantings, its such an enclosed and private space now.  Buck’s own little paradise!

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Back to the deck, the deck was added and amazingly, the tree was spared.  He built the deck around the tree and it feels and looks like a treehouse.  Clever, isn’t it?

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This is not a tiny tree and it creates a lot of shade and I’m sure it also is a mess to clean up. You know how it is with hardwoods, they drop a lot of leaves.

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But wow, at the beauty it creates on this deck.  I love the seating area here, with 2 storage cabinets behind it for entertaining.  I’m sure his carpenter guy built these and I love them.

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This big storage piece is right against the house with a walkway in between it and the tree trunk.

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Sectional sofa and seating for several on the deck.  Love the colors and textures out here. Notice the slatted wall with candles attached behind the sofa.  Clever way to add a barrier and ambience.

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Overhead, Buck made this light fixture by winding an outdoor string of lights on a basket and suspending it from above.

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More of the sectional seating area, with pops of green, orange and red.

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Just lovely.  Notice the pullout drawer on the end table for drinks.

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And I love these huge lanterns, they sure make a statement.

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Plants in outdoor planters add a lot of texture too.

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It’s a beautiful seating area and I know enjoyed by Buck and his friends.

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The outdoor table is pretty cool too with those metal chairs.

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He may have told me this table was handmade too, I’ll have to find out, but it’s gorgeous.

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Pretty red geraniums on a planter in the middle of the table add lots of color.

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Another pretty planter on the column of the porch adds a lot of texture too.

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Peeking at the beauty in the backyard below.

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Right beneath the deck is another seating area of red and gray Adirondack chairs on flagstone.

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Surrounded by shade plants, it’s a cool seating space.

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Love those ferns.

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A few more lights on a shrub add interest.

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Here’s a peek at the stone wall and the first tier of the backyard all planted with beautiful blooming lace cap hydrangeas.  Isn’t it gorgeous?

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Lacecap hydrangeas and stepping stones.

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I love that he used vintage elements to make this garden look old and established, like these columns and concrete balls.  backyard paradise 022_20150723

Another shot down the stairs, past the first tier to the amazing fireplace.

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What a treat to have this in your backyard.

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A cozy seating area sets the tone for the fireplace.

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All weather furniture can take the heat and summer showers.

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Another gorgeous table is down here by the fireplace.

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Is your jaw hanging open yet?  I know mine was!

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I love the fireplace and the string of lights, that adds so much.

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He can build a real fire in here for Fall and winter months.

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Love the ledge on top for planters.

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Buck’s dad worked for the railroad so he added a few railroad spikes to hang things on the fireplace.  Nice touch!

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Fresh blooming Limelight hydrangeas cut from Buck’s yard beautify the table.

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This looks amazing, doesn’t it.  Buck’s backyard was just photographed by This Old House magazine and will be in there sometime, we don’t know a date yet, but I’m really excited for Buck. This backyard needs to be shown off and I’m secretly glad I got the first scoop. :)

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Red geraniums on the coffee table.

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A paradise for sure!

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I can imagine beautiful evenings spent out here by the fireplace, during many months of the year.

I’m so happy that I got to photograph Buck’s backyard and house to share with you all. It’s one of the most amazing transformations I’ve ever seen and I knew you all would enjoy it too.  Making a house a home is near and dear to my heart and I know it is for all of you too. Buck has created for himself an amazing space, both inside and out!

Here’s what Buck had to say about his backyard transformation:

I tried to take the best of what mother nature offered me (which wasn’t much) and go from there. With a lot of thought and hard work that tree and fireplace have become the backdrop for some of the best times of my life. That yard has provided a place for my friends and I to laugh until our sides hurt. I’ve seen couples meet on that lawn and I’ve had someone stop by for a glass of wine hours after he buried his sister.  I could feel his spirit lift, if only a bit. That backyard may be something great to look at, but the most beautiful part is the experience my friends, family and I have in the shade of that tree or in the glow of that fireplace.  Now that, is pure happiness.

Fashion over 50: Goodwill Dresses

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caprese salad

This time of year, I'm eating more simple foods and turning on the stove less and less.  Those fresh tomatoes are a big part of my diet during the summer months and Caprese salad is one of my favorites.  This tomato salad is a very simple, back to basics salad, with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil, drizzled with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The flavors are intensely summer … Read More»

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There are countless small towns in the South, many of which still hold the charm and quaintness of days gone by.  Abbeville, SC is one of those small Southern towns. I first found Abbeville back in the late 90's when I began seeing ads in magazines about their historic inn, the Belmont Inn and weekend packages that included staying at the inn and taking in a play at the old Opera House. I went … Read More»

Feature Friday: Buck’s Historic Home in Abbeville, SC

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I'm back with a really fun Feature Friday today.  You've all met my new friend, Buck, when I featured his beautiful in-town bungalow here in Atlanta earlier this year.  I'm also going to be covering a flip house he's working on right now and I'll show the After pics as soon as that project is completed. And I just photographed his backyard, which is going to be a real treat for all of you.  I'll … Read More»

Haven Conference 2015

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Sparkling Watermelon Lemon Lime Spritzer


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Last month, I was in St. Augustine, FL for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed my trip.  You can read Part 1 of things to do in St. Augustine.  I was invited to be part of a media trip and we got a fast and furious look at this historic city in just 2 and 1/2 days/  I felt like I really got a good overview of the city.  The history here, it's like no other place I've been in the US.  You could … Read More»

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