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The Design Challenge

This homeowner renovated a small outbuilding to accommodate an office space on her Midwestern suburban property. The homeowner loved the short commute to work (just across the backyard!), but the entryway was not visually clear from the parking area at the front of the house, so her clients had a hard time finding her office door. Additionally, the homeowner wanted more separation between office landscape and private residential landscape, so that her clients would not accidentally miss the office door and wander around her backyard.

Before: The small backyard lacked definition and clear destinations.


The Home Outside Solution

To help turn this utility building into an office, Home Outside developed a simple paved walkway framed by bushy, shade-tolerant plantings to help guide clients to the office door from the parking area. At the office door, a small paved patio area with bistro seating and window box plantings, framed by white picket fence, helped make this small building feel more like a cottage, rather than a utility structure.  Plantings and fencing physically divide the landscape into a backyard for the main house and a front yard for the office, to deter wandering clients. And finally, beautiful screening plantings block views of utilities such as the A/C unit.  ­

Get some design help from the Home Outside experts and start your own backyard makeover today!


After: The Home Outside design makes the space feel surprisingly larger, with clear lines of access as well as spaces to sit and enjoy the beautiful plantings.