Having a backyard is both a blessing and a curse. You get that coveted outdoor space, but then you also need to fill it with furniture and plants *and* maintain it. Our DIY Kit Designer Marianne Koo recently moved into her new San Francisco digs and inherited a yard that needed some serious TLC. On this edition of Make It Over, we’ll show you her gorgeous transformation, along with a few DIYs that helped her reach #plantlady status.

The Before

Koo’s yard had a bit of wear and tear (not to mention a leaning fence). It was basically a blank slate that was begging for an overhaul. She wanted a stylish space that would work for entertaining, lounging, and her growing plant collection.

The After

Koo’s (below left) minimalist style came out in all of our design choices — from the millennial pink-inspired tablescape to the modern outdoor fireplace nook. And we even got to replace that sad fence with a beautiful stained wood version.

After settling on a color palette of blacks, whites, and pinks, we sourced our hero pieces: the teak dining table from Article and the bold patterned rug from The Mine. Then we added pops of blush and terra cotta to warm things up. And for that extra wow factor, we brought in brass candle holders and flatware.


Since adding additional seating was a must in this big yard, we found these gorgeous armchairs and added pops and texture with pillows. The concrete side table is the perfect size to hold some canned rosé.

In order to house Koo’s growing plant collection, we got her an actual house — well, a greenhouse. This find not only added more storage but really filled up the yard and added architectural elements. “I love my new plant house and can’t wait to watch my jungalow grow!” exclaimed Koo.


There she goes, getting started on it already. Happy planting, girl!

Check out our DIYs below and scroll down for all the shoppable links to get the look on your own.


With such an empty yard, we really needed to bring in planters to add more interest and personality. We put Koo to work on a few DIYs that would look amazing in any yard (or indoor garden, if that’s what you’re working with).


These affordable vertical gardens (like this one on Amazon for just $11!) are easy to dress up with paint to make a bold statement piece in your garden.

Simply lay out your design with the masking tape. Be sure to press the edges down firmly so that paint doesn’t seep underneath. Then paint between the pieces of tape. It took us two layers to achieve an opaque look. When making these, be sure to allow the paint to dry overnight and then remove the tape.


Trust us; this outdoor bench is actually surprisingly easy to put together. Most hardware stores will cut the 2×4’s down for you for a small price. We recommend using redwood for any outdoor project, as it naturally resists decay. Feel free to use cedar as well, which exhibits the same properties but is a little pricier.

Butt up a 15-inch piece of wood against a 17-inch piece of wood. Use a spare piece of wood to keep the first two pieces aligned. Secure the two pieces of wood together with two screws.

Repeat the previous step and secure the two “L” shaped pieces together. Repeat these two steps to make two squares.

Arrange the four 48-inch pieces of wood on top of the two squared, making sure to leave an even amount of space between each piece.

Your bench should mirror the layout shown above.

Lay a strip of tape across all of the planks to make sure the screws are aligned and use two screws to secure each top plank into the base. Repeat the previous step on the other end of the bench and remove the tape.

Use the masking tape to create a template for paint. Make sure you use exterior paint. Allow the paint to dry overnight before removing the tape.

Shop the Look

Outdoor Dining Table: Article Teaka Dining Table ($1099), Article Sala Chair ($189), The Mine Orian Blocks Carres Ivory Area Rug ($150), World Market Large Bodega Glass Set of 6 ($12), World Market Ivory Linen Napkins ($24, set of four), World Market White and Brown Jute Table Runner ($25), All Modern Elkhart 3-Piece Vase Set ($46), Urban Outfitters Umbra Shift Pleated Succulent Planter ($79), Urban Outfitters Umbra Shift Pleated Vase ($79), Urban Outfitters 12-Piece Metallic Flatware Set in Gold ($56), Urban Outfitters 12-Piece Modern Dinnerware in Pink ($69)

Outdoor Fireplace Area: Luxe Decor Zuo Outdoor Teak Arm Chair ($698), Urban Outfitters Venice Net Tassel Bolster Pillow ($49), The Mine Real Flame Anson Fire Bowl ($358), The Mine Safavieh Torre Concrete Accent ($101), AllModern Barbara Ceramic Pot Planter ($31)

Greenhouse: Wayfair Glory Greenhouse ($2210), AllModern Valve Ceramic Pot Planter ($38)

Photography: Brittany Griffin

Are you looking to make over your own home? Follow us on Pinterest for more inspo!

Products provided by Article, The Mine, Luxe Decor Urban Outfitters, Wayfair, AllModern, and Cost Plus World Market.