Planning my 5 steps to a bright, glamorous urban yard space

After the indoor interior design Splendidness of the last two weeks, it’s now time for me to get outdoors and transform a dark and dingy urban yard into an impressive entertaining space as part of my HomeSense & Huff Post challenge – I’m keeping everything crossed for sunny Spring Manchester weather! I’m going to be reinventing this Victorian property russet brick framed yard in five easy steps:

2014-04-15_0008STEP ONE : INSPIRATION

Any good designer will tell you the trick to a cohesive scheme is finding your fabulous inspiration, wherever that comes from, then planning it into your design, layout, decisions and purchases. I want the outside space here to reflect the interior and create a glamorous feel, so my inspiration is taken from one of the bedrooms with it’s baroque reflective wallpaper, metallic artwork and floral prints:



Colour is so important to design and can totally change the feel of a space even with very limited use. For this challenge I’m inspired by these beautiful purple & lavender blooms, which work perfectly with the russet brick of the Victorian property and can be lifted with the sheen of galvanised pots and decor items:

Images: Pinterest


On last week’s Splendid Sausage restaurant redesign, I added some personality to a slip brick internal wall with the use of brilliant white paint on random bricks to make them appear reclaimed rather than a modern addition. I think I might adapt this for our garden space… maybe a touch of nickel?

Adding your own touches and personalising a scheme is a wonderful way of making your design stand out from the rest and not simply following trends and copying a look.


No matter how carried away you get with colour, inspiration and general beautification, the practicalities of what the space is to be used for must be properly thought out. The urban yard I’ll be working on is narrow but it’d still be perfect for the occupants to have somewhere to sit and eat on a warm evening and places to pop wine glasses down when entertaining friends. Maybe even some lighting too!

Images : Pinterest


How boring is it to just have what everyone else has? Choose unusual and unique pieces keep your look individual, and think about using DIY skills on what you buy. I’ve wanted to make a copper ladder for ages and now’s my chance! From it, I want to hang eclectic pots & mini shelves, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed my local HomeSense has a great selection to make my ladder pop with colour.

Image : Pinterest

Now it’s time to go shopping and get cracking!

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