Many homes in midtown Memphis were built in the early 1900s, and most sit on a plot of land somewhere around a quarter-acre. Spacious front porches abound, and quaint front yards line the streets. A backyard can be a different story, particularly if it is still as it was when the home was first built. A lot of concrete fills many backyards in Midtown Memphis because often driveways were extended to build garages to the back of the house or to have a vast patio area. Other times, driveway access was from a rear alley, which required a pavement area in the backyard.
Zach and Gina Brewer had a gorgeous a foursquare craftsman right in the heart of Midtown and wanted her spacious yard, which had all the features of an older midtown home, to be something as special. We were tasked with completing a complete backyard makeover for this classic Midtown home within a month, just in time for a holiday weekend and a family visit to the Brewer home.
The space is very large for the neighborhood. The driveway extended all the way back to an existing garage that was built some time after the home itself, and the rest of the area included uneven concrete, patchy grass, and some dirt. Here is a before picture.
We did not have to micromanage the process at all. Matt Hudson managed the entire process down to the smallest details. He checked in almost daily to let us know exactly what had been done, if any unexpected issues came up and what the crew would be working on the next day. The entire crew was always very courteous. Zach & Gina
Step One: Reimagining the Layout
The first thing we did was figure out what stone we did want in the space. They needed access to their garage, so we started there. We redirected and corrected the driveway to the garage. It is now a smoother, cleaner path. Adding sod alongside and correcting the bed for raised flower beds also made it more beautiful.
Before, the drive was lined with crumbling, uneven concrete and overgrown flower beds.
Afterwards, it was a whole new world.
A square patio, lined with brick, is the central gathering place. It’s surrounded by green, with zoysia sod and many bushes and small plants. A stone path runs through through the landscaping in the back corner of the lot to a rear entrance to the alley.
Another lined pathway links the driveway to the outdoor kitchen area we added to the back wall of the house. A brand new cedar fence around the property replaced the older existing fence that was beginning to crumble in parts. Now Zach and Gina can gather with her friends and family in a shady, peaceful area built for relaxing.
Step Two: Backyard Kitchen
The Brewers love to grill, and wanted this area to really be a place to live in. An outdoor kitchen is a great way to get everyone involved in the party. We installed a full outdoor kitchen: a grill, burner, trash can, drawers, and a fridge. With a stone base and a brick base that blends in with the brick of the house, it is built to last and accent the home.
The entire job took us just a little over a month. Zach and Gina wanted to be able to entertain her family who came in for Memorial Day Weekend, and we were happy to make that happen for her. The transformation really stunned her, and there is very little that makes us happier.
We were having family come in town that night and Jason and Matt had promised to have our yard finished. That morning, I was looking out of our window thinking, “There’s just no way they can get all of this done.” While I was inside cooking and cleaning, they completely transformed our yard into an outdoor living space. I actually cried when I saw it. It was exactly what we wanted it to be. Gina