A couple give their garden an on-trend makeover with a pergola, fire pit and DIY water feature

They've taken a plain back garden and made it into a calming retreat with DIY know-how

pergola with outdoor sofa in a back garden
(Image credit: @thecheshiregreyhome)

A DIY-savvy couple has transformed their garden into a calming outdoor retreat with relaxing garden features they made themselves.

Stephanie and Will spent lockdown giving their backyard a modern makeover, complete with inviting outdoor living space ideas including a pergola, fire pit table and homemade water feature.

large back garden before a makeover

(Image credit: @thecheshiregreyhome)

Previously, their garden was decent-sized with a flat lawn, a single paved path and some outdoor furniture tucked in the far corner. The fence was looking a little tired and the whole space certainly wasn't being used to its full potential.

Working out how to plan your garden design is a daunting task but the end result has effectively given this couple an additional room in their home. They replaced the fence and put down fresh new paving, and built a pergola which they bought from Amazon.

Pergola ideas were the number-one most popular garden renovation project of 2021 according to Google search data. In this space it creates a focal point, positioned in a lovely sun-kissed spot.

outdoor sofa and table under pergola in a garden

(Image credit: @thecheshiregreyhome)

Stephanie and Will even made their own water feature – see their step by-step-video on Stephanie's IGTV (opens in new tab) video. Writing on Instagram, Stephanie says, 'When we designed our garden I always knew I wanted a water feature. I love listening to the sound of water and I’m so pleased with how it turned out!'

She says that you can buy water feature kits online but her husband managed to find everything they needed, including using an old iron gate to make the grate. They drilled all the way through three large rocks and dug a hole big enough for a large bucket filled with water.

Next, they threaded a pipe, attached to a pump, through the holes in the rocks.

garden shed with trellis on one side

(Image credit: @thecheshiregreyhome)

Keeping things practical, they decided to kit out their garden with a shed for storing away their best lawn mower and other garden essentials.

Painted in Cuprinol's (opens in new tab) 'Natural Stone' to match the pergola, it has a barn-style door, a trellis up one side and lavender window boxes. It really goes to show that functional garden storage ideas can be incorporated without compromising on looks if we pay attention to details.

garden with lawn, pergola and outdoor furniture

(Image credit: @thecheshiregreyhome)

The comfy cushioned seating in gray and table featuring a gas fire pit create a convivial set-up for outdoor get-togethers. They've also added an on-trend circular mirror from William Wood (opens in new tab) to make the space feel larger, plus outdoor lighting ideas, candles and blankets for that living room feel.

In completing the project, they have succeeded in bringing the indoors out, and made a space that's convenient and stylish for making the most of summer. But it's not all outdoor cushions and fencing, as the garden is brought to life with plenty of greenery and plants, too.

They opted for stunning flamingo trees, buxus balls and hebe bushes and have maintained a large area of lawn for their family to play in. 

Millie joined Gardeningetc in early 2021. She loves creating a vibrant display of containers in her small urban garden and is always picking up new plants at the local garden center. She's never without some fresh flowers at home and her favorite houseplant is her variegated pothos that's currently climbing its way over her bookshelves.