HGTV’s Sarah Keenleyside & Brian McCourt on the new backyard

Three amazing ways to extend your living space outdoors


Hosts Sarah Keenleyside and Brian McCourt

We find a lot of our clients have outgrown their current homes, but the option of moving to a larger property is just not a reality. 

That’s where we come in! We’re experts in finding space that you already have. We do this by taking it outside, to the untapped potential of the backyard. 

Let’s take a look at Hanna and Ali for instance. They have a house that is busting at the seams with two talented kids that use the main floor for all their music and art endeavours. 

Their yard clearly hasn’t been touched for years … but lo and behold, here lies a giant solid cinder block bunker of a garage that just might be the answer. All we need to do is insulate and finish the inside, upgrade the exterior siding and install new doors and windows.

A frosted glass garage door, some decorative acoustic panels and a gallery wall complete with a sliding barn door to separate the two spaces results in two very happy kids.

Exhibit B: fun-loving Patrick and Tina who have two young  boys who love to play soccer. Tina is a chef by day, but her passion is for cake decorating. The family lives in a semi in the Roncesvalles area but have run out of space. Their backyard is more of a jungle than a yard. The shed has a front lean on it and many signs of deterioration from the floor to the outside doors that we struggled to open.

We need to create a soccer area for the boys, and somehow we need to create a cake decorating studio for Tina. Not to mention, Patrick has requested an outdoor eating area and entertaining space. Tearing down the shed is not an option due to bylaws and building code, so we come up with a plan to make the shack into a cake decorating studio.

The soccer pitch is covered with top-of-the-line artificial turf, so this busy family no longer needs to worry about lawn maintenance.

The shed, although small, is turned into an inspiring baking space. The key to designing small spaces like this cake studio is to maximize closed storage to keep the space looking tidy and to incorporate movable pieces.

Finally, we build a deck that runs the length of the house and integrate built-in bench seating with storage below for all the boys’ sports equipment.

Lastly, we have Craig and Claudia. They recently purchased their home this past winter, and when the snow melted they realized they had been duped.

We will go on record and say that their backyard was the worst we have seen to date. It was falling over from every angle. The only structure in this yard was a decrepit, DIY shed gone wrong, which we named “Franken-shed.” 

Craig and Claudia were looking for a space to entertain their friends and family, and they wanted it to feel like an outdoor sports bar.

We aren’t able to work with the existing shed, but we are able to save the existing concrete pad as a foundation for the new structures. 

We create a covered lounge and an outdoor bar area complete with concrete countertops, beer fridge with tap and custom upholstered stools we made out of old kegs.

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