Amazing home transformations

Get ideas for your own home or garden makeover

7 ways to transform a small backyard

See how a barely usable Venice backyard evolved into a cozy family retreat

Venice garden: after
Photo by Jennifer Cheung; written by Sharon Cohoon


Luckily for homeowners Amy Swift Crosby and Josh Crosby, a truckload of salvaged redwood came to the rescue. The designer used some of the boards to add height to the existing cement-block wall; others he turned into a sturdy dining table as well as the backs and bottoms of cushion-topped, built-in seating. What’s more, the aged redwood brought with it the character the yard had been missing. With space to dine, gather, and play, the area is now the family’s favorite hangout in the garden. Design: Steve Siegrist, Los Angeles (


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