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Emily Bowser’s Back Unit Yard REVEAL, 2022 Musings, New Year Resolutions, And Other Meanderings…

Hello everyone! I’m writing this during my most favorite time of the year, the week between Christmas and New Year’s when no one should put on hard pants, open an email, or walk outside. Unless, of course, you’re walking into your perfectly styled backyard that we will be looking at today. 

I am using the time to catch up on rest. This year has been a doozy. For the Bowser’s it has been a year of grinding and grinding and feeling like you’re getting nowhere. On top of that, our cat Gremmy went missing for 6 long weeks and Daffy, my most precious love (also a cat) had a terrifying and expensive brush with death. You know that feeling like you’re digging a hole but like, someone is behind you kicking the dirt back in? That’s been 2022. In exciting news, my husband got his movie into Sundance. Yes. The movie he was famously getting ready for in this room got into the biggest film festival in North America:

Sundance is a really big deal. Huge. Really happy and proud and excited for him BUT a fun thing for ME is that we are going to be quarantining starting Jan 1 so we don’t get sick before we leave on the 17th which basically means this boxing day/week will extend until the 17th! I’m being forced to NOT WORK! I mean, that’s not totally true, I worked on a project with William Hunter Collective over this year and I will be sourcing from home for another one to make ends meet as well as finishing up my kitchen reveal (waiting on one last thing before I can shoot – lead times AM I RIGHT?) and writing a few blog posts for you all. But does it count as work if you’re not wearing hard pants and your cat is on your lap?? The answer is yes, but in comparison to my 2022 – no.

I’ve been mostly off for the past couple of weeks as production always slows down during the holiday season but I’m still vibrating with the anxieties of these past couple of years. I’m excited to enjoy my home, catch up, and reset for 2023. This is also my birthday week, which as a young person was a bit of a bummer but as an adult, it has been the best. No one bothers you, I never have a job, and it’s a great time to reflect and re-evaluate. I know logically that nothing has to fundamentally change because you turn a year older or because the calendar flips to a new year, but I’ve always loved the idea of a fresh start and I have quite a few half-used planners to prove it.

~Resolution #1: Don’t buy another planner. Do. Not. It will not fix your ADD and will only bring you shame whenever you come across it.~

Let’s get into this sweet little rental reveal, shall we? When I last talked to you about my back house’s backyard (BHBY) I had written half of it when Daffy had a massive seizure, continued to have seizures for days, and I lost all sense of self and time and then I guess I finished it? Honestly, it’s a blur. It’s amazing how these little creatures affect our lives so wholly. My friend Lauren dropped everything and flew to be with me because we had always “joked” how she would need to do that if something happened to Daffy. I do not know how I could have gotten through the next few days without her. She sat with me and stared into the horizon, she helped me build the Veradek planters that came for this shoot, went with me to the flea market to find a bar/console for this space, she drove with me to the fabric district to find last minute upholstery fabric for the WH project. She’s a real one, be a friend like Lauren. Also, big thanks to everyone who gave to Daffy’s GoFundMe, it has been very helpful in alleviating some of the financial stress. The update for those interested is that I am in the appeal process with the pet insurance company that denied me the first time around. BUT I am happy to report that Daffy is soundly snoring in the window next to me, and is only maybe a teensy bit brain-damaged? We are thankful and so happy that she is still a sweet girl who enjoys her life, loves treats, and I think maybe even likes Gremmy a little more than she used to, which is the biggest blessing in all of this. Live shot of a sleeping Daffy:

I got off track, the point is: I’m not sure I remember everything I said in that post and I’m scared to re-read it as I’m not sure if it will be triggering. I know I talked about all the different spaces and I tackled most of them. I am the person here to remind you that projects take lots of time and money and you are not going to be able to do it all overnight unless (and maybe not even if) it is your literal job. It may surprise some of you but this is not mine, in fact, these projects cost me quite a bit of money but we’ll get into costs in a bit. Anyway, life got wild so, for example, the sunshade idea got cut because the sun isn’t high enough this time of year for it to be an immediate problem. I had a great idea for an herb garden in the area I called “1” (photo below for reference) but I missed planting season and it would have required more money from me to finish the job well. I ended up tackling spaces 3, 4, 5, and 6. The good news is that when spring comes we will check back in to see how everything is growing and how the rest of the spaces turned out.

Before we get into the super fun stuff, let’s talk about the boring, time-consuming, frustrating, and costly things. My forte really 🙂

Although I would love to get new fencing around our entire property, I don’t have the funds for that at the moment so I decided to stain the fence myself which I 100% do not recommend:) It was time-consuming and my quads hurt for days. I would go out from 6 am-8 am and then work all day, come home and stain more by bistro light. It does look better though and should help while we wait for wood prices to go down (please dear Lord). Because I did the work myself and I had leftover stain, the cost wasn’t too high (financially anyway). I used English Chestnut by Minwax because, well, that’s what I had. They’re about $50/gallon and I ended up needing to buy an extra gallon. This isn’t a long-term solution, something that I just need to last me a couple of years so I did nothing except power wash the fence and then apply the stain. 

After staining I couldn’t stand the color of the concrete. I wanted something browner with more texture so that dirt would hide better. Ok, also because I totally got stain all over the ground and needed to cover it up. I did some research and decided to go with Behr Granite Grip in Tan and I have some information for you: don’t do it unless you are RICH. It is so expensive and you need like 5 times more than you think you would need. I finally just had to stop after 4 coats because it’s $300 for 5 gallons and it does not go far. Annoyingly after spending $1200 on paint (that’s TWENTY gallons) and $1000 to have someone else paint it for days because it took so many more coats than expected (and because I was slammed with work at the time) it still looks…meh. It’s better for sure but you can see a hint of blue underneath. We put on one more coat after this was taken, but as you can see the paint is way more texture than color.

I would recommend being a) rich or b) painting the base much closer to what you want and then adding the texture on top. I guess we will have to put more coats on it eventually? In my estimation, it needs another $900 of paint and I would probably just do it myself to save on labor. I’ve also wondered what would happen if I just painted something close to the tan on top? Anybody have any experience with this product? We are now in our rainy season so I’ll revisit this in the spring. 

The other major cost that I underestimated was the cost of dirt/plants/irrigation for these Veradek planters. The very good thing about these planters is that they are huge, 32” tall, 42” wide, and 16” deep. They have a shelf inside that is removable. You can use the shelf to use less dirt and have the plant appear taller, or you can remove and use the entire space for dirt and allow bigger plants to really take root. I wanted massive planters because for each space I needed the plants to be able to mature. As you may remember, a big part of taking on this project was to cover up an unsightly neighbor’s roof situation (as you can see from the photos of the fence above). In the dining area, I wanted to break up the black walls of the house with greenery and along the neighbor’s fence on the right side of the property (area 1, 2, & 3) I wanted to plant something that would grow big enough to cover the backside of the fence. I also wanted to add as much greenery as possible to a space that is covered in concrete. Irrigation was also a must so that my tenants wouldn’t have to worry about caring for the plants and I wouldn’t have to let myself into their space on a regular basis. Plus I have ADD, out of sight out of mind. Those plants would be dead in a week if I was in charge of watering them. The bad news is this was not a cheap feat – especially because I wanted immediate results.  

As we talk boring numbers, let’s take a break and look at how nice it all turned out. We had 5 large Veradek planters total and used 3 of them in the very back living room area (number 6 on the map) and we put 2 – 15 gallon ficus (same as the hedge in my backyard) in each planter. 

Sectional and Coffee Table | Outdoor Lanterns | Side Table | Privacy Screens | Planters

Oooooo ahhhhhhh!!

Look how little of that roof we see now! So much better. As you can see, the ficus is huge. The privacy screens from Veradek are very tall (100” to be exact) and the ficuses are a good 2 feet taller than the privacy screens. Ok, now that the blow has been softened, 6 – 15 gallon ficus with dirt and install cost $1400. The cost of adding a zone of irrigation for these planters was $1100. Not a cheap situation. HOWEVER, this is now a pleasant area to spend time in that was formerly not being used – and that is priceless. These privacy screens are a game changer. They are heavy-duty and I‘m not a bit scared of them tipping over. They bring so much visual interest to the space while creating both privacy and a sense of coziness – it feels like you are in a living room. It’s obviously not *just* the planters. Article’s gorgeous (and durable!) outdoor sectional (with coordinating coffee table!) also helped out the situation greatly. We decided against adding string lights to the area because the outdoor lanterns do the job, and they cast such pretty shadows while doing it! Hendry side table is great for moving around wherever you need it.

As you can see in this close up, I’m allowing the corten steel to age naturally. There is a way to speed up the process but I’ve been enjoying watching them slowly change with the weather. I think if I got them during a drier season I would have aged them myself. I know Orlando aged his Veradek planters and screens faster with a vinegar mixture which was probably a smart choice as he was prepping that reveal during a drought. You can see the blue-ish hue of the steel peeking through the drops of rust LIKE YOU CAN SEE THE BLUE PAINT PEEKING THROUGH THE TOO EXPENSIVE “GRANITE GRIP” ON THE GROUND. Ugh. I added in some accents of blue so maybe it was all on purpose after all??

Blue Pillows | Green Pillows | Mustard Lumbar | Plaid Wool Blanket

Fun fact about me: I don’t believe in outdoor decorative pillows, blankets, or rugs. Never once have I had them not get gross or just be gross – they’re never a nice material. I opt for keeping pillows and blankets in a waterproof box (like this one) along with covers for the furniture so they are easy to grab and put on if weather is coming. A ladder that can stay outside can be used to put your comfy throws out for people to help themselves to when it gets chilly.

Ladder (similar)

Unfortunately, this ladder is “vintage” Target 🙂 but this one is similar. If you are curious, the plants in the smaller planters are justicia brandegeeana or the “Mexican shrimp plant”. They have a nice fall vibe this time of year for southern California.

As you can see there was little to be done about the neighbor’s taller fence behind our fence situation, and it’s hard to see but the fence takes a pretty sharp diagonal turn in towards us so I couldn’t continue with the planters or privacy wall without losing valuable square footage. It’s hard to capture in these photos, but I took some video at the end of the shoot day, head to my instagram or Emily’s instagram for some BTS. 

Thermos | Blue Tray (on sale!) | Mugs (on sale!) | Towel | Cup (handmade/vintage)  | Snacks (Trader Joe’s:))

In early 2022, before everything went nuts for us, we were so excited to host outdoor hangs and every Sunday we would make food and invite a different couple or small group over. 

~Resolution #2: More friends and outdoor hangs~ 

An easy host moment is a DIY hot chocolate station, as pictured here.

Dining Table (similar) | Chairs | String Lights

Speaking of hosting, may I present the dining/grill/bar area! This photo helps in trying to understand the confusing layout of this space. You can see the sectional in the far corner, bar to the right, house on the left. Not seen: to the right of the bar is the tenant’s grill, which they use often. Hope and Daniel (the tenants) are great cooks and wonderful hosts. A large table with comfortable chairs was a necessity. Article doesn’t have this particular teak table at the moment, but they have this teak table. I’m a big fan of weather-resistant teak that will silver over time and last forever(ish). The chairs are a nice colorful punch as well as very comfortable and will stand up in weather. The metal is powder coated and the arms are teak. The slim seat cushion is easy to remove, throw in the wash if needed, and will dry fast if it gets wet.

For the planter in the dining area I wanted jasmine and bougainvillea to break up the black wall of the house. They aren’t too impressive yet but are both known to be fast growers, we’ll have to check back in a few months. My landscaper put in the wire because I don’t know if you have ever drilled into stucco, but I have and there’s little I hate more. I needed wire here, by my front steps and in my backyard (for my upcoming Goodland hot tub area reveal!). The stainless steel trellis and install was $823.96 for all three spaces, so this area was maybe $300 of that bill? 

Vase | “Runner” (it’s a folded tablecloth)  | Tealight Candle Holders | Candlestick Holders (Studio Mcgee for Target a couple years ago) | Black Candlesticks | Brown Candlesticks | Plates | Bowls | Flatware | Napkins | Cocktail Glass | Woven Coaster | Wine glasses (vintage – similar) | Pepper Grinder (vintage – similar) | Salt pinch (vintage)

The light was really difficult for this shoot, even in sunny Southern California the sun does not get high in the middle of the winter. You can see the cables if you look closely, I will probably have to add a row on the left if the bougainvillea takes off, as it is prone to do here. I tried to make a pretty tablescape for us but by God is it hard to see. 

Planter | Table (vintage ) Drink Dispenser | Tray | Coup Glasses | Glass Straws | More Glass Straws | More Glass Straws 🙂 | Pot with Spoon | Trivet | Beverage Bucket | Towel

This is the Daffy-haze flea market bar find. I chose it because it was the perfect size and made of steel, already patinated, so it will last just fine outside. I fancied it up by screwing two of the Veradek privacy panels vertically to the top of it and planted climbing lonicera ciliosa (orange honeysuckle) next to it in a Pure Kona Planter from Veradek. If you’re like me and end up moving planters around a lot you’ll love these pots, they don’t look like plastic but they are, which means they are lighter and don’t break the bank. You’ll be seeing more of them in my urban garden reveal.
When hosting more than two people I want everyone to be able to serve themselves when possible to take some pressure off of me. In this case: chili, sangria, and non-alcoholic drinks are all available on the bar. Those pretty cans are De La Calle Tapache, my new favorite beverage for dry January. They are absolutely delicious and feel like you’re having a cocktail. Come to think of it, I‘m sure they’d be great mixers as well. De La Calle let’s work together! Slide into my DM’s! (hey, it worked for Goodland!)

I own more than a few drink dispensers (weird flex) and this World Market one may be my favorite yet because of the design and price point. 

Rosemary Sangria Recipe that no one asked for but everyone needs in a hosting pinch :

  • 1 apple skin on, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 orange rind on, sliced in rounds
  • ½ cup sliced strawberries
  • A few sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 cup orange juice 
  • 1 cup brandy 
  • 1 bottle dry Spanish red wine

Note: I don’t prefer the extra sugar that most sangria recipes call for, if I want it sweeter I add more OJ but if you have more of a sweet tooth would add a couple of tablespoons of sugar to step 1 below…


  1. Add apples, oranges, strawberries, and rosemary together and muddle, not too mashed but a little mashed – maybe a minute of muddling. Obvi not an exact science.
  2. Add orange juice and brandy and muddle again.
  3. Add red wine and stir.
  4. Garnish with orange rounds or rosemary or both!

Moving from the dining space over into the cozy coffee area (peep Daffy on the chair!). This is area #3 on the map, it’s closer to the front door and where I imagine Hope and Daniel drink their morning coffee, do the crossword, and talk pleasantly about their landlords. For context, this is the same back side of the neighbor’s fence that I‘ve managed to cover with a hedge in my backyard, and the same fence where I recently planted passion fruit in my front yard. Because I’ve had so much luck with it in my front yard, for the final planter along the fence I decided to go with passion fruit again. 

~Resolution #3: Figure out what to do with passion fruit.~ 

It 100% understood the assignment in the front and I’m hoping it does the same here. BTW: we shot the front yard and it will be coming to a blog near you (this one) in the coming weeks. My desire is that the passion fruit will cover a majority of that fence and again, the plant should be able to get pretty mature in the extra-large capacity Veradek planter.

Chairs | Coffee Table (unavailable right now) | Banket | Pillows | Tray (similar) | Pitcher | Glasses

Granted, the vine looks a little sad here. We had just planted it and it went into a bit of shock. We will check back in in the spring and you all will be so impressed. We’ll also check in on this PATCHY AF CONCRETE. Let’s talk about something more pleasant: these beautiful Article chairs. Y’all. I talked about this in the intro about this space but it bears repeating: I went to see Dirty Dancing this past summer at Rooftop Cinema Club (furnished by Article) and sat in this chair, the Aeri Chair, and I was like “damn, this is extravagance”. She’s big and comfortable. 10/10 recommend.

It is still absolutely wild to me that these trees have survived with all the concrete on top of them. Asking why I didn’t just dig up the concrete or suggesting that I do came up a lot in the comments on my first post about this space. The simple answer is: it’s very costly. I’ve had a lot of concrete dug up and what I’ve learned is, 1) there’s usually a reason it is there, in the case of my property, I live on a hill so it was an attempt to keep water away from the front house and to make this back space more level (and thus more useable), 2) you have no idea how thick it is until you start doing it and the thicker it is, the more expensive it is to remove. 3) grading, building retaining walls, and landscaping is expensive and necessary after removing concrete on a hill. The point of this mini-makeover was to make it as nice as possible without huge reno costs and mostly without getting myself into one of those reno situations where it keeps growing and growing because the more you tear up the more you find to fix. 

Do you know whyyyyy I can’t spend a ton of money back here?? DRUMROLL…


I’m unable to process it fully to be honest. The garage seemed like it might be ok with this latest bout of rain but about a week in it finally failed. Luckily my (new) contractor was over helping me put up the kitchen shelves (yay!) when Andrew went down to his office (right side of the garage) to find it had flooded, which means my side (because it is lower) was completely flooded. This has happened so many times so my side is ready for it, everything is in waterproof bins and off the ground – his side is not. My contractor went under the house and came back with pictures. According to him, all the waterproofing that we have paid quite a bit for wasn’t done correctly. 

This is fresh and I’m unsure how I’m going to move forward but you all have been on this journey with me so here we are. It’s supposed to rain the next couple of days and we got everything off the ground on the right side, are ready with a wet vac, box fans, and dehumidifiers and we will be meeting with my contractor, talking to my insurance, and sussing out our options in the coming weeks. I’ll keep you updated.

On the plus side, my Down to Farm garden is really happy with all this rain 🙂

Coming up: Urban garden reveal (I eat salad every day, it’s magical), Goodland Hot Tub space (Spoiler alert: we LOVE it), and my much anticipated (at least by me! 7 years in the making!) kitchen reveal. I guess we can add to this list a lot of screaming about my garage and oversharing about my finances (what’s new). 

See you soon!

*Design and Styled by Emily Bowser
**Photos by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

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1 year ago

Bowser! So much to love back here. It’s charming, cozy, private. I have all your links held open in tabs so I can plot out my strategy to protect myself from my neighbors motion sensor flood lights that attack us daily. The privacy screens are a great solution. Well done!

1 year ago

Congratulations!!! On Sundance/Beautiful new back space/Everything!!!! I’m so inspired by your choices…those privacy screens are gorg : )

1 year ago

So so good. Wonderful job!

1 year ago

Ahh so beautiful! Love the planters, creative privacy solutions, and the furniture!!!!!

I look at these yards and the (almost) year round use they provide and get a little envious!!!!

This makes me want to plan our outdoor dining space; yours is magical!!!! I’d love a round up of winter proof outdoor dining options (don’t have storage for a large indoor table).

1 year ago

Love this! So creative and it looks great.

FYI if you deal with flooding, you can buy something called Quick Dams at hardware stores. I live in an area with poor water management (basically a giant hill/mountain side) and those things have saved me. They’re reusable but also not super expensive, so I keep a couple extra on hand in case of emergency. We had a storm last year where we got 10 inches of rain (yes, 10) and we stayed dry.

Heather Obrien
1 year ago
Reply to  Heather Obrien

The tall ficus trees and privacy screen are genius! BTW my eyes do not go to the cement in these photos, so don’t focus on it if you can. Do the red scallop cement circles surrounding the trees come out? If they do, you could consider replacing with medium size rocks to make a circle around the trees so you can still deep water them.

1 year ago

Oh no, I’m sorry you have had the misfortune of using Granite Grip. It didn’t work for me either. I ended up doing six coats on my screened patio (It cost about half as much for a five gallon bucket when I tried it.) and it never got any more even, just thicker streaks if that makes sense. I was going to sue them in small claims court, but when I contacted them it turns out they have a claims department (!). I had all the receipts and was able to get refunded via the claim. I did come off really easily though. Despite following the prep instructions to a tee, once I scraped a corner off most of the rest of it just peeled off in strips. I had to use a paint stripper to remove maybe 10% of it. I ended up just having my house painter paint the concrete and put a large outdoor rug over top.

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

It’s atrocious that they still sell it when it doesn’t work. Such a lot of work , too.

1 year ago

Love love love your back garden. But that last kicker about the flooded garage (again) made me ever so happy we nowlive in an 8th floor condo (senior downsizing). We’ve been through basement flooding (not fun when it’s your sewer line that’s broken and leaking) more than once. And had the joy of relining our entire sewer line. So not fun to pay gobs of money for something you can’t see but can’t live in your house without. More fun looking at all the pretty things you’ve done. Enjoy.

Erin Dae
1 year ago

The opening shot of this post made me audibly gasp. The color combination and execution are BEAUTIFUL! I think it is the side table in that teal/turquoise hue. The way you styled it with a hint of that color on the coffee table just makes everything around it pop but in a quiet, soothing way. LOVE. Apart from the amazing design reveal, I am so happy to hear that Daffy is on the mend and congratulations to the Bowser’s on Sundance! So sorry to hear about the flooding – I learn something every time you post so I know it is absolutely zero consolation for having to deal with the issues yet again, but hopefully can be a bit of a silver lining knowing your transparency can help so many other folks who end up with these same horrific problems. I love it every time you post, Emily Bowser!

1 year ago

Wow, the saga continues! At first I was thinking this seemed like a lot to spend on the BHBY… but… it is amazing! Soo much more usable space, and it looks so pleasant to be in. I’m sure your tenants are back there saying nice things about you all the time =).
Ugh on the flooding garage. We have one too, and I think I’m about ready to just… give up on it. I hope you find something that works that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg!

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago

Bowser…I’m so glad that you have both your kitties safe n sound again. Out furkids are precious!💗💗

Congratulations to your hubby and you – coz, it takes teamwork to keep things rolling!!

The paving scenario sounds rough! All that work, only to have it peel off. Shameful on the company’s part.
Exhausting for you, only not as exhausting as your garage flooding aaaagain! GAH!!!

I wish you a calm, floodless year ahead, full of inspiration and success. 🤗xx

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

Ooooh, and wot a cozy hang-out space. The colours are zen and natural.
Truly looks like relaxing is a must!

1 year ago

I’m so sorry about the garage flooding. AND, THE BACKYARD IS UNBELIEVABLY BEAUTIFUL! GORGEOUS! WAY MORE THAN I EXPECTED. I would be a tenant for life.

Roberta Davis
1 year ago

This is just so beautiful that I would imagine it’s worth $1000 of rent just for it alone! Sorry about the flooding!

1 year ago

I love every bit of this. So sophisticated, relaxing & soulful.
Those steel privacy screens are the coolest!! I think they could even look good indoors, in certain spaces. The vibrant, complex way you combined the colors and textures of pottery, fabrics, wood, plant life — bravo!
Also: I’m grateful your sweet kitty is better!!

1 year ago

Yay!!! When you live in southern CA, a personal outdoor oasis is such a treat! Take advantage of those wonderful temperatures most of the year 🤗. When we lived down there for awhile, I loved engaging in those spaces with friends! Now that we have crazy wind and winter, our outdoor spaces are not the same — but I appreciate the beauty you put into the space. Warm, inviting and intentional — well done!

1 year ago

If your previous company that did the waterproofing provided you with a warranty, I’d read over the terms and see if the failure violates the warranty–If so they should be liable for paying for new waterproofing or refunding the waterproofing they did previously.
We live in the southeast in a 100+ year old home that was built on a crawlspace. IDK if CA merits it, especially as the weather is an anomaly (but hey as climate change continues to accelerate and our governments do nothing its more likely to keep happening, huh?) but we have an in ground sump pump that pumps out any water as well as a french drain system installed to reroute water that makes it way around the perimeter of the crawlspace, when it rains. We also have a dehumidifier.

1 year ago

Beautiful but OMG can we pleeeease get an outdoor post for locations with rain, ice and snow? That outdoor lantern isn’t even supposed to come into contact with rain! There are fuzzy things everywhere! And the gorgeous dining table’s care instructions say to “store inside” for anywhere that has rain and snow, and to avoid any water on its surface. I love the vibe, truly, but it is January and that is the season for us folks with seasons to begin ordering our outdoor stuff that will survive non-SoCal climates. – Sincerely, Someone Living in New England Who Also Likes Pretty Things

1 year ago
Reply to  Tracy

I think you just take advantage of outdoor furniture covers and bins. Not the most attractive but it’s how it goes in the off-peak months out East

1 year ago
Reply to  Karen

I don’t know – I’d never, ever buy something that says “don’t get water on it” even with a cover (I’ve had bad experiences with even teak table feet being exposed to pooled water/snow). Plus, you KNOW you won’t remember a cover every time. And how do you cover up outdoor lighting? Do you take pillows in every single day, then put them back out? Not practical. I’d love a post with non-pillowed, non-blanketed, resilient outdoor stuff that’s cute but made of metal, recycled plastic, etc. Of course some of this is styling for prettiness and not practicality, but – I know there are things out in the world that don’t require me lugging hundreds of pounds of furniture inside then outside when the weather changes, or dutifully covering things. Heck, I own some pieces that don’t require all that fuss! But man was it impossible to track down, and I know Emily & Co. would do a way better job than I ever could finding cool stuff.

1 year ago
Reply to  Tracy

I really emphatically second this! I have a very pretty backyard that is just begging for some sprucing up via outdoor furniture etc but being in NJ, I have those same concerns. Please, please, please show us some outdoor rooms that is good for us who have lots of seasons to contend with!

1 year ago

Loved the post (as always :), but I just have to do a special shout-out to your hubby about Sundance! I’ve been a volunteer for a few years and, hands down, my favorite part is watching new directors/scriptwriters get recognition for all of their amazing creativity and hard work. Congratulations! I already looked through the catalog and found his film and it looks so fun…plus that is one heck of a title lol. I’ll be sure to go and see it!

1 year ago

It looks GREAT! I am a landscape architect and I think you have done a beautiful job solving some really challenging conditions. The screen panels that you sourced are very cool and (relatively) affordable. It sounds like you are disappointed that the concrete paint didn’t cover uniformly initially, but if it makes you feel better, alot of outdoor materials eventually weather and not uniformly (like your steel for example). Maybe think of it as a patina which we often refer to it as “consistently inconsistent”
Anyways, I think it is coming together lovely! Good luck with your drainage 🙁

1 year ago

Hi Everyone! Thank you so much for all the love. We are on our way to Sundance today and I’m trying to get out the door so I will be replying to comments later tonight!

1 year ago

I love it! May I ask what direction the fence with the passion fruit faces? I live in NELA and have a southwest facing wall I haven’t been able to get a vine to survive on, everything I’ve tried just bakes.

1 year ago

I just love a Bowser post!!

1 year ago

In 2009 we waterproofed the interior of a basement in NJ (gets a lot of rain) in a 1909 house. We could not dig up around the entire exterior perimeter, so worked from the inside. We had the help of dear friends and did it ourselves. My understanding is that the product penetrates and bonds with the concrete (not just sitting on the surface) to create negative hydrostatic ground pressure. We sold the house and moved out in 2010 and neighbors told us our old house was the only one on the block with a dry basement during Hurricane Sandy. I would not necessarily recommend doing the work yourself. It involved some stinky chemicals. Although, it wouldn’t be nearly so bad with a garage door open! Good luck!

1 year ago

Love, love, love this backyard project – fabulous job! One suggestion about your neighbor’s fence sticking up – have you thought about staining the side you see with the same stain as your fence? I think it would make it disappear! Hope you and the mister have a wonderful time at Sundance – so excited for you both!

1 year ago

Did you have the dining chairs powder coated yourself? I don’t see that green color available on Article.

1 year ago
Reply to  Cindy

Looks like they were offered in green before:comment image. Maybe contact Article to see if they will come back in stock?

1 year ago
Reply to  Kj

Sorry for the gigantic pic (it was supposed to just be a link).

Shannon L.
1 year ago

I’m so envious of your citrus tree (lemon?) bearing fruit! I had a mature orange tree in our back yard that died in the “freeze that shut down the Texas power grid in 2021.” So sad. We also bought a Lisbon lemon and a blood orange and they don’t look too good after the big winter storm in November. Climate change sucks. (I’m in Houston btw, so normally these trees would thrive!)

1 year ago

It all looks awesome! However, I wonder what the thought process was to have the steel panels so tall that they stick up past your fence? I’m sure your neighbors aren’t too happy with how that looks from their side now… I know I wouldn’t be. Just a thought. Hopefully it’s in areas they don’t see or look at.

1 year ago
Reply to  Susanne

This is the before pic where the screening was added:

1 year ago
Reply to  Kj

That says it all !

1 year ago

The screens are outrageously good. I am SO SORRY about the work you paid for not being done correctly. Man I feel your pain. Also here to tell you I purchased that same wool blanket a couple of years ago & I get compliments on it all the time. Looks good here too!

1 year ago

I love all of your work, Emily Bowser, & your home has been inspirational! I still go back to your home office/exercise room, bathroom, & living room posts often. I’m so excited about the upcoming posts, new reveals, & learning about how you deal with all the unexpected issues & challenges. Also, that wonderful news about Sundance, the new film, & Daffy’s improvement!

1 year ago

I’m so invested in your home journey! Great teaser about all the upcoming reveals… can’t wait.

Cris S.
1 year ago

I love your posts! What a lot of work you did and it looks great!
I have no suggestions on the flooding. It’s awful and so hard to deal with. You have all my sympathy on that.
Lastly, congrats on Sundance (amazing!) and I would love to hear how Gremmy came back!

1 year ago

Everything is SO LOVELY! And the styling is perfection. These outdoor posts make me want to pick up and move to Southern CA just so I can have an amazing outdoor “room” like this. I am so jealous of all of the pretty stuff you get to use in climates without snow and rain. DEFINITELY well worth your investment. Enjoy your lovely space, it is “chefs kiss” as ya’ll like to say. 😍

1 year ago

Hi! Your outdoor spaces look AMAZING. I hope you feel proud of them.
There is so much to do with passion fruit! We moved to Southern California last year and our neighbor’s vines come over the fence, so we get tons of passion fruits almost all year round. I had never even tried one before we moved here, and now I will put them in everything, primarily baked goods and cocktails. They are also good on their own with a little Tajin or plain salt.
Their flowers are also crazy and beautiful. I know you will love them!

1 year ago

Whenever Bowser drops in, I remember why I fell in love with EHD. All heart eyes on you, girl!

1 year ago

How I love and miss Bowzer 😍🥰💯💯💯

1 year ago

Suuuuunnndaaaance!!!! Congratulations to you and your hubs!

Daffy. Lauren. Oh my. What a friend. What a grateful recovery.

Keep these posts coming. Love seeing your creativity, hearing your voice, and getting the real real with the dolla dollas. Thank you!

1 year ago

Beautiful. I had to laugh OUT LOUD when I read that you had written that you weren’t rich!!! I think we have a difference of operational definitions here. Starting with the exorbitant purchase price of your property all the way to the perfectionistic execution of a lovely vision-those planters and the cost of planting in such a dry climate… For a person like me, I am drawn in by the eye candy, then immediately become discouraged with the untouchable aspects of much of what you have achieved, things that are so out of my range of possibility. Not “Inspo”, but “triggering”. I wish there was more written on this site that could help the less fortunate design and execute spaces I our lives that aren’t tacky. My concrete patio turned out great and is performing without much intervention with an off the shelf porch and patio paint at Lowes The paint was truly inexpensive and provided an achievable fix for a problem area. I guess what I am tying to say, is that we would all love to have beautiful places to live in and would love more help with fixes at lots of different price points. Some of the… Read more »

1 year ago
Reply to  Portlandia Jan

PS Please excuse my crummy texting.
CONGRATS on landing Sundance-HUGE!!

1 year ago

Just absolutely beautiful. You should be proud of this amazing space, the lead photo made me gasp.

1 year ago

I love this backyard so much! Even though there is so much concrete it somehow doesn’t feel stark. My driveaway runs through my backyard and this is giving me hope! I can’t wait to see how the front turned out. And for the passion fruits, make a cute sign and put the extras next to the side walk 🙂

1 year ago

this turned out incredible! cant wait to see IRL! x