Building, Gardening, Outdoors, Project, Renovation
comments 8

Time for the BIG garden overhaul – The landscaping has finally begun!

Garden landscaping

It’s time. Finally! After 6 years of being in our normal, average sized, 1960’s semi-detached, family home, we’ve done all of the big building jobs inside. Which can only mean one thing; it’s time to tackle the outside! And it couldn’t have come at a better time as our driveway was falling apart.

Let me walk you through some of the garden projects we’ve done to tart up the space whilst eagerly awaiting the big overhaul.

Before - The concrete jungle

Back in 2015

You can see what a bad state the driveway was in then, another three years on and it was becoming, well, embarrassing.

Summer 2015, The Chalkboard Wall

The outdoor blackboard worked a treat to disguise that ugly concrete brick wall for a few years, but after the loft extension in December 2016

Garden / Building Site

… our outdoor space took a hammering and was completely neglected during the epic 17 week build.

Garden Makeover #UKHomeBlogHop

I gave it a little budget revamp as part of the #UKHomeBlogHop in Summer 2017.

Garden Makeover with Primrose After

It got us through Summer 2017, but 2018 was the year we started to really tackle the outside spaces.

Old UPVC French Door

First off (in April when it was snowing) we ripped out the horrible UPVC French Doors onto our patio and replaced it with a black aluminium sliding door.

Graphite Black Ral 9011 Aluminium Sliding Door

And what a difference it made to both the interior and exterior. Still the rest of the windows and doors to do, like… why is everything SOOOO expensive!?

Making Spaces Front Door

As we couldn’t afford to have a new door fitted, I spent £15 on some paint suitable for all sorts including plastic, et voila….

Painting UPVC Black Door

I painted our UPVC door in black. And since then it’s held up brilliantly. No chips, scratches, dinks or fading. Really happy with it. So much so, i’m planning on painting the inside of the door too. More on that soon.

I love our house inside, but from the outside, it’s not a looker. And never will have any serious curb appeal. However, it could be waaaay better and hopefully the complete re-landscape of our outside space will go some way to bringing this little house’s exterior looking more in keeping with its interior.

Here’s the plan, Stan;

It’s no surprise that black features heavily. Black and timber. Our home indoors is mainly monochrome with lots of timber for texture and warmth. I didn’t want the outside space to be any different, so the moodboard above gives you a pretty good idea of what’s to come.

Here’s a breakdown of the new proposed layout:

And here we are at the end of week one of the big dig:

There will be new steps to the front door which i’m pretty excited about as i’m painting on my own design so I get to play with my paint pots and brushes. Yessss.

The driveway no longer exists (for now) but you can see here the amazing workshop my hubby built this spring. It’s going to look so pretty when the space around it is all done. Can’t wait!

The new levels for the two patio areas are now finally down but as you can see, there’s a lot of work to do to make this little space look half decent.

The square of white paint was from the old brick house. That was taken down in order to get the kitchen window in when we knocked our kitchen wall down to go open plan.  Since then it’s been covered by a log store (which we no longer need).

So this is the plan for this bit of the garden:

We’ll be cladding the whole wall underneath the window with timber. This cladding will be going across into the driveway a little to act as a fence, providing some privacy to the dining area and hiding our outdoor sink and planting table from view of the garden. Did you also notice the window magically turned black too? Well of course i’ll be painting that (whilst we wait for the big window update). AND of course there will be planters and greenery all over the place, because black and green should always be seen.

So that’s it for this week’s instalment peeps. Still loads to do here and I think it will be another couple of weeks before it’s all finished, but i’m excited already.

I’ll be writing up a final reveal post when it’s all done with some costings included, because these things costs WAY more than you think they will. Always.


  1. What a great blog post Karen and I love your ideas, can’t wait to see them turn into reality.

    • Karen Knox says

      Cheers Vickie. And yes, SOOOO pricey. But there’s a fair amount of work involved so it kind of makes sense.

  2. Trish Mahon says

    Plans look great. Following your black PVC door update, I took the plunge. The heat of the end of the summer was not ideal but it worked really well. I painted the front door and four window frames. After two coats on the door, I discovered a product called Floetrol which is described as a waterborne paint conditioner. It reduces brush and roller marks and really helped me with the small areas in the window frames. That 3rd finish was perfect. Really happy with the results, thanks for the tip!

    • Karen Knox says

      Ah yes, I think you’re the second person to mention Floetrol to me. Thank you for the reminder!!
      And i’m so glad you went for the big UPVC paint, well done you. I’m yet to tackle a window frame, I need to brush up on my technique first!!

  3. Kerry Hyland says

    Look forward to seeing it all come together. We’ve just had a resin drive installed and i’m super happy with it. We’ve never had so many compliments from passers-by!

    • Karen Knox says

      Oh good! Pleased to hear that.
      I’m soooo nervous about choosing the right colour for the resin driveway… fingers crossed I don’t hate it!

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