” There is no joy without gratitude.”

–   Brené Brown

Sarah Walker-The Curated House-Backyard Makeover-table-setting

All good things are worth the wait, but I’m so sorry I’ve kept you waiting for this reveal! The last few weeks have been full of unexpected plot twists. From logistical issues to a last minute change in the stone, it was an 11th hour kind of finish for this lovely backyard makeover of ours. That said, I hope you’ll agree that it turned out rather beautifully. I’m impossibly grateful to everyone involved in making this happen. It’s beyond dreamy to have such a beautiful outdoor space to host meals with family and friends, and I’m so happy I get to share it with you today!

Sarah Walker-The Curated House-Backyard Makeover-sectional

The truth is, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to share this reveal for awhile due to some really great upcoming news on the publication front, but they’ve graciously allowed me to share it with you now, so double yay!!

With all that good news out of the way, let’s take a minute to savour some of the details together, shall we? First off, how AMAZING are these Sunbrella fabrics? I’m crazy in love with how the French mattress inspired tufting with the flange turned out on the seat cushions. My friends at Deka Home & Patio did a brilliant job of bringing that vision to life. And then the texture, artistry and quiet drama that the Holly Hunt Great Outdoors fabrics bring to the accent cushions is all kinds of magical if you ask me. I feel like the look is both fresh and timeless. I love the juxtaposition of the quiet colour palette with that bold brushstroke pattern. It feels approachable yet sophisticated. Totally my jam.

Sarah Walker-The Curated House-Backyard Makeover-sectional-close-up

We also have to talk about that custom coffee table for a minute, because HELLO LOVAH! My friend Tony and his amazing team at Dinuovo are total stone superstars. “Ain’t no mountain high, ain’t no valley low…” they won’t go through to make the project perfect. They are a boutique stone fabricator with integrity, attention to detail and a lot of human kindness. That, my friends, is a rare and precious find.

Our last minute switch was to Polycor’s Pearl Grey, and to be honest, I had been torn between that and the original White Cherokee all along. I feel like the coffee table especially looks rather exotic with that giant vein swooping down the front, and I love the honed finish. I’m totally smitten with how the Pearl Grey looks with the Holly Hunt fabrics. It’s like they were made for each other!

I also have to express my immense gratitude to Ciot for getting the slabs from Montreal to Tony’s shop at Dinuovo. It takes a village, and it sure took a village with this one, friends!

Sarah Walker-The Curated House-Backyard Makeover-dining-pergola

It had been my design vision ever since we first installed our two stone-framed pea gravel patios to create an inviting pergola for the upper level. I wanted it to feel like an outdoor dining room – even a private dining room at a restaurant – so that friends would feel like they had entered the design equivalent of a secret garden when they stepped inside.

I absolutely love the Toja Grid system we used to construct it because it’s a) brilliant and b) shockingly easy to install. (They’ve extended their Labour Day sale, so if you’re thinking about doing one of these yourself, hop on over and pick up those components STAT.) Painting it all out with Fusion Mineral Paint really integrated the look with the freshly stucco’d house, and the off-white Sunbrella drapery panels totally transformed it into the private hideaway I’d been hoping for.

I had originally been planning to create my own tassel chandelier using Sunbrella tassels, and while that would have been fresh and unexpected, I love the classic yet casual vibe of the Brightech string lights. One of my favourite things of all time is to sit out on a patio at night under a string of globe lights and savour the breeze, good company and a glass of wine. The fact that I can now do that right here at home is nothing short of decadent!

Sarah Walker-The Curated House-Backyard Makeover-dining-table-1

I have to say, one of the (many) things I love about the way this project came together is the contrast of the strong and beautiful 10 foot long Polycor stone dining table with the delicate but modern Masters Dining Chairs from Structube. I felt like these chairs were instant classics the moment the design came out a few years ago, and they are the perfectly wipeable, stackable solution for this outdoor space.

Sarah Walker-The Curated House-Backyard Makeover-table-settings

When it comes to setting that beautiful table, well, I couldn’t help but do something pretty, right? I aim for “hospitality over entertaining” when friends and family are gathered around my table – one is about connecting and the other is more about putting on a good show if you know what I mean. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love a few beautiful touches on special occasions, and finishing this project was definitely that. And why not elevate the everyday, right?

I’ve been hankering for a bit more colour in my everyday life lately, and those frosted plum Mete glasses from EQ3 more than fit the bill. The frosting feels so soft and feminine, yet bold with that shot of colour.

Sarah Walker-The Curated House-Backyard Makeover-table-from-above

I love how the frosted glasses play off the textural softness of those gorgeous light grey Lip Service linen napkins. They are so high quality, and the frayed fringe around the edges feels a bit like a tassel trim. I anchored each place setting with a big hunk of Himalayan Sea Salt, because I will always be obsessed with simple beauty from the earth, and that blushy hue will never tire in my book.

Also, how GORGEOUS are all of these photos by my brilliant friend Reid? The one above in particular shows off the beauty of the vein structure in Polycor’s Pearl Grey marble. It also shows off Dinuovo’s genius, as they managed to create a bookmatch out of slabs that were not actually bookmatched. Have I mentioned that they are total stone superstars? Oh yes, and it also shows off Reid’s collaborative spirit, because he was the one to bring those freshly picked Niagara peaches to the shoot “just in case.” That’s just the kind of guy he is, which is one of the many reasons I love working with him.

Sarah Walker-The Curated House-Backyard Makeover-dining-table-2

I confess I am now praying that the warm weather will stick around until at least mid-October so that we can celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving outside around that stunning table. Wherever we gather, I will clearly have so much to be grateful for.

HUGE thanks once again to the mighty design village that made this project possible (sources below). I am truly grateful to each and every one of you.




Interior Design, Sarah Walker of The Curated House; Photography, Reid Lambshead, William Reid Photography; All performance fabrics for sectional and drapery, Sunbrella; Decorative outdoor toss cushion fabrics, Holly Hunt Great Outdoors by Sunbrella; sewing of all cushions + drapery panels, Deka Home + Patio; stone for tables, Polycor via Ciot; Fabrication of stone tables, Dinuovo Marble + Granite; Brackets and shade sails for dining pergola, Toja Grid; Masters Dining Chairs, Structube; paint for pergola, Fusion Mineral Paint; Grey marble bowl on coffee table, frosted purple drinking glasses, EQ3; Balinese wood beads with white tassle sitting in grey bowl on coffee table, Lynne Knowlton; Grey linen napkins, Lip Service Napkins; Globe String Lights, Brightech