Before and After: America's Most Desperate Landscape 2019

Take a look back at the lackluster yard at the Tampa, Florida home of Peter DeBree and Kat Lewis, and the amazing results of a major outdoor facelift that transformed the property in these before-and-after photos.

By: Jeannie Matteucci

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Photo By: Raif Fluker / Getty Images

Before: Front Yard With No Personality

This image shows how the tired front yard of Peter DeBree and Kat Lewis lacked personality and symmetry, with a mish mash look that included tree stumps that made the ground uneven.

After: Major Curb Appeal

New sod, flowers and planter boxes made from the same durable vinyl used for the new wood-look fence around the perimeter of the property create a warm welcome for visitors to this one-story Tampa, Florida home.

Before: Overgrown Driveway

Prior to the renovation, the concrete driveway on the side of the house included overgrown grass that made it feel neglected and old.

After: Great First Impression

New sod and landscaping, removing the overgrowth and power washing the driveway helped the couple create more appealing drive-up entry to the home. Painting the front and side doors and window shutters also helped spruce up the exterior of this one-story house.

Before: Basic Backyard

The existing backyard had a patio that was an extension of the home’s driveway. The patio included an inexpensive pop-up pergola over a seating area with sectional sofa and BBQ that felt isolated. The garage seen in the background was used mostly as storage space, and included a small laundry area.

After: Total Transformation

This image taken from the updated house steps that lead to the kitchen inside shows the spectacular renovation of the backyard. A multi-functional patio with durable gray pavers includes designated spaces for eating, entertaining and more. “This is now an extension of their home,” says designer Jennifer Petronella.

Before: Unused Space

The existing backyard with sand beyond the driveway was not used often, with lots of wasted space where the couple’s chickens would run amuck.

After: Lush Look

New sod, plants and trees were added that added to give the formerly bare-bones backyard a lush look. A low-maintenance, self-watering modular tiered herb garden gives the homeowners fresh herbs for their daily meals and special dinners at home. A theater screen the couple previously owned was added to one side of a divider wall in the new backyard that faces the new grassy area, with succulents included on the patio side.

Before: Unappealing Eyesore

The old chicken coop was an eyesore in the backyard, placed out in the open in a spot adjacent to where the couple would try to enjoy meals outside.

After: Charming Chicken Coop

The renovated chicken coop that was given a fresher look was moved to the left side of the backyard, to a private space away from the dining area.

Before: The Coop's Previous Location

This side view of the old chicken coop shows the coop’s previous location by a bougainvillea plant in the backyard.

After: Update Look

This look at the front of the updated chicken coop shows the attractive clean and modern design added to the front, made from pieces of pre-treated wood.

Before: Seating Area in Need of a Rescue

This image shows the existing pop-up pergola over the seating area that was the only true destination in the backyard, with the old garage doors with peeling paint shown in the background.

After: Multi-Functional Space

The transformed backyard now includes a BBQ and bar area, new dining space and a seating area that was angled towards the garage so the couple and their guests can enjoy a special show or sporting event from the TV inside.

Before: Bare-Bones Backyard

This image shows how the old seating area was located by the garage in the bare-bones backyard with the existing chicken coop located nearby.

After: Beautiful and User-Friendly

This view from outside the kitchen shows how the backyard now offers multiple destinations, with the covered seating area with sectional sofa and coffee table, a custom-built fire table with poufs for seating, and the attractive divider wall with succulents and theater screen on the backside. A short wall with stacked stone helps define this section of the yard and coordinates with the pavers on the patio. “For the pavers, I went with a bigger pattern to keep with a more contemporary feel,” says designer Jennifer Petronella.

Before: A Dead End

This photo taken from where the old driveway was illustrates the backyard previously felt like nothing more than a dead end that failed to encourage the homeowners or their guests to spend much time outside.

After: Ready to Entertain

Now the backyard offers this inviting 6x9 foot BBQ area with bar that encourages guests to sit to enjoy their drink of choice while the cook is busy at the grill. The short wall with stacked stone wraps around this area, with new sod and landscaping adding a lush feel.

Before: Not Very Plush

This image shows the side of the old isolated seating area with the existing garage in the background.

After: Dine Under the Stars

Outdoor meals can now be enjoyed at this upgraded dining area located just steps away from the new BBQ and bar. The new garage doors open to reveal the modern living space inside, that combines a seating area with TV, desk area, upgraded laundry facilities and a refrigerator.

Before: Wasted Space

This view looking towards the old location of the chicken coop shows the small tired garden in that section of the yard. The path seen in this photo leads to the tiny store-bought firepit that sat alone.

After: Connected Spaces

Now homeowners Peter DeBree and Kat Lewis can enjoy a multi-functional space where they can entertain and relax, with an outdoor dining area that has an easy connection with the BBQ and bar area with an attractive granite top.

Before: Basic Use of Space

This wide view shows the basic backyard that was crying out for a serious change and better use of space.

After: Beautiful Backdrop

The durable gray pavers that provide a beautiful backdrop for the activity section of the backyard have gravel that separate each paver for a contemporary and modern look.

Before: Not Appealing

This close-up look offers a glimpse at the old rundown chicken coop and old fire pit that didn’t exactly create a gathering spot worth the trip outside.

After: Green and Lush

Making better use of space while also maintaining an open feel for this section of the backyard, new sod was added to the area behind the divider wall that lights up at night for a touch of drama that adds ambience.

Before: Dead Space

This image shows the empty area between the house and garage, with the home’s A/C unit sitting out in the open. “It was dead space but it was cozy,” says designer Jennifer Petronella.

After: New Outdoor Nook

This empty area behind the house and garage was converted into a charming outdoor reading nook, with chocolate brown swing egg chairs, pebble stones and a bohemian-style indoor/outdoor blue area rug. This charming getaway spot in the yard also includes two crane figurines that represent homeowners Peter DeBree and Kat Lewis. Vegetation was added to help conceal the existing A/C unit.

Before: Shows Potential

This view in the yard looking back towards the old garage and isolated seating area shows how the space offered potential that was never realized.

After: Modern Outdoor Living

In addition to the BBQ area with bar and the seating space outside the updated garage, the homeowners can also enjoy this fire table with easy-to-move poufs for seating that helps keep guests warm on chilly nights.