A huge thanks to Tilly for partnering on this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own!
If you have been following along with our home build at all, you may remember me sharing our plans for the backyard prior to us moving in. Building a home is one thing, but truly watching your family give it its pulse, truly makes that house a HOME. Since I first shared the design plans Tilly Design did for us, we’ve now lived in our new house for 6 months and there’s definitely a few things we know we’re going to have to change to make this all work. Things like losing some yard space on a fence install in order to meet HOA guidelines, changing our mind about decking, how much real grass we want to keep, or realistically speaking, removing some elements to simplify how we see our family using the area now that we live here.
Thankfully having this amazing Tilly Design plan in place allows us to see the full potential and adjust as needed. Because if I’ve learned anything in my wise homeowner years, it’s that having a solid plan for your projects saves you HOURS of time and THOUSANDS of dollars in mistakes. (May have learned that the hard way!) Also, the renderings alone just give me life! They truly exceeded my dreams and I’m so excited to hit the ground running once this summer settles down. Can you imagine sipping a glass of rosé by the pool or enjoying a night swim by the fire?!
Tilly Design isn’t just for new builds though. If you want to put your house on the market or just capitalize on your outdoor living space, I highly suggest considering this affordable approach to upping your curb appeal. Keep scrolling to see more of how Tilly works and a more in depth look into our dream backyard.
WHAT EXACTLY IS TILLY DESIGN?
Tilly is an online landscape design company that is changing the way homeowners approach their yards. The process removes the prohibitive cost, intimidation and inconvenience from traditional landscape design services, while delivering professional, custom plans that reflect your style, space and needs. Their mission is to make professional landscape design accessible to more homeowners. I think we can all appreciate that!!
● Affordable – Front Yard $375, Backyard $525, Full Property $775. Partnering with a traditional landscape designer will often start around $1500, pricier in urban areas.
● Simple – Online and at your convenience.
● Personalized – To your style, your budget, the level of maintenance you are comfortable with.
● Professional – You are working with a professional landscape designer.
● Nationwide – You are matched with a designer who is an expert in your region!
Tilly was founded by four high school friends from the suburbs of Chicago who are now scattered across the country with ten kids between them. They are all working moms who are passionate about women supporting women and creating happy homes for families across the country. The Tilly design team is led by Blythe Yost, who has been practicing landscape architecture for over 15 years. She is the principal and founder of two high-end landscape companies whose projects include everything from contemporary courtyards in Brooklyn to multi-acre estates in The Hamptons. She graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Landscape Architecture and a concentration in horticulture.
Pretty impressive, right? Your personalized design package begins with “Notes From Your Designer”. When I read “backyard oasis” I knew we were going to be dealing with some major eye candy! Here’s what ours said…
These VERY realistic renderings are INSANE. It’s as if your house gets an immediate makeover right before your eyes! And can we talk about the different angles and bird eye view shots?!! My jaw dropped when I first viewed them – SO SO good. To really comprehend the full potential, be sure to scroll to the very bottom of this post for the actual photos of our yard in a side by side with the 3D images. There’s also a fully rendered drone-like video down there that literally brought tears to my eyes the first time I watched it.
Tilly provides a material concept page and phase-out plan in your package that can help communicate the vision clearly when hiring contractors. Doing it in multiple phases really helps keep the scope of the project within budget and makes it a little less daunting. We all know the saying – “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time” – and I think that really resonates with house projects. Choosing the right contractor and picking quality materials (when your budget allows) is SO important and ultimately makes a big difference in how successful your completed renovations are.
Another great take away I learned from Tilly is the ‘gardeners rule of thumb – “The first year plants sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap!” Our designer made it very clear that the renderings would show the plants in their full maturity and how expectation vs. reality is so critical when installing landscaping around your home. It will not look like this when we first get them in the ground. In actuality, it will take years since we’re starting from scratch. All of the plants Tilly picked for our yard were based on climate and the soil where we live. The design & placement was all done by the designer based on my preference of wanting a tropical oasis with loads of privacy for the yard and pool. I couldn’t be happier with how she was able to interpret this and take it next level by taking height, color and texture into consideration. Something I definitely always struggle with when handling plants.
Our before shots were done the day before closing in January (notice the dormant brown grass!). We’ve since installed a fence to the back perimeter of the yard and that’s about it, so these are a great representation of our starting point before we instate the Tilly Design. I went ahead and put the before shots next to the renderings of the same space so we can really visualize what we’d like to achieve. It’s still so wild to me the full potential once all is said and done. I can’t wait to see it!
SIDE DRIVEWAY VIEW
BACK LEFT VIEW
LEFT VIEW TOWARD THE MARSH
BACK CENTER VIEW
BACK RIGHT VIEW
I fully plan to document the process here, so look for updates coming soon! We’re currently finalizing our pool design with the pool company and plan to break ground in the Spring. There’s a few edits we are going to make to the plan but at the end of the day I’m thrilled to have a visual blueprint in place that will help us reach our ultimate goal of having the tropical oasis of our dream. In the meantime, check out this amazing rendered video Tilly Design included in our package to really showcase the design plans for our new backyard!
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If you’re considering virtual landscaping design services, Tilly Design is a great budget-friendly option! You can use code ADI10 for an additional 10% off any package until 10/31/21. Find them on Instagram @tilly_design or www.tillydesign.com to schedule a meeting with a designer.