SheKnows sat down with the recently married Chris and Peyton Lambton of HGTV’s Going Yard to get the scoop how to tackle backyard decor as a couple. See their secrets for creating your own fabulous outdoor living space.
This newlywed couple knows a thing or two about decorating outdoor spaces as a couple. The former contestants of The Bachelorette and The Bachelor rely on Chris’ landscaping background and Peyton’s keen decorating eye to help create outdoor retreats for families on their new show Going Yard.
The Lambtons also have firsthand experience renovating the backyard as a couple. They recently gave their outdoor space a facelift in preparation for celebrating their nuptials locally. Both of Chris’ brothers had wedding receptions in the backyard, and the couple wanted to keep the family tradition going. They made it more functional for their huge family by putting in a beautiful pergola, giant dining table and a few firepits to make it an entertaining hot spot.
Luckily, we were able to sit down with Chris and Peyton to get their tips for creating your own outdoor retreat.
When tackling a project with your sweetie, Chris recommends starting small. When couples bite off big projects outside their area of expertise, that’s when the arguing begins. A smaller project is easier to stay on budget and will save you from bickering just because you’re in way over your heads.
The basics of outdoor decor
SheKnows: What are things to first consider before diving into an outdoor decorating project?
Chris: The first thing is to figure out the climate. Figure out what grows there before you start anything. Decide what you want the space to be used for and then start decorating and planning around that.
SheKnows: What are three must-have items for creating a stylish outdoor space?
Peyton: The first thing is that you must have is seating. It’s a must for having people over and entertaining. The second thing is colors. Whether you add flowers or decorative items, you definitely need color in your outdoor space. The third is lighting. You can use still lights, LED lights or even just decorate with candles, but somehow you want to provide some light once the sun goes down.
Chris: I also love uplighting on plants. I think it adds a nice touch to the yard if you light up a beautiful maple tree or evergreen. It highlights the architecture of the tree giving depth to the yard.
SheKnows: For a couple that entertains a lot, which outdoor games do you recommend for making their yard a party spot?
Chris: Definitely cornhole. We actually had one at our rehearsal dinner for our wedding. As a sort of a wedding book, we had a cornhole board that people signed. I also love to play bocce — it’s a great yard game — and my brothers and I love playing whiffle ball.
SheKnows: Any fun outdoor decorating trends you’re seeing this year?
Peyton: I’ve noticed that furniture, colors and fabrics are falling in line with current fashion trends — mixing different patterns, color blocking. There’s really no “matchy, matchy” sets out there anymore. It’s about mixing different colors and textures to create your own personal style.
Chris: One trend I see is that everyone wants it to look rustic — old barn wood and black antique metal. People want it to look like it’s been there for 20 years even though it’s brand new. Antiques can be very expensive, so I know a lot of people who will get a new fixture and beat it up with a chain or hammer so that it looks like it’s been tossed around for 80 years and then put a nice finish on it. You could buy a piece from IKEA for $100 and customize it so that it looks like a $2,000 antique piece.
Tips that won’t break the bank
SheKnows: How can a young couple without a lot of cash to spend outdoors get the biggest bang for their buck?
Peyton: Start small. Put in an herb and vegetable garden so you can use what you’re growing when cooking instead of buying more. Add a small flower garden with flowers that you can cut and bring inside.
SheKnows: What are some affordable decorating options?
Peyton: Everyone needs a table and chairs. You have to have a place to sit. You can get an inexpensive table and a couple of chairs and add on as you can.
Chris: You can also pick up furniture from a yard sale, sand it down and paint it a bright color to go with your yard. Would be a good do-it-yourself project to do with your husband.
Get Chris Lambton’s tips for sprucing up your yard >>
Keeping the martial bliss
SheKnows: What can a couple do to their outdoor living space to help keep the romance alive?
Chris: Well, we designed our yard together and that’s the thing, doing it together. We laid out the space for both of us, a space we both like to be in. We light the firepit and sit out there at night and have a glass of wine together. We garden in the yard together on weekends, pick flowers (we made a caprese salad last night with basil from our herb garden); it’s just a space that Peyton and I like to be together in.
Peyton: Couples can look at their day-to-day routine and look at the things they like to do together and incorporate it into their yard.
SheKnows: She wants beauty, he wants function. How can the couple find a happy medium in their decor?
Chris: That’s actually a very good question for us because before we moved in my backyard was all about function — a patio, a firepit — there was nothing beautiful about it, it was just there you know? Peyton brought in colors, flowers — basically all the little beautiful things that make your yard so much better.
SheKnows: Chris, be honest, do guys really care about decorating the backyard?
Chris: Growing up I always loved to garden. I always had a vegetable garden because I love to cook, but I never decorated. My idea of decorating for a party was putting out a few beach chairs and tables, but it was not beautiful by any means. It was not something you would see in any garden magazine. I never decorated. Not once.
SheKnows: Tell us, what is the one item every guy wants in his yard?
Chris: That’s easy. What guy does not love fire? Guys love to stand around fires with a beer in their hand, watching the flames, and just talk. Definitely a firepit.
SheKnows: Hot tub vs. pool: Which one is a backyard must-have?
Chris: I like a hot tub more because a pool takes up your whole backyard and then you’ll have to put a fence around it. You have to clean it out and put the chlorine in it. It’s a lot of work. Hot tubs are more romantic.
Peyton: It depends on your family. If you have a family with kids, a pool is more realistic. It also depends on what part of the country you’re in and what you want to get out of your backyard.
Chris: But I still say hot tub.