It took five years for George Kinsella and his wife, Susan, to remodel their 1940s Chicago-area home. Once the house was finally finished, they could concentrate on the landscape, which presented a few challenges. A worn wood deck claimed half the backyard, a 3-foot incline tilted down from the back door to the end of the lot, and George had a long list of what he wanted in the tight 33-by-57-foot space: a koi pond; a dining area with room for a grill; places for lounging and entertaining his family and friends; a putting green; and an outdoor spa. Out front, he wanted a spot to sit and watch his four teenage sons toss a ball around.
See their seven strategies for turning a not-so-big yard into a series of beautiful, useful outdoor rooms.