Skip to content

A Stunning Landscaping Before and After

By Sarah Finazzo December 18, 2023

landscaping before and after client review

Megan Molten and her husband, Hugh, were on a mission to make the most of their home, especially with a growing family. Megan is a highly sought after interior designer whose beautiful transformations will keep you scrolling for hours. Her immaculate design is rooted in beautiful pops of color with a sophisticated coastal vibe, playing on her Charleston home base.

Join our Newsletter

Sign up for our email list to receive exclusive promotions and landscape design inspiration.

Despite Megan's expertise as an interior designer, she found herself at a loss when it came to the outdoor space. That's where Tilly stepped in! We were excited to partner with her and bring her vision to life. Read on to discover how Megan and Hugh transformed their outdoor living area from a blank space to an outdoor entertaining oasis complete with a beautiful pool, pool house and modern paver patio.

Photo Credit: All after photos by Margaret Wright

an aerial view of this Tilly client's inviting completely transformed outdoor oasis with lots of green, a paver walkway, stone, pergola and a pool house
An aerial view of the Molten's new backyard makeover

Megan's Dream Yard Phased

A few years ago we worked with Megan on a plan to overhaul her entire outdoor space. She had recently moved into her new home and updated the interior. However, she felt the exterior was severely lacking. In 2021 she used Tilly's plan to tackle her home's curb appeal. The front yard was a smaller project that involved new trees and plants, such as banana trees and palms as well as some beautiful potted plants to flank the front door. The front yard transformation only got them more excited for the backyard.

Her backyard was a blank slate and a much larger project that involved creating an outdoor living space, adding a pool, pool house and lush green around the home's exterior. Megan decided to phase the project - which we always recommend if you are looking for a way to make a large project more attainable. Because Megan had a master landscaping plan she was able to tackle portions of her yard one part at a time over the next couple summers.

a fresh coat of paint, new grass, pavers, and privacy from the neighbors changes this front porch
Megan and Hugh Molten in their new Tilly designed front yard

Her Backyard Vision

She described wanting to transform her outdoor space into a paradise that seamlessly blended nature, relaxation, and entertainment. Her vision included lush greenery, a stunning pool, and a chic pool house where she could unwind and entertain friends and family.

Megan wanted a usable space for her, her family and for entertaining. She wanted her contemporary, colorful style to shine throughout the space.

Megan's yard before the backyard makeover fun. a simple lawn and random assortment of plants
Megan's backyard before

The Collaborative Landscape Design Process

Our journey with Megan began as it does with all customers. Megan filled out her space assessment which dove into her project needs, goals and exiting yard conditions. Then she uploaded photos, inspiration images and her property survey. She was then matched with one of our talented landscape designers who has worked in her region and who could match her landscape style.

On their video call Megan relayed her vision of a beautiful green space for entertaining guests on gorgeous Charleston days! Then her designer got to work creating a custom landscape plan for her yard.

The Backyard Makeover Plan

Tilly clients receive a comprehensive package that includes a note from their designer, planting plan, inspiration images and a tree and plant shopping list that includes the latin and common name, size and quantity.

The below is a Tilly planting plan. It shows an aerial layout of where hardscape (pool, pool house, walkways, patio, fire pit areas, fences, porch, etc.) and softscape (trees, plants, flowers) will be placed in your yard. It's a scaled map for you or your landscaper to follow. You can add on 3D renderings that will show what your mature landscape will look like and a lighting plan if you would like.

a planting plan that shows her new home's curb appeal and backyard makeover Tilly planting plan for the Molten home
this homeowners front yard and backyard lighting plan Tilly lighting plan
backyard 3D render that shows the new seating area outdoors
backyard 3D render that shows the small yard backyard makeovers with the lounge seating area, outdoor furniture, outdoor spaces, a few potted plants, paver patio to entertain guests
backyard 3D render that shows the stone patio, grass, pergola, walkway for the backyard makeovers
3D renders are a Tilly package add on. They are a helpful tool to bring your landscape deign plans to life. These are Megan's renders showing her new backyard

Bringing Dreams to Life: The Transformation

Megan and Hugh worked with local contractors to bring the backyard to life. From the pool, to the pool house, patio area and landscaping it was a labor of love. Before are some great before and after images that showcase the landscaping before and after!

The Pool House

The pool house is a beautiful modern addition to the space. It includes a bathroom, outdoor shower and overhead fans- the perfect accessories to a pool. It also features a statement fire place, making this the perfect spot all year round.

before, a blank slate in their own backyard Before the backyard makeover
modern backyard poolhouse with landscaping and low maintenance softscapeA gorgeous modern pool house
great outdoors, new pool house
The outdoor fireplace in the pool house is a great focal point of the yard

The Pool

The plunge pool beautiful focal point of the makeover that we know this family will enjoy every summer. It is a great addition to this backyard - especially with the Charleston heat! We love the clean lines that match the architecture of the pool house and dining area.

The lush low maintenance landscaping provides great privacy from neighbors and a beautiful green backdrop that makes the yard feel like a secret vacation escape. Some of the plants included are Fishtail Palms, Banana Trees, Japanese Forest Grass, Silver Giant Elephant Ears, and Sword Ferns.

a backyard gathering around the pool and pavers patio area Megan Molten with family and friends in the backyard
backyard pool with lounge seating and the new pool house that doubles as an outdoor room Chic pool area
trees surround the property to provide privacy in the yard A lush tropical oasis

Megan's lush outdoors was tied together with the amazing design details in the seating and dining area, as well as the chic outdoor pool house. In her signature style, she includes great black and white statement accessories with pops of color and fun surprises!

Seating Areas

Megan's plan provided ample seating areas which is key for making an outdoor living space comfortable and for hosting successful gatherings. Megan's fun selections provide different shapes and contrasts within the yard. There are inviting options for all different ages to relax and enjoy the lawn. Shade is available next to all seating to ensure guests are comfortable.

chairs complete with decorative black and white pillows Fun chairs with decorative pillows
a swing under a shade tree outside the homeowners back door A swing for the kids to enjoy
gorgeous swing chairs off the deck for the kids or homeownersSwing chairs in the pool house
outdoor living space with outdoor furniture lounge hairs Pool lounge chairs
blue, white and black outdoor pillows on a couch Pool house couch

Dining Area

A well-designed outdoor dining area is essential for entertaining. Megan's backyard dining area seamlessly blends comfort and aesthetics, creating an inviting atmosphere for gatherings. It's the perfect extension of her interior style into the outdoor realm, playing on the coastal chic.

before yard picture with no landscaping Backyard before landscaping
gorgeous dining furniture with a green centerpieceA dining table over pavers and grass
backyards with gorgeous stone and lawn and an outdoor tableA simple green centerpiece
Adirondack chairs and a dining area off the back of the homePaver walkway leading to the dining area surrounded by landscaping
 backyard makeovers a landscape before and after of a dining area Before and after of the dining area

Join our Newsletter

Sign up for our email list to receive exclusive promotions and landscape design inspiration.

A Charleston Haven

The result? A breathtaking oasis that will for sure be a weekend destination among Megan's friends. Megan's yard now boasts a rich variety of native plants, creating a vibrant, ever-changing backdrop.

The pool house, a modern yet timeless structure integrates into the landscape, offering the Molten's a private retreat and a perfect venue for gatherings with loved ones.

a group gathered by the pool under umbrellas. gorgeous weekend party in the summer after the makeover Friends enjoying the beautiful new backyard
backyard pool and patio one weekend in the summerBackyard pool and landscaping
a gorgeous sunset over the deck, lawn, grass and pool area
Sunset at the Molten's home
a couple enjoying swing chairs in the backyard
Megan and Hugh enjoying their new backyard

Megan's modern beach-y style elegantly converges with functionality, resulting in an inviting space contemporary space. Her project was completed over several years and is a great example of how yard projects can take time, but are worth it! Creating a more usable backyard can truly change the way you use your space and add to your enjoyment of your home overall.

Want to shop Megan's yard? She highlights where all products are from on backyard makeover reveal blog post.

Tilly & Project Size

While this is a very large project, Tilly works with projects of all sizes. Whether you are just looking to landscape around your patio or deck, create some curb appeal, add a statement pergola to your yard, or infuse some native flowers into your space - we can help! Our versatility spans from elaborate backyard transformations that include pergolas and sheds to small planting updates to add color! No matter the scale, our goal remains consistent: to transform your outdoor space into a harmonious blend of functionality, style, and natural beauty.


Tilly’s easy online landscape design process has been embraced by homeowners across the country and in Canada. Tilly breaks packages into the Front Yard, Backyard or your Full Yard. We match you with a professional landscape designer who is familiar with your region to create the perfect custom plan for your outdoor space.

To start our process you’ll fill out a questionnaire about your property that helps our design team understand your goals, needs and existing landscape. You can add 3d renders, lighting plans or side yards to your design package. You’ll then meet with your designer on a video call, show them your space and discuss your priorities.

Whether you are just looking to add some curb appeal or transform your entire backyard - we have a team for you!

Read more about: Client Reviews, Landscape Design Tips, Outdoor Decor Tips & Shopping, Tilly Portfolio