“Backyard Blowout”—which is now available to stream on Peacock—is not your average home renovation show, as the kids in the series call the shots, while hosts Sana Garner and Jonathan Kidder work alongside them to transform their backyards into the craziest outdoor spaces you’ve ever seen. With all decisions up to the children, expect to see everything from multi-level treehouses to zip lines to a resort made specially for the family chicken.
House Beautiful spoke to the show’s hosts to get the scoop about what was most surprising about working on this series, how they will apply what they learned from the show to their own backyards, and what renovations stood out the most.
For Kidder, the most surprising takeaway from working on “Backyard Blowout” was the empathy of the stars of the show: the kids. “With COVID being our reality, kids saw their parents’ need for social interaction,” explains the co-host. “So, what started as a family project evolved into an embrace of the whole neighborhood.” He adds that the kids “revealed their vision and their generous hearts with each makeover.”
Garner echoed the same sentiments, stating, “I loved getting to know the kids and uncovering unique characteristics of each child. Some kids were full of surprises—one played the harp, another was a second degree karate black belt at nine years old, several built robotics, and one baked all their grandmother’s cake recipes for their grandfather!”
Her favorite renovation from the show? The multi-level treehouse. “I am a nerd for all things construction and was in awe of how they built it—from sling-shooting bean bags into the tree canopy to create a belay line, to the steel plates that were inserted into the tree trunks to support the framing and finally the gorgeous handcrafted ladder they formed,” Garner gushes.
As for applying the skills they picked up from working on the series to their own backyards, Kidder and Garner have a lot of ideas to play with—including creating a doggie obstacle course for Kidder’s dog. The Chihuahua-Dachshund mix often “jumps off furniture and bounds over pillows,” which inspired one of the co-host’s favorite projects for the series: a “dog-sticle course” that Kidder plans to recreate in his own backyard.
As a mother of a toddler, Garner found that working on “Backyard Blowout” allowed her to view her own backyard from a child’s point of view, while understanding the importance of “supporting the needs and interests of everyone in the family.” Her husband loves birdwatching, while she loves growing food, and their toddler is “differently-abled and is into colors, music, and all things trucks.” Subsequently, Garner is still “thinking of ways to make our backyard accessible for my son while also creating maximum fun for him,” and making it a place where she and her husband “can unwind and watch the birds.”
When it comes to the most shocking backyard renovations on this series, Kidder declares that one should “never underestimate the power of a power-washer,” given that the co-hosts and their team used one to turn “a peevish-looking patio into a vibrant veranda.” He adds that this simple task “totally changed the vibe [of the space] and showed that a little TLC can go a long way.” After all, as Kidder declares, he and his co-host “put the ‘fun’ in functional.”
Another family wanted to grow their own fruits and vegetables, reveals Garner, so, “together with the kids, we constructed raised planter beds, filled them with soil, and planted vegetables and herbs.” She adds that “when kids are involved in growing their own fruits and vegetables, they get excited about what they’re eating.” Clearly, this renovation is proof that your backyard can serve many purposes, including being able to eat healthy foods without having to leave home.
Ready to watch “Backyard Blowout” for yourself? All 11 episodes of the series are now available to stream on Peacock.
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