Upcycled and Recycled into Outdoor Living Room

August 8, 2011 by

For The Common Place, known as an “autonomous, radical social center” in Leeds, England, designers Donna Walker and Sarah Barrett created Home Sweet Home, a project sprung out of the desire to craft a cozy outdoor social gathering spot out of what was once just rubble. Starting out with a yard in much disrepair at the back of the center, the duo felt the space had a lot of potential to become a useful social gathering place for center’s members.


Then some digging…

…and after.

A Safe Sense of Community
Since the ethos of the center was to create a place in the city that rebuilds some of the things lost in our lives, the center offers  a sense of community, affordable food, entertainment, a place to relax, talk, meet, or find information on many of the issues affecting our lives–the designers embarked on creating a home in the city that to meet these needs for everyone.

The original garden channel: tonight we’ll watch the plants grow.

Out of the Bathroom and Into the Backyard
By focusing on the aesthetics of the home, and working with familiar domestic objects and patterns, Walker and Barrett aimed to evoke associations of comfort and safety.

Bathtub sofa for “sunbathing.”

Garden throne.

In an attempt to blur the boundaries between interior and exterior, the designers raised up and replanted the garden, upcycled bathroom furniture as seating and plant beds, and stencilled wallpaper patterns onto the brickwork.

The stencilled wall in progress.

The completed wall with the garden in bloom.


  1. Shirley Bovshow said:

    Great project Robin! Love the details.

    — August 8, 2011 @ 15:41

  2. Barbara said:

    So LES circa early `90’s!

    — August 9, 2011 @ 09:11

  3. Mindy Lighthipe said:

    This is an awesome project! I love the transformation. What a way to watch tv! Super!!!!

    — August 9, 2011 @ 09:50

  4. Annie Haven | Authentic Haven Brand said:

    great share on turning ugly into relaxing beauty with a bit of hard work! <|;-)

    — August 9, 2011 @ 11:03

  5. Feature on Urban gardens website « Sarah Dee Barrett's Weblog Pingback said:

    […] http://www.urbangardensweb.com/2011/08/08/upcycled-and-recycled-into-outdoor-living-room/ […]

    — August 20, 2011 @ 10:42

  6. Renata said:

    You did a wonderful job on this project and created such a warm and inviting space. I love to see items being used and reused in different or unusual ways. Bravo!

    — January 6, 2012 @ 01:46

  7. DIY Ideas How To Make Outdoor Living Room |Fancy Life Corner Pingback said:

    […] source and credits […]

    — July 9, 2013 @ 18:18

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