My Backyard in Style at Home Magazine

In case you haven’t heard, my backyard is featured in this month’s issue of Style at Home Magazine. The May Decorating Indoors & Out issue.

The magazine is still on newstands so you can run out and buy one. If that isn’t an option, once the magazine is off the shelves you’ll be able to read the article on the Style at Home website. Don’t worry. I’ll alert you when the time comes.

That is not my backyard on the cover.



This is my backyard in the centre.



But most importantly this is my name credited as the writer of the article.

For me it’s a far greater accomplishment to have been asked to write the article than to be featured in the magazine. Being featured is great … but they don’t pay you to have your home featured in magazines. They *do* however pay you to write articles for them.

It’s also a bit of validation for my mother who has been telling me I should be a writer for about 20 years. I, conversely, have spent the last 20 years telling her I *am* a writer.

I’ve been writing for television for 20 years. I wrote every single word that’s ever come out of my mouth on-air. I wrote several blogs for network television shows and of course, write all of the words that I don’t plagiarize on this blog.

But unless it’s on a paper page it’s not writing. Whenever I write a magazine article I’m a writer. When I write a blog post I’m a babbling blogger.

Send an irate letter to the editor of a small town newspaper?  Writer. Inscribe a birthday card?  Writer!  Jot down a 3 item grocery list?  WRITER!

Write a blog post like this one?  Hack.  Babbling, blogging hackity hack.

Whose backyard happens to be featured in Style at Home Magazine this month. It’s actually the second time my home has been featured in Style at Home. Which is quite an accomplishment for someone who, you guessed it … is also not a decorator.

Wanna read about how I built my backyard and what a pain in the ass it was? Click on my How I Rebuilt My Backyard post.


  1. Lori says:

    Did they get the chicken coop????!!!!!

    • RuthyJ says:

      With Karen writing the article, I don’t think the chicken coop could have been left out. 🙂

      • Karen says:

        Thanks Ruth! But actually there is no mention of the chicken coop for two reasons. #1. My chickens are illegal so it’s best not to draw attention to them in a national magazine. #2. The photos were actually taken a couple of years ago when the magazine was here to photograph the interior of my house! It took them this long to get to running the outdoor piece. 🙂 ~ karen

        • RuthyJ says:

          Oh, bummer! I keep forgetting legality is an issue. Stupid laws…. *sucks teeth*

          That’s a heck of a long time to take to run an article, because it feels like the chickens have been around for ages. LOL!

      • Karen says:

        Thanks Ruth! But actually there is no mention of the chicken coop for two reasons. #1. My chickens are illegal so it’s best not to draw attention to them in a national magazine. #2. The photos were actually taken a couple of years ago when the magazine was here to photograph the interior of my house! It took them this long to get to running the outdoor piece. My chickens didn’t exist then! 🙂 ~ karen

  2. Wow! That’s fantastic, Karen! I, too, would find more pride in having my name in the byline than as the featured home owner.

    Ah, who am I kidding? Put me in Style At Home in any capacity (even a letter to the editor gushing over an article), and I’d be thrilled to bits!

    Looking forward to seeing it in print!

  3. Kate says:

    Amazing! Congratulations on the magazine article and all your successes…your blog is one of my very favorites (it’s my daily Canadian content!), but I’m sure you write a mean grocery list too. Come to Floria and help me tackle the ever-creeping jungle that is our two acre back yard!

    Seriously though, keep up the great work and congratulations. You’re an inspiration.

  4. Marti says:


    Very impressed and so happy for you. I’m looking forward to when you post the weblink to the article, because yeah, no, they don’t sell Canada Style at Home at my local newstand.

    • Karen says:

      They might! Do they not really? I thought they did. Kay, not your newstand specifically, how would I know that?? That would be weird. But … in America. Hmm. Maybe I’m wrong. ~ karen!

      • Marti says:

        Nope, not here. We’re a country of backward, illiterate shut-ins. Hadn’t you heard?

        Seriously, magazines have taken such a hit in the United States in recent years. We’re lucky to have American magazines.

        • Sera says:

          It’s true, we’re illiterate shut-ins. No, wait, it’s true our magazines are being removed from publication at an alarming rate. I have had no less than 6 magazine subscriptions cancelled on me (I read a lot of magazines and they are so much cheaper this way!) in the last two years.

  5. Illoana Smith says:

    This was one of my most favourite feature articles for the content, writing and realistic project scope. Hats off to you. I admire you greatly and you are a terrific writer. Talent galore. Warmest congratulations. I drag this feature article out every single day to show my hubby what my backyard vision is for our new home. I covet your latest project.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Illoana! Feel free to send that exact comment to the Style at Homes “Letter to the Editors”. Hah! ~ karen!

      • Illoana Smith says:

        Done!!! I suggested you as a regular columnist, so you can be a real writer for your Mom.

        • Karen says:

          Gah! LOL. I didn’t think you’d actually do it! Good job! Thank you! You’ll be the first to know if I”m hired again. 0__0 ~ karen

  6. Raymonde says:

    Congrats Karen!!! \ (^_^) /

  7. Natika33 says:

    I certainly won’t be able to find Style at Home here, so I can’t wait for the website to have it up! Congratulations!

    And congratulations for writing the actual article too.

    You should have a contest to give away hard copies to the people who can’t buy it where they live. It would be great to show my students what Canadian yards look like… hint hint…

  8. Brenda J. Moore says:

    Congratulations! Good to be you in the STYLE. What a great looking yard Karen.

  9. Congrats Ms WRITER!
    Thrilled for you!

  10. Jane says:

    Wow!!! Congratulations !!! Can’t wait to see it. Your backyard makeover was amazing!! I stole your idea with the white light globes but used solar lights…works perfect…..thanks:). And I hope they show us the chicken coop!! Love your blog!!!

  11. Laura Bee says:

    Congratulations! My Grandma once told me reading a letter from me was like I was right there talking to her. I kinda feel that way about your bloggity blog. Keep talking & writing! You are very good at it.

  12. Susan says:

    A chicken Momma, a true pie baker, a gardener, a builder, an electrician, a crafts lady, now a writer! Will wonders never cease! Congratulations!! Great article with beautiful photos! Your Momma must be proud!! Good going Karen!!

  13. Jackie MacDougall says:

    Was delighted when my issue arrived! I recognized your backyard from your blog- and thought omg it is Karen! Great article, beautiful yard.

  14. Thera says:


    p.s. Agree re the contest, but not for just those that live far away 🙂

  15. Cathy says:

    Very cool.

  16. Marmie says:

    Wonderful! My backyard is still under snow!

    • Karen says:

      Marmie – The photos were taken 2 years ago! So, it’s not under snow right now, but it definitely isn’t quite time for spring clean up yet either. 🙂 ~ karen

  17. Maggie V says:

    You go girl!

  18. Jrn says:

    Saw this, went to Zinio, and bought and downloaded the magazine instantly onto my ipad ( a tip for those who can’t rush to Canada or a local newsstand for a copy). And I love your video tour in the app – okay, no video tour but a great write-up, directions for glowing orbs and a link to views of the inside of your home and your website!

    Love the quote about whether you’d recommend this to others: ” it depends on how cheap you are- and how much time you have on your hands- and how prone you are to nervous breakdowns.” Ha!

  19. Langela says:

    Yeah, I always saw you as a babbling blogger, except when you plagiarize. That’s stuff’s awesome!

    Congrats, Karen! 🙂

  20. Jrn says:

    And a out your foxgloves…I have the worst luck with them. Do they flourish the aspens, fur, or pine trees shown there? I never get the shade and requirements right for them. I think they like shaded “feet.”?

    • Karen says:

      Foxgloves? I don’t have any. Do you mean the lupins? You probably mean those. I grew them from seed about 12 years ago and they’re still going strong. Love them! ~ karen

      • Jcrn says:

        Yes, lupins. Wow, they look like Foxgloves to me. And now that I remember more about Foxgloves I don’t think I’ll be growing them. We have a new grandchild and they are supposed to be very, very toxic. Not the Amaryllis kind of toxic which is overblown. But really, really toxic!

  21. Tracy says:

    Congratulations, Karen!

  22. Deb J. says:

    Saw the article Karen. Way to go. Wished there were even more pictures. And no chicken coop:(. Also, I just checked and Style at Home is available on Zinio if someone is really anxious to see the piece. However, there appear to be two Style at Home magazines – didn’t really look at where the second one is from but it is definitely NOT the Canadian one. So if one wishes to buy an issue, make sure you are getting what you want.

    • Jcrn says:

      Yes, there are 2 Style at Home magazines. You can pick the one with the cover that matches the one at the top of the blog – which I only did after, of course, purchasing the wrong copy first. Oh well…they both look interesting.

  23. RuthyJ says:

    Congratulations! I will await the heads up on the web release of the article. Woohoo! 😀

  24. Jodi T. says:

    Congratulations, Karen! Can’t wait to read it.

  25. Jess says:

    Read how YOU made over your backyard. Whoa! You have balls, girl. I wouldn’t even be able to figure out how to level the patio away from the house even with a video tutorial. And the backbreaking work! Congrats on your written article also. You must be made of some pioneer fiber. Yup, you would have survived and probably have started the first chicken-cattle-quarter horse riding-spa ranch in the old west with a garden out on the front forty.

  26. Paul says:

    Congratulations !!

  27. Ashley says:

    I’m sure someone’s said it already but…

    You’re a centerfold! Well, your yard is. And it’s mighty sexy.

  28. Becca says:

    Not a decorator? Ppppppft. Congrats on your credits. Love your yard the way they shot it but the chooks really make it the best.

  29. Can’t wait to read it Karen, just from the pictures it looks outstanding!

  30. says:

    YES!!!! write a book. Please.
    Include a chapter on growing lupines from seed because that’s impossible and you know it 🙂

  31. How many writers can claim the devoted followers you have?

  32. J9 says:

    Congrats Karen!!! I look forward to reading online!

  33. Natalie says:

    Congratulations! 🙂 Your blog readers are very proud of you!

  34. Debbie says:

    Wow Wow I had never seen the blog of your backyard makeover, I’m exhausted now … and so impressed. I need to work on my abs so I can throw that much dirt around too. Inspiring!

  35. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I am indeed very proud of you Karen..You work very hard for everything you deserve this recognition!

  36. Ella says:

    Congrats! It must add even more satisfaction to that feeling of a job well done!

  37. Kelly says:

    Hi Karen….I just read the article in the magazine today while I waited in line at the Ancaster Costco…..(it’s nuts in there by the way!!!!must be the rain)
    Congrats on such a beautiful layout and inspirational article. I just wish I had your energy 🙂

  38. SK Farm Girl says:

    Congrats Karen! When I received my issue in the mail and did a quick flip-through, I immediately recognized the backyard as yours! So excited, I squealed in delight and told my fella, “Look my friend’s backyard has been featured in this magazine!!! We are friends, aren’t we?! It’s not like we’ve met and shared wine or anything, but we are buds, pals even – right?! LOL! Congrats on the writing as well!

  39. Shauna says:

    I totally think you should turn your blog into a book. You know there are programs that practically do it for you (with a lot of editing on your part I’m sure) – you could self-publish and then BAM – no way your Mom could say you’re blog isn’t making you a ‘writer’. I even think there’s a self-publishing area in Amazon too. That way all your subscribers could buy the book – you know we would.

  40. Leslie says:

    Congratulations! You’re an author!

  41. Trisha says:

    My husband was flipping through my magazine and came over to show it to me because he knows I read your blog. He didn’t know that I already read it and was proudly pointing out to myself that I “know” you and have read all about your backyard. I was self-congratulating myself for being so with it!

    Thanks for giving me some cool points!

    • Trisha says:

      I did my gravatar thingy – don’t know why it doesn’t show up on your website. It shows up on others….probably for the best – it’s not a real treat!

  42. Patti says:

    Congratulations, Karen! You’re awesome!

  43. Lynne says:

    Woooohooooo !!! Great job miss Canadiana !!!!! You can haul patio stones, grow green leafy things and take care of chickens. Brills.

    I have the magazine here and now I’m rushing to read it. You are a Canadian centrefold. 🙂

    Congrats !!!!

  44. Kasia says:

    This is very cool Karen! Long wait, but with two publications under your belt now as a decorator… even if you technically aren’t, you really are. Just like you might not *technically* be a writer. But you really are! Congrats 😀

  45. Amie Mason says:

    That’s amazing! Congrats!

  46. Jeannette says:


    I just read this magazine last night and saw the article…it is great. I wish there had been before pictures though so we could better picture those boulders you were hefting.
    The end result is beautiful and inspiring.
    Looking forward to your next project…the house!

  47. Tracie says:

    I love your back yard. Especially the (sigh) waterfall/pond…..I am definitely going to copy everything (as much as I can manage as I don’t have your drive or energy) just as soon as I get myself a back yard. If I have nothing else, I will have a waterfall. I want an indoor fountain as well, that I can manage…..:) Congrats!

  48. Sara says:

    Jealous. Your backyard is gorgeous!
    Congratulations on your byline.

  49. Ronda says:

    I thought it was particularly ironic that the ad below your post was for iUniverse and read: Feel the PRIDE of becoming a PUBLISHED AUTHOR! Bahaha!

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