If you think of The Brady Bunch when you hear the word Astro Turf, you might be old enough to have grandchildren. Let me guess? You are picturing the Brady’s back yard with that awful 70s fake lawn that seemed so cool back then. Well, a lot has changed since then.
The Astro Turf of the 70s has metamorphosized into something far more attractive, realistic, and can be seen in many commercial applications. Rooftop bars at hotels come to mind when I think of the pretty, new turf. I’ve also enjoyed the use of it on vertical spaces, creating a beautiful back drop for wall fountains and garden decor. When building our backyard oasis last winter, I had some vertical spaces that needed some style, so I decided to incorporate two different types of Astro Turf to get the look that I was after. Here, I’ll show you what I did and why I chose the type of turf for each area.
Changing Room Under the Stairs
We incorporated a handy changing room just underneath an existing exterior staircase near the pool. The railing already had a well-established climbing honeysuckle vine which covered one area, but the other walls surrounding the space needed vines, too. The problem was, there was no where to plant more vines in those areas. The space really needed something green and lush to complement the honeysuckle, so the idea came to me to construct an Astro Turf wall.
We simply used a sheet of plywood cut to fit the space, added a layer of red guard paint to seal it, then used carpet glue and staples to adhere the Astro Turf to the wall before nailing into place. It looked so good that I continued the look on the other wall, hanging some white outdoor décor to break it up and give it some style.
Classic black and white striped outdoor curtains provided a visual break from the turfed walls as well as an easy and stylish way to enter/exit the area.
Another place I used the Astro Turf vertically was on a pair of garden gates my husband built to hide the pool pump and equipment. An existing evergreen hedge made a painted gate look out of place, and I didn’t want wrought iron because I wanted the pump to be completely hidden.
We cut out two panels from plywood, sealed it off with red guard to prevent water penetration, then used Astro Turf to cover the plywood. Gate hardware was attached and the finished product gave me exactly what I wanted: A concealed pool pump hidden behind gates that blend in to the existing hedge and landscaping!
Outdoor Fireplace Accent
I was so in love with the look of my changing room and gates that I ordered an ivy type of turf that came in panels. Originally, I wanted to glue them to the water feature near the pool, but it just did not look right in that space. Instead of returning them, I cut them out and stapled them onto parts of our outdoor fireplace surround and mantel. The look is beautiful, with just enough turf to give the fireplace some character and depth.
It’s helpful that we have a gas operated fire feature which means there is virtually no heat created that would threaten to melt the turf. I would not recommend doing this to a wood burning fireplace!
Overall, this was one fun DIY project! It did take my husband some time to get used to the idea of doing this, but we get so many compliments from visitors that he is great with it now. I would recommend trying it in small spaces, and not to use too much of it. If you do have a big area to cover, think of how you could incorporate some elements into the space that would break it up like concrete pavers, live vines, or white painted decorative items that will pop off the deep green color of the turf. Where can you find it? Astro turf has become readily available at most Home Depot stores these days. I was also able to find the ivy type on Amazon. I hope you’re inspired to try, and as always – send me pictures of your projects and message me with questions! I love hearing from you.
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