How Actor Jamie Chung Refreshed Her Brooklyn Outdoor Space

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Jamie Chung and her husband, Bryan Greenberg, finally found their forever home in Brooklyn during October of last year. Despite moving to the city where they wanted to live, the happy couple knew it would take a lot of work to transform the property into their dream space.

As soon as they moved in, the duo teamed up with Decorist designer Will Wick—who they previously worked with—to redo their kitchen, living room, and primary bedroom. Once summer rolled around, the actors shifted their focus to the condo’s outdoor space, which spans around 830 square feet.

This time around, the couple decided to tackle the project on their own though, sprucing up the patio area with a new suite of entertaining-friendly products. Read on for a closer look at exactly how the Once Upon a Time actor’s vision came to life.

A full view of the backyard before the renovation.

Jamie_Chung_Backyard_2.jpg

A full view of the backyard before the renovation.
Photo: American Express

AD: What was your inspiration behind the renovation?

Jamie Chung: As we all realized last year, our home is our sanctuary. It’s our safe place. We spend so much time here and having a backyard is quite the luxury. I wanted our next focus to be our backyard space because we love entertaining and relaxing outside. It was wonderful to get the chance to revamp this entire area.

Where did you shop for your backyard decor?

I used a lot of gift cards to Home Depot and Crate and Barrel. If you go to AMEX’s Membership Rewards site, it shows your points balance with different tabs that let you shop by department. If I wanted tea lights or a barbecue, it was all there. Another great thing was the Shop Small Marketplace where I got a lot of items for my decor like Franca pottery, Rough Linen, and more. It was awesome to be able to support small businesses.

Do you have any advice for first-time home renovators?

Start off by looking at the furniture you have. Instead of tossing old things, there are great ways to repurpose them, especially if they’re made out of wood. It just requires some sealant and sanding, and it’s suddenly the ultimate DIY project. From there, I would recommend doing a Pinterest board. There are reasons why all the experts do it. Seeing and visualizing things really helps you home in on the items you need and how and what will work together. Measurements are also super important. I’ll usually lay down blue painter’s tape on the floor because sometimes things arrive and it’s now how you envisioned it.

The original backyard layout of Jamie Chung’s condo, prior to renovation.

Jamie_Chung_Backyard_1.jpg

The original backyard layout of Jamie Chung’s condo, prior to renovation.
Photo: American Express

Did you face any challenges and how did you overcome them?

My challenge is living in New York City. Currently, there’s scaffolding in our backyard. We have a pretty decent size space, but it’s so ugly. I asked myself, How do I make this a sanctuary? I was like, screw it! I’m going to use the scaffolding to my advantage. I hung up tea lights and bought really cool linens to make it tented in a way. I used what was up against me to my advantage for my decor and it really worked out.

How did you and your husband sync up on the vision for the space?

Bryan was very receptive to what I thought would look great in the backyard. He did point out that we needed a place for our grill. He also contributed by building our dining room table with my father-in-law. We used all this wood from a separate home improvement project and instead of throwing it away, we upcycled it and bought sealer from Home Depot. We ended up with a beautiful table and benches.

What’s your favorite part of the backyard renovation?

In the before pictures, it was stuffed with all this furniture that didn’t work. It was a mess, so we made a place centered around dining. It’s a lot more cohesive now and easier for guests to see each other, talk, and mingle around for drinks.

Do you have other projects in and out of the home on the horizon?

There’s the front of our home, which we want to make a seating area. It’s a nice amount of space and I think we want to add a wall garden. That’s definitely next on our list.

I’m also working with Zack Snyder on his next animation and it’s loosely based on Norse mythology. Additionally, there’s a show on Apple TV+ called Mr. Corman that you can catch me in. It was written, directed, and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt. There’s also Dexter that comes out in the fall.

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest