About catherine
Catherine is a CPA-turned-creative entrepreneur. She is the founder of Beginning in the Middle. an interior designer, photographer, writer, and business schemer.  She loves being cozy at home, miniature everything, and has a not-so-secret dream of living on an island one day.
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Before & After

Whimsical Backyard Makeover


We’ve had our historic townhome for about 1.5 years now, and have finally made some headway in the backyard!  It had some qualities that we really liked from the beginning – the giant tree in the middle, the existing shrubs, and its size (it’s larger than average for the neighborhood).  It felt like an escape, even as-is, and we saw lots of potential.  Here’s what it looked like when we bought it in February.

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This image cannot be displayed.The thing about buying a house in the winter is that we didn’t really know how the yard would fill in when spring/summer rolled around.  In this case, it just became more green, especially the vine on the structure in the back (which we love!).  Here’s what it looked like last summer after we got some furniture back there & did some clean up.

This image cannot be displayed.This summer, our home was featured on the annual home tour in German Village, so we had an excuse to get it looking pretty.  We worked with a local company that added a mix of annuals and perennials, and made our backyard feel like a real escape.  The fun pops of color in the flowers, hammock (from Amazon), Afton chairs (from Target), and string lights bring everything to life.

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Our favorite spot is the little table & chairs under the vine.  It feels so romantic, doesn’t it?

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This image cannot be displayed.We hung string lights above the table and added some flameless candles to the chandelier.

This image cannot be displayed.We love the character that the worn thermometer and rusty old clothes line post add.

This image cannot be displayed.This image cannot be displayed.This image cannot be displayed.Lights, flowers, and color never seem to fail to add character to a space – especially outdoors.  We typically stick to neutrals in the interiors we design, but the outdoors encourage us to incorporate color – lots of it.

This image cannot be displayed.This image cannot be displayed.Other than landscaping, we power washed every surface we could.  It was crazy to see the difference between the old and new concrete – it was definitely covered with a layer of grime that made the concrete look dirty.  After power washing, the concrete lightened up and looked clean & new.

Have you done any outdoor projects this summer? Do share!

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  1. Lea says:

    Ah looks SOOO refreshing!

  2. Kiki says:

    A wonderful magic space – I’m all with you as far as fairy lights, candles and such are concerned. It’s very inviting with lovely pops of colour and all the various greens.

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Catherine & Bryan Williamson moved from NYC to Columbus, OH in 2013.  Beginning in the Middle is a journal of the couple's design and renovation projects, real estate investment and Airbnb hosting journey, travel, and other life happenings.



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I grew up in New Jersey and always had a dream of living in New York.  There was something about the energy of the city that drew me inOur journey started unexpectedly in 2012, when we decided to make a big move from New York to Columbus. The glamour of climbing the corporate ladder was wearing off, and we knew that renting an expensive small apartment and dealing with crowded subways everyday was not going to work forever. We wanted to start creating something for ourselves, and although we didn’t know exactly what that something was, we knew NYC wasn’t the place for it.

We decided on Columbus because Bryan grew up here, and we were intrigued by all of the development going on in the downtown area at the time. We drove through many of the neighborhoods and admired the boarded up old houses, most of which were built in the early 1900s, and started dreaming about the things we could do here.

I'm Catherine, and I'm the founder of Beginning in the Middle.

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