This space will forever change the way our clients enjoyed their warm summer evenings! The homeowners were looking for a backyard retreat to entertain their friends and family. The one thing they knew they wanted a pool to put on their 2.5 acres of beautiful property with lots of open space. The lack of space wasn’t a problem; it was the lack of purpose. They currently didn’t have any place to hang out and really take advantage of the beautiful setting. The space felt vast and uncomfortable. There was a few main goals they wanted to accomplish:
Create purposeful and functional spaces
Install a recreational pool
Add colorful plants that create seasonal interest and privacy
Develop an area for storage and changing
Build a larger, more functional deck
Deal with the grade change and septic system
A big challenge was to get the position of the pool and pool house just right. The homeowners wanted the pool to be seen from the home, yet feel protected from the neighbors. We positioned the pool at a 45-degree angle to allow it to be seen from the house with the pool house as a backdrop. It also helped to block the visuals of the road and the neighbors living space. It lends a hand in helping people feel comfortable in the space and more protected. The pool house interior has a modern feel with separate his and hers changing areas, a shower and toilet rooms. The exterior of the pool house boasts two pergola areas on either side. One side has a casual fire feature room with an irregular bluestone patio. The fire bowl is made of polished black granite with recycled turquoise glass, sitting on top of stainless legs. The other pergola area is designed with a swinging bed hanging from the purlins.
The sod steps that surround the pool are a simple yet powerful statement. The existing grade was built up around the main patio space, we had to rise up the septic access bay about 30” because the new grade would have made the septic cover too low. This created the sod steps that surround the pool. Built up beds helped to create a protected feel, adding much needed privacy to the pool. We wanted to make sure that we didn’t loose the softness of the space with the patio hardscapes, so bringing the sod around the pool just made sense. The steps are constructed of 4” Kasota stone on the rise and turf on the run. The colorful plants finish up the top level of the sod steps with a pop of color and liveliness. They are simple block plantings of Prairie Fire Penstom, White Swan Echinacea, Blue Hills Salvia and Shooting Star Dianthus. The biggest planting impact are the twelve, 20-25’ tall Norway spruce we spaded in. The wind on this property is a big problem, so we planted a grove of aspen trees and the large evergreens to cut down on the wind. The plantings truly changed their backyard by instantly giving them the privacy and protection they were hoping for.
In the middle of the sod steps is the water feature positioned so it can be seen and heard from all parts of the landscaping. The water falls mimic the sod steps as the water runs down Ripple Creek stone steps.
Another important facet of this project was the deck itself. Their existing deck was just big enough to sit four people. They had so little usable space that they were forced to do all their grilling under the deck. The new deck is broken up into smaller areas: the main dining area outside the sliding doors, the kitchen with a built-in grill in the middle and the lounging overlook deck space at the far end.
The outdoor kitchen has a 36” grill, fridge, ice-maker, sink, warming drawer and side burners. We also added a pergola over head to help shade the deck. The kitchen counter turns the corner and transitions into a built-in sitting area, perfect for the kids to eat their burgers! We replaced their existing walls and pushed the new walls underneath the deck to allow for maximum storage. The under side of the deck is beautiful yet very functional. We wanted to address the storage needs, so, we designed and installed two large storage rooms under the deck. They are completely dried in and have built in shelves, we even did a built-in noodle storage cubby! The open air on the underside of the deck is dried in with tongue-and-groove ceilings. We built in a serving area with high top counters and a built in hot tub.
We looked at this project as trying to create unique, purpose driven spaces that make people feel comfortable, regardless if its just their family or entertaining a crowd. This design allows the family to enjoy their backyard throughout the year and feel comfortable and protected in the spaces.
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