Poolside

M. Benes – Curved retaining wall w/steps

A curved retaining wall with lighted steps.


Outdoor living space, where does it start and stop?

I searched the internet to find the perfect definition of an outdoor living space, and to my surprise I came up short, even Wikipedia left me hanging.  In my opinion, creating an inviting outdoor living space is similar to that of changing your house into a home.  They both require an investment of time and materials. They both require the owner to personalize the space.  Some of the adverbs I’d utilize to describe this place would be, comfortable, welcoming, functional, interesting,… etc.  Establishing such takes ability, creativity, experience, and a personal investment in the effort (a.k.a “time and money”).  This definition includes both you and the people doing the work.

Outdoor living can consist of both structural and natural elements.  The tactful combination of these elements determines the overall success of the project.  Structural elements that come to mind include but are not limited to a pergola, deck, outdoor furniture, grill, patio, fire pit, hearth, etc.  Natural elements would be plantings, lighting, contours, fragrance, water, stone, sound, etc.  The outdoor living space is not to be confused with an outdoor kitchen.  An outdoor kitchen is simply structural elements in combination with the needed appliances to cook outdoors.   Therefore the outdoor living space may include an outdoor kitchen but is not limited to having one.  A growing trend in residential landscaping is that of placing more emphasis into the outdoor living space.  This is perhaps one of the most cost effective home improvements.

Improving your home is always a good investment. In the current economic environment, people are staying home.  Adding to your home’s value is smart, it positions you well if ever decide to sell your home as it makes your home more marketable.  At the same time, it improves your way of life and adds to your overall health and well being by placing you in direct contact with the outdoors.


Poolside – Projects

As I said before, pools make our job easier.  Look at the color and interest, couple that with the reflection off the water and you have a recipe for success.


Rose – Project before and afters

Well what do you think.  We gutted the pond and built an entirely new one.   Tree’s were added for shade and dimension.  Plantings were changed to better fit the design and mood we were shooting for.  Boulders and contours were added as a backbone to this landscape.  Finally, lighting was introduced, which tied the whole project together and extended the use of this special area.


Tennity – A beginning… there was turf?

Here is what we started with in July. A basic back yard with a large expanse of turf and limited landscaping. The Tennity’s had quite the check list of needs. Our plan covered most of them, and we added a few additions along the way to bring the entire project together. To date this has been my toughest back yard renovation and most rewarding. I’ve learned a great deal from this project. Namely, with the right equipment, planning, and motivation, anything is possible.


Tennity – After pictures.

Here are some after installation photos.  Note:  the color both in bloom and foliage.  Contrast is everywhere, and bold distinctions abound through this landscape.  We installed a retaining wall for the elevation changed to accommodate the pool.  As you can see we added a dry creek bed to eliminate trapped water.  Then we installed a flagstone path to the golf course.


Zysset – Project after pictures

This project is filling in nicely wouldn’t you say.   This was a major renovation, with essentially most of the back yard being torn out.  We worked around the large trees, contracted concrete experts to weave the sidewalk and steps through the landscape down the slope.  The deck was added using composit materials for durability.  A sound system was built into the landscape as construction ensued, lighting was also built into the project.  This picture just doesn’t do the project justice, you just have to be there and interact with the space to have a feel for how much is going on!