It may be Fall now, but I couldn't wait until next Spring to share this Backyard Reveal. It took some patience and coordination to take these pics, but I wanted the grass to be green, the flowers in bloom and just the right natural lighting to try and capture just a bit of magic this backyard retreat has in spades! This was such a fun project, and I'm so grateful that after completely redesigning the interior of this home, the clients trusted me to expand what we had done inside and re-envision their exterior spaces. Come on and take a tour with me!
Let's first take a glimpse at the 'Before'. The old deck and roofed pergola were in need of repair. A small lower patio with seating and a country firepit were ready for an upgrade. Two trees at the existing deck edge were great for birds, but both had grown gangly and were potentially problematic with the septic system beside it. Their position also left the deck prone to moss and algae growth. Having a country backyard bordered on all sides by a high cedar hedge meant the trade off for privacy was losing any potential view so my task was about creating a an outdoor living space that had all the bells and whistles of a resort and allowed the clients to entertain seamlessly between the inside and out. And - lucky me - this client always asks me to design each space with some kind of sizzle and wow factor. :) How amazing is that for client direction?
Before Pics - with the gangly trees, worn deck, small covered living area, and firepit.
The design concept and plan for the backyard began inside with the new Kitchen design. We had replaced the standard over the sink window with an 8' x 4' Magic window. This enabled us to gain interior light and a view to the private backyard, but also created an integrated space for an outdoor bar for entertaining. We came up with this 5 panel window design that opens like an accordion and folds back with 3 panels on one side and 2 on the other. And to keep those pesky mosquitos out, there is a built-in screen with a magnetic latch in the center!
The layout of the backyard deck design centered around this new 8'x4' Magic window that was a design feature in the Kitchen design.
We looked at ways we could keep the trees but after consulting an arborist it was decided to take both down. We would make sure to select and plant an appropriate size tree so that as it grew the birds would still have their place.
So with the client's wish list and easement parameters determined, we created the design plan for this amazing backyard space.
Walking through the patio doors, a new pvc and red cedar deck stretches out from the immediate left and stretches nearly the length of the house. The combination of the beauty and aging colour of the cedar with the durability and flexibility of the pvc means this deck would look amazing for years.
One feature that was an exciting challenge to design was the outdoor living area. It's focal point is a cedar wall structure with folding doors designed to house and protect a tv and soundbar for these sports fan to watch all the baseball games and NASCAR races outside where they're meant to be enjoyed! There is a motorized awning so the bright hot sunshine or a light summer drizzle won't send them running inside. Furnished as a living room, it becomes a a comfortable and stylish space for sitting on the cozy furniture by the screen or, viewed from both the dining and bar area as well.
View from sliding doors towards the outdoor living room with cedar tv wall and pergola covered dining area.
There are led backlights behind the tv, as well as a led strip light above. And along with these led light features, we also incorporated led lights installed underneath the deck rail, on the stair risers, under the floating curved bench seat, and recessed on the paver firepit and walkways for all the wow factor. They are all programmable, and the client has set them up based on the colours for his favourite hockey team, baseball team, and NASCAR driver.
Towards the pergola dining area with cedar half wall and motorized solarshade.
To the left is the pergola covered dining area, with a half wall, ceiling fan, and motorized solar shade for dining and entertaining regardless of where the sun is sitting.
Against the home exterior is an outdoor kitchen with a large BBQ, bar fridge, and counterspace for a fryer. It sits beside the outdoor bar, with matching leathered granite countertops, bar stools, and a series of decorative wall sconces above the large magic window.
Outdoor bar with the Magic window to entertain from inside and out, with modern bar stools, leathered granite countertop, and a series of wall sconces above.
Opposite the bar is additional lounge seating for two, and also to enjoy a morning coffee. A new decorative tree was planted several feet out from where the original large tree was, within a rock filled garden bed.
The Bar Lounge area seating with the new decorative tree behind.
Cozy Lounge seating across from the Kitchen Magic window Bar.
Continuing along, the deck opens to stairs leading to the yard and further on the driveway. Between that is the coolest curved deck. Set with bench seating along its length and framed by built-in planter boxes, it borders one side of the gorgeous paver firepit and walkways on either side. Designed so that this section of the yard could be used during the day when there wasn't a bonfire, a large parasol umbrella was incorporated into the center of the bench area to provide much needed shade from the afternoon sun.
View from the deck looking down to the firepit and built-in curved floating bench.
We kept the firepit minimal yet beautiful with the focus on the circular shape and the paver stone pattern for interest. The extra large firepit was built in the same stone with a soft black border that was used to edge the driveway. We kept the furnishings simple with recycled plastic Muskoka chairs in a natural cedar colour, and some seat cushions for comfort on the curved bench.
The firepit towards the circular built-in bench seat and decking. A simple modern bench and wall sconce by the secondary back door.
To frame the deck itself, I designed planter boxes at the bottom of each set of stairs for the client to plant her favourite flowers and herbs. The face of the deck was clad with the same pvc as the decking to complete the look.
The floating curved built-in bench with custom planter boxes and cedar and cable railings. Framed by paver walkway and firepit and decorative tree garden bed.
The railing is a combination of PVC handrail with cedar posts and cable. The underside of the railing was routered for LED strip lighting. The stairs have LED lights on the risers, and the floating curved bench has more underneath.
The outside view of the cedar tv wall structure and the steps leading up to the pergola dining area. Complete with led step lighting, custom pvc planter boxes, and paver walkway and edging.
There were so many details that went into making this deck and backyard resort dream come to life. And I'm so happy with how it turned out. And, most importantly, I'm so happy to hear how much they are enjoying it, for themselves as well as entertaining guests.
Soon enough we will have to put away the outdoor furniture, but I hope this gives you the okay to not quite give up on our outdoor spaces for the year yet. Enjoy them as much as you can before the weather gets too cold. We were fortunate to be able to lounge on our own patio and have a bonfire this weekend.
And once it's all packed away and we head into winter, we can dream about the Spring and start planning what we can do to update and enjoy our backyard spaces again.
Yours in Design,