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The Design Challenge

It wasn’t a particularly small backyard, but these Charlotte-area clients were having a hard time figuring out how to fit all of the features and activities they wanted. They loved their existing pool, but they wanted more space around it for outdoor cooking and dining, entertaining, and play. How much of the space should be enclosed within the pool safety fence? What landscape features should go inside, or outside, the fence? How could they make it feel spacious and hospitable, not crowded? Could there be room for vegetable gardens as well as ornamental flower beds?

And, is building an open-air “man cave” style dining and lounge area a justifiable expense if you declare it part of the necessary pool utility building? 😉

The Home Outside Solution

Home Outside started the conversation with two draft design ideas: one design maintained a smaller safety fence around the pool, splitting the back yard in half. The other design showed a property-boundary fence, which would be more expensive, but it would not chop up the back yard into separate spaces.

The spaces around the pool were organized in response to the fence layouts and included: a pool utility house that set up the structure for an open-air outdoor kitchen and lounge area, vegetable gardens, ornamental gardens, flexible patio spaces, sunbathing spots, and big lawn areas for outdoor games.

The Final Designs

After reviewing both draft design ideas, the homeowners realized that they liked parts of both designs. After their designer presented the two concepts, the clients had a family meeting with their three kids to strategize: they printed out both concepts, cut up the individual parts of each design, and rearranged them like puzzle pieces to develop a hybrid design scheme. They taped the new design down and sent it back to their designer, who refined their vision into the final design for their backyard: a perfect blend of fun and function, that fit within their installation budget. 

The hybrid final design puts the outdoor kitchen next to the poolhouse (so guests can sit at the bar and watch the TV mounted on the poolhouse wall). While the irregularly shaped concrete patio was kept for cost-saving purposes, it was integrated into the new patio and walkway for more flexible seating and circulation around the pool. 

The new fence layout allows for more space around the pool, with room for plenty of outdoor seating, a small play lawn, vegetable gardens (the fence keeps out the rabbits), and a graciously sized outdoor kitchen and lounge area, complete with roof, outdoor TV, and fire feature. Lush ornamental garden beds soften the look of the new pool fence and hide utilities near the house. 

The homeowners were thrilled with their final Home Outside plan and excited to take it to a local contractor to discuss the installation of this ultimate backyard summertime hangout.

You can see the Home Outside image board used to illustrate the design concepts here.

Get some design help from the Home Outside experts and start your own landscape makeover today!