Backyards

Outdoor design: Multi-functional backyard retreat

Outdoor design: Multi-functional backyard retreat

Modern backyard with all the amenities Author: Janis Nicolay

Backyards

Outdoor design: Multi-functional backyard retreat

This once-boring backyard is now a multi-functional retreat, complete with lounging and eating areas, an outdoor kitchen and an expansive pool.


While the exterior of the house is more traditional in style, the homeowners wanted a contemporary backyard that would accommodate both family life (they have two tween-aged children) and their love of entertaining. The large-scale project that took eight months to complete involved turning the 100-by-245-foot lot into a multi-functional retreat. Fortuitously providing areas for sitting, eating and lounging, its terraced design was in response to an odd architectural quirk of the house. “It didn’t have a great relationship to the yard, because the main floor is elevated six feet above grade, which is unusual,” says David. “So all this landscaping and all these terraces were really a way to gracefully bring you down to the pool elevation and connect the house back to the yard.”

Boasting a covered outdoor kitchen and dining area, a built-in hot tub, several lounge spaces (including one with a massive firepit) and a substantial pool, the backyard now serves as a true sanctuary. (A new 1,650-square-foot amenities building at the back of the property houses a Ping-Pong room, a spa-like bathroom and a three-car garage.) Says David: “We joke that when the family goes on vacation, it’s nice for them to come back home because their house is often more luxurious than the places where they stay!”

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Outdoor design: Multi-functional backyard retreat

Terraced design

The backyard's terraced design provides a graceful descent from the house's elevated main floor to the pool level below. The staggered floating concrete steps create an organic look.

By: Laura Muir Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor design: Multi-functional backyard retreat

Pergola

A charcoal-stained fir pergola features a glass canopy to allow for alfresco dining even on rainy days. "The detailing of the pergola is a response to the fact that the house is more traditional," says architect David Battersby.

By: Laura Muir Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor design: Multi-functional backyard retreat

Lounge area

The lounge area on the upper terrace is defined by a massive coffee table-cum-gas-firepit and a cozy resin wicker sectional. A concrete wall lends privacy.

By: Laura Muir Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor design: Multi-functional backyard retreat

Outdoor kitchen and dining

The covered outdoor kitchen, which is outfitted with a TV and barbecue, boasts a large range hood that provides proper ventilation.

By: Laura Muir Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor design: Multi-functional backyard retreat

Country club vibe

A row of resin wicker loungers enhances the pool area's luxurious country club vibe.

By: Laura Muir Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor design: Multi-functional backyard retreat

Ipe decks

Ipe decks at either end of the 20-by-60-foot concrete pool make for comfortable spots to relax. "It's much nicer to sit on a wooden deck than on concrete," says David.

By: Laura Muir Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor design: Multi-functional backyard retreat

Lower terrace

A wooden screen allows for an intimate sitting area on the lower terrace. "Because the terraces are elevated, we installed these privacy screens so there were no overlook issues with the neighbours," says David. A "Bloodgood" Japanese maple offers height, while plantings like golden Japanese forest grass and 'Firefly' heather offer a variation of texture and colour.

By: Laura Muir Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

 

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Backyards

Outdoor design: Multi-functional backyard retreat