Backyards & Gardens

A lesson in extending a home's living space with a welcoming outdoor retreat

A lesson in extending a home's living space with a welcoming outdoor retreat

Image: Alex Lukey | Design: Erin Feasby

Backyards & Gardens

A lesson in extending a home's living space with a welcoming outdoor retreat

Designer Erin Feasby’s Etobicoke, Ont., backyard is at once chic, comfy and casual.

When large limbs from a troublesome backyard maple tree started to fall on their house, designer Erin Feasby and her husband, Sam, took it as a sign that it was time to take the tree down and finally create an outdoor retreat that would meet their needs. There wasn’t much to the yard of their Etobicoke, Ont., home, apart from the huge tree, a stretch of grass, a tired wooden deck and some nondescript interlocking stone. What they wanted was an area that would extend their living space into the outdoors during the warmer months but also be a fun spot for their three young children, Max, 7, and twins Emmy and Lola, 5. The result is a stylish two-level deck, equipped with zones for cooking, dining and hanging out that doesn’t sacrifice any enjoyment for the little ones.

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While she usually has quite traditional taste, designer Erin Feasby admits that she gravitated toward more modern finishes when designing her own outdoor space. The patio and embedded planters are composed of a limestone-look concrete. “I love the appearance, and that it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance,” she says.

Family meals are a breeze at the long dining table. Bench seating on one side makes it easy for kids to come and go between games of soccer on the lawn. The table was finished in super-durable waterproof marine paint, so cleaning up is painless and spills are never an issue. With potted greenery, candlelight and casual linens, this relaxed yet sophisticated table setting establishes the mood for a memorable summer soiree

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Having a pool or a hot tub was high on Erin and husband Sam’s wish list. In the end, they decided a hot tub was the more practical option, since their family would be able to use it year-round, and it would require way less maintenance. Installed flush with the deck, the tub doesn’t break the yard’s sightlines and seamlessly blends with the space’s sleek finishes.

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With ample seating, and equally beautiful and durable fabrics, the sitting area proves style and practicality can happily coexist in an outdoor setting

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Whether being used for roasting marshmallows or cozying up with a cocktail, the luxe fire-pit is a feature that’s pleasing for all ages. And when the fire’s not roaring, Erin says the chairs are moved away so the roomy area can double as a spot for the kids to do laps on their scooters and bikes.

Photo Gallery

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Backyards & Gardens

A lesson in extending a home's living space with a welcoming outdoor retreat