PHOTOGRAPHY DREW HADLEY
This modern backyard balances sharp angular lines with organic elements in zones planned for form, function and fun.
A pie-shaped city lot is not always sweet. This large urban backyard in Montreal posed a challenge. “It was important to organize the space properly and make sure there was a certain fluidity to it, despite the angularity,” says landscape architect and horticulturalist Jocelyn Lussier of Montreal-based Topia.
“We wanted to avoid creating dead space.” His solution? Create focused zones based on function: a patio adjacent to the house with a living room and dining area; a lawn where the kids can play freely; and the star attraction, the infinity pool. “We positioned the pool at the very back of the backyard so that we could fence it off nicely and give the yard some structure,” says Jocelyn. “Plus, it’s on higher ground, so you can see it from the house. All this means that the pool has become the focal point of the backyard, not just a place to take a dip.”
Two large concrete patios poured on-site provide a solid, clean-lined foundation to the design of the yard. “They needed to be as smooth as possible,” says landscape architect Jocelyn Lussier. The owners have three children and love to host friends and family, so a large table was a necessity. The blue hues of the dishware elevate the black furniture and are a fabulous shout-out to the blue and white cushions in the outdoor living room.
The outdoor furniture is modern – much like the owners’ indoor furnishings. Vibrant blue and white striped cushions bring a nautical style to the serious lines of the minimalist sofas and chairs. Plenty of seating makes this space ideal for entertaining family and friends.
WOOD PLANTERS NEAR THE HOUSE PROVIDE A PLACE FOR MATURE SHRUBS THAT SOFTEN THE HARD LINES OF THE ARCHITECURE.
A TIDY ROW OF STURDY GRASSES TEXTURALLY CONTRASTS THE SLEEK LINES OF THE POOL.
The owners requested a rectangular pool and modern landscaping that would complement their house and add warmth. Plantings – or soft landscaping – were equally important. Hydrangeas and Elaeagnus commutata ‘Zempin’ near the house, and little grasses bordering the pool, soften angularity but maintain a modern approach.
The slightly raised ipe wood patio enhances the infinity pool and gives the owners an alternate view of the yard. From here, it’s also easy to keep an eye on activity in the pool. A cedar hedge softens the cityscape behind a row of deck chairs that give a resort-like feel.
In one corner of the patio, a smaller lounge area than the main living area near the house is tucked in a shady private spot under an awning. Cushy sofas offer maximum comfort, while turquoise accents bring vacation vibes.