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Hearth & Home August 2017

This project is from Sudbury Design Group. See Sudbury Design Group for details.
Photo Courtesy: ©2017 Richard Mandelkorn Photography.

Special Section:
The Outdoor Room® Design Ideas

By Lisa Readie Mayer

We always welcome you to submit photos and descriptions of your Outdoor Room projects for publication in future issues of Hearth & Home. Please visit and click on the Outdoor Room tab to fill out the project information form and upload photos.

The dream comes first: an outdoor space in which to relax with family, entertain friends and cook meals worthy of a Food Network grilling show. The wish list, likely scribbled on a napkin, is next: a fire pit or fireplace; an outdoor kitchen with built-in grill (or grills!), fridge and storage; a bar for serving cocktails; areas for relaxing and dining; outdoor lighting; maybe a water feature. The aspiration – perhaps over several phases – is finally realized: a vacation-style retreat that can be enjoyed, at home, every day.

A version of this scenario is taking place at homes in every zip code across the U.S. and Canada as people look to extend their indoor living spaces outdoors. Whether the notion of a backyard happy-place is along the lines of the charming, pocket-sized, DIY spaces depicted on Pinterest, or the opulent, sprawling, feature-rich retreats on the glossy pages of design magazines, today’s homeowners want an Outdoor Room of their own. That appeal is as strong for first-time Millennial homebuyers, as it is for established Baby Boomers.

The luxurious outdoor living areas pictured on the following pages may not be attainable for everyone, but the elements are universal and can easily be reimagined and reinterpreted to suit every budget. Fortunately, manufacturers now offer grills, appliances, outdoor kitchen cabinetry, lighting, and other outdoor elements in a wide range of price points, making the dream of an Outdoor Room attainable for nearly everyone, whether the budget is $5,000 or $500,000.

These stunning projects were submitted for the annual Hearth & Home Outdoor Room Design Ideas special section by our talented readers, among them architects, landscape architects, designers, and specialty retailers. As you will see, they do impressive work. There were many more submitted projects that were equally worthy of publication, and we wish we had the space to include them all. But we hope the designs on these pages will inspire you and your clients with ideas to create next year’s collection of dream Outdoor Rooms.

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ALaurel Design Bay Area
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Architecture & Construction
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Bell Tower
Lake House Living Co.
Derviss Design
Diamond Spas dSPACE Studio Innovative Outdoor Kitchens
Land & Water Design LARS Remodeling & Design Luciole Design
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Ryan Hughes Design Build Skii Landscape Architecture
Stone Interior Outdoor Design Sudbury Design Group Texas Custom Patios
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Cliffside Contemporary

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Brian Stratton.

A one-of-a-kind home needs a one-of-a-kind Outdoor Room. But creating the dramatic pool and outdoor living area for this three-story contemporary, perched on a bedrock cliff overlooking the Manhattan skyline and Hudson River, was a monumental challenge. Complex engineering was essential to ensure structural integrity, given the pool shares a foundation wall with the home, and the water level is only eight inches below the floor level of the house.

The project was further complicated by difficulties accessing the steep site. But the finished space is fabulous and statement-making, and it earned landscape architect Brian Stratton a “Best in Competition” Outstanding Achievement Award from the Northeast Spa & Pool Association.

The white stucco walls defining the outdoor space match the house, and the crisp color is carried through the flooring of sandblasted white marble tiles arranged in a grid pattern. The pool, integrated spa and waterfall are covered in iridescent blue glass tiles imported from Italy.

At night, the glass tiles and pool water shimmer with light from the linear fire feature that spans the wall above the spa. The light reflects off the pool in wave-like ripples on the ceilings of the home’s interior rooms and sparkles on the large, folding glass walls that connect the indoor and outdoor spaces. Beyond the pool, a grilling area is tucked into the corner, and a unique, sculptural chair hugs the wall, maintaining the uncluttered, ultra-modern, and clean-lined design.

Landscape Architect: Brian Stratton

Company: The Pool Artist, Lebanon, NJ


Project Size: 1,200 sq. ft.

Materials: Walls – White stucco; Floor – White sandblasted marble; Fire Feature – Crossfire linear gas burner

Brands: Grill – Napoleon Grills

Budget: $180,000

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City Views

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Evan Thomas.

With spectacular views of the Chicago skyline, this rooftop retreat is a superb spot for relaxing and entertaining. But creating an Outdoor Room high in the sky comes with unique challenges. Because the existing roof joists were undersized and inadequate, six steel beams had to be brought in to tie into the exterior masonry walls and support a new roof-deck platform. This complex engineering provides an unexpected design advantage, however: It elevates the deck for better views and makes it appear as if it’s floating above the roof.

A linear boardwalk runs along the narrow rooftop space linking the sundeck, outdoor kitchen, dining space, and seating area, and forms an axis that draws the eye toward the city views. A louvered pergola frames the skyline, and a cedar privacy wall is mounted with linear LED lights that add beauty and drama to the space at night.

When the homeowner wishes to escape from the vastness and hustle and bustle of the city below, a small rock garden and sunken reading nook positioned below the elevated deck offer a secluded refuge. Maintenance-free artificial lawn turf shares the space with drought-tolerant plants chosen to withstand the urban rooftop microclimate. A chaise lounge integrated into the decking in one area does double-duty as creative sculpture and practical ergonomic seating.

Architect: Kevin Toukoumidis

Company: dSPACE Studio, Chicago, IL


Other Contributors: Builder – Zibby Miechowicki, Z-Builders; Landscaping – Heffernan Landscape Design

Project Size: 850 sq. ft.

Materials: Walls – Architectural tight knot cedar; Floor – Turf grass lawn, architectural tight knot cedar; Island Counter – Slate; Pergola – Aluminum frame with cedar louvers; Custom Table – Slate with integrated beverage trough

Brands: Grill – DCS by Fisher & Paykel Grill and Sideburner

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Delightful Driveway

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Mike Heacox.

A gabion wall separates the vehicular area from the outdoor living space on this combination patio-driveway. A custom fire feature with a Cor-ten steel wall backdrop is not only the focal point of the space, it acts to further screen the driveway and garage from view. Overhead, a galvanized steel pergola supports panels that have been custom laser-cut in a polka dot pattern. The panels flicker and strobe with the firelight, changing color between day and night and diffusing an artful, dotted design on the patio floor and garage walls.

Behind the fire pit seating area, an outdoor kitchen with built-in gas grill, sideburner, refrigerator, and storage drawers, runs along the wall of the house. It’s topped by an expansive granite counter, ideal for buffet serving and bar set-up. A path through the outdoor space leads to a second patio lounging area with a small fountain, a sculpture garden, and a portable spa hidden behind gabion walls. “Our clients have hosted numerous parties, and guests easily circulate throughout the space,” says landscape architect Mike Heacox.

Landscape Architect: Mike Heacox

Company: Luciole Design, Sacramento, California


Other Contributors: Annette Heacox – Luciole Design; Builder – Steve Dobson, Park Place Landscaping

Project Size: 3,164 sq. ft.

Materials: Ceiling – Galvanized steel; Floor – Concrete; Fire Feature – Corten steel; Outdoor Kitchen Island – Concrete block, stucco; Counter – Granite; Pergola – Galvanized steel; Other – Gabion walls;

Budget: $165,000

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Gorgeous Gardens

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Michelle Derviss.

When sliding glass walls were added to the indoor living spaces of this home after a complete remodel, the homeowners wanted the outdoor spaces to be worthy of the view, and equally inviting for relaxing and entertaining. Landscape designer Michelle Derviss was tasked with designing and building a serene garden oasis that would blend seamlessly with interior rooms and encourage outdoor flow.

She worked around the yard’s challenging grade changes by creating a series of terraced planting spaces and patios. The gardens feature a wide variety of succulents, roses, grasses, and other plant material in a rich explosion of color. They provide lush contrast to the starkness and clean lines of the concrete patios, garden walls and raised planters.

Amid the foliage, a relaxing seating area with two wicker sectional sofas sits three steps up from the dining area on the main patio. A contemporary water feature with a spillover into a pebble-filled catch basin adds both visual and acoustic interest and is the focal point of the lovely outdoor space.

Landscape Designer: Michelle Derviss

Company: Derviss Design, Novato, CA


Project Size: 4,500 sq. ft.

Materials: Walls – Wood, concrete, stucco; Floor – Concrete; Other – Corten steel;

Brands: Sunbrella, NanaWall

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Wishes Granted

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 George Brown.

The clients’ wish list for this expansive outdoor living space was long, but the list of challenges on the project was just as lengthy. The difficulties included a small backyard only 50-ft. deep, further complicated by an 8-ft. change in elevation, a corner lot exposed to neighbors and traffic, and strict homeowners’ association guidelines. Landscape architect Donald Nesmith found a solution to all these issues and gave his clients exactly what they wanted – an amazing backyard playground.

At the center of the space, a custom, naturalistic swimming pool has a partially hidden slide that emerges from the landscaping, and a raised fieldstone spa with fountain feature. To one side of the pool, a custom outdoor kitchen with built-in grill, warming drawer, refrigerator, ice maker and storage, sits beneath an ipe wood pergola. A second ipe pergola defines the dining area.

Another focal point is a custom, two-tier, linear, gas fire pit. By design, its lower tier is away from the heat, making it an ideal landing spot for drinks and appetizers. Comfortable furniture surrounds the fire pit, supplemented by seating walls that can accommodate up to 20 guests when entertaining a crowd. A wide variety of conifers, deciduous trees, ornamental grasses, perennials, and ground covers add beauty and color to the space.

Landscape Architect: Donald Nesmith

Company: Land & Water Design, Haymarket, VA


Project Size: 5,000 sq. ft.

Materials: Walls – Techo-Bloc paving stones, fieldstone; Pergola – Ipe

Brands: Grill, Warming Drawer, Refrigerator, Ice Maker, Trash Pullout, Sink, Storage Drawers and Cabinets – Viking Range; Granite Natural Gas Fire Bowls – Stone Forest; Natural Gas Fire Pit Burner – Hearth Products Controls; Pool Slide – Dolphin Water Slides

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Tasteful Transitions

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 John Martinelli.

These empty-nest homeowners were looking to replace their old, failing deck with an outdoor living space full of “grown-up” amenities. With six entry points from the home onto the new bluestone terrace, it was important that the design consider the view from the interior vantage points, and ensure seamless transitions between the indoor and outdoor living spaces.

A relaxation seating area on the expansive main patio is designed with a linear gas fire pit, intentionally left at grade level to enhance the clean lines of the bluestone. A dining table with umbrella shares the area.

To minimize the view of the work space from the interior family room, the outdoor kitchen island with built-in gas grill and refrigerator is positioned a few steps down on a lower level of the patio, but is still conveniently located just outside the interior kitchen. Off the master suite, a private seating area nestled under a pergola is a serene spot to enjoy the morning coffee and take in the natural beauty of the mature trees and landscaping in the yard.

“The clients are thrilled that their home now transitions from the front door, through the house, and out to an expansive terrace,” says landscape architect Steve Chepurny, who created the space.

Landscape Architect: Steve Chepurny, RLA

Company: Beechwood Landscape Architecture & Construction, Southampton, NJ


Project Size: 1,475 sq. ft.

Materials: Walls – Walnut Hill 4-in. natural stone; Floor – Full color range Bluestone; Island Counter – Concrete; Pergola – Mahogany stained

Brands: Grill – Viking Range; Refrigerator – Viking Range; Fire Pit – Custom; Furniture – Alfresco Home

Budget: $149,500

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Modern Makeover

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Martin Mann.

This old-world-styled, poolside guest house needed updating with modern-day technology and amenities to make it a destination for outdoor living and family fun. A covered patio area spanning the length of the stone guest house is linked to the interior living spaces through sliding glass walls, and designed in a series of distinct but cohesive Outdoor Rooms.

The outdoor kitchen is the hub of the space and includes a gas grill, rotisserie, and flat-top grill, as well as a separate trattoria station built around an authentic, in-wall pizza oven. While waiting for dinner, guests can sit at the raised bar to watch the action on the wall-mounted television, or grab a beverage from the built-in refrigerator or keg tap. A fire pit incorporated into the bar’s countertop adds beauty and warmth at night and is a fun gathering spot.

A second television hangs in a cozy fire pit chat area with four chairs, and a third TV is mounted above the outdoor fireplace in another larger and more formal outdoor seating and dining area. State-of-art speakers and smart electronics are integrated throughout the space, too, but when the occasion calls for unplugging and relaxing, there are plenty of chaises for lounging by the pool.

Remodeling Professional: Jason Larson

Company: LARS Remodeling & Design, San Diego, CA


Project Size: 1,800 sq. ft.

Brands: Grills – EVO, Dacor; Fire Pit – Mugnaini; Textiles – Sunbrella; Furniture – Arizona Iron Furniture

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Grand & Gorgeous

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Matt KoCourek.

Landscape designer Maverick Pickering’s clients made a request: We want the best. He delivered with this multilevel, luxurious outdoor living space. It features a suspended concrete upper deck, sheltering a lanai living room below that extends down a step to a 60x20-ft. patio, all covered in bluestone with bluestone accent ribbons. The outdoor space is supported by a 5-ft. tall, dry-stack retaining wall that resolves the backyard’s significant grade change.

Grand-scale fire and water features anchor either end of the patio. The fountain, 13-ft. long, 9-ft. wide and 6-ft. tall with a 4-ft.-deep water basin, pumps 3,000 gallons of water per hour and is dramatically lit at night. A cheery sun sculpture welcomes guests from its perch on the 12-ft.-tall limestone fireplace with raised hearth. The same limestone is used on a large outdoor kitchen island, pergola columns, and a set of lighted serpentine steps that lead to the upper driveway.

“Our clients love the new outdoor space and use it often for entertaining large personal parties and corporate events,” says Pickering. “It’s really changed their lifestyle.”

Landscape Designer: Maverick Pickering

Company: Maverick Landscaping, Stilwell, KS


Other Contributors: Landscape Architect – Richard Clayton Barrett

Project Size: 1,200 sq. ft.

Materials: Floor – Bluestone; Fireplace – Indiana limestone; Counter – Bluestone; Pergola – Cedar

Brands: Grills – Fire Magic

Budget: “More than enough”

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Vintage Victorian

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 John Martinelli.

The addition of a Great Room off the back of this 136-year-old Victorian home inspired the request for an integrated outdoor entertainment area. While the client wanted the space to include a host of modern amenities, it was also imperative that it maintain the character of the vintage home. Landscape architect Steve Chepurny took pains to ensure the natural stone materials correctly match the home’s existing stone foundation, and the design thoughtfully blends old and new.

The new patio consists of several living areas that, individually, are intimate enough for every-day family use or small dinner parties, but collectively can accommodate gatherings of 25 or more. An outdoor television and custom 4x96-in. gas fire pit anchor a secluded nook that is a favorite spot for watching movies and sports.

A cook station with a built-in grill and refrigerator has bar-height seating for three, with additional seating available at a high-top table and two dining tables. A unique drink ledge, custom-fabricated into a 60-in.-high stone wall, is a fun place to gather for cocktails.

Landscape Architect: Steve Chepurny, RLA

Company: Beechwood Landscape Architecture & Construction, Southampton, NJ


Project Size: 1,650 sq. ft.

Materials: Fire pit – Travertine 1x3-in. pillow tile; Floor – Full-range bluestone with 4x4-in. granite porphyry; Island Base – River Jack tile; Island Counter – Flame Basalt

Brands: Grill – Wolf; Refrigerator – Sub-Zero; Television – SkyVue Outdoor Televisions

Budget: $110,000

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Home Extension

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Steven Whitsitt.

Perpetually sunny with comfortable temperatures, San Diego has the ideal climate for outdoor living, and this homeowner wanted to take full advantage by creating an outdoor extension of the home for year-round relaxing and entertaining. The new, amenity-packed pavilion is just steps from the house and covered by a solid roof that provides shade, and shelters a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace with metal sculptural element.

A comfortable seating area with an L-shaped wicker sofa and matching chairs is positioned for optimal viewing of the supersized television mounted above the fireplace.

Entertaining islands run parallel along two sides of the pavilion, each covered by pergolas that extend from the roof. The cooking island holds a built-in gas grill, power burner and warming drawer, with plenty of countertop prep-and-serve surface. Opposite, the outdoor bar contains a sink, refrigerator, beverage center, and seating at the raised ledge.

Both islands are made from custom-colored, stainless-steel modular cabinetry, and contain ample storage for cooking and entertaining necessities. Pendants, sconces and chandelier lighting, featuring hand-blown amber glass, complete the polished look of this inviting space.

Designer: Alicia Marshall

Company: Innovative Outdoor Kitchens, San Diego, CA


Other Contributors: Landscape Architect – David Neault Associates

Project Size: 728 sq. ft.

Materials: Ceiling – Tongue-and-groove wood with wood beams; Walls – Stone and stucco; Floor – Valencia travertine in French pattern; Fireplace – Stone with metal sculpture

Brands: Grill Power Burner, Warming Drawer, and Bartending Center – Alfresco; Refrigerator – True Manufacturing; Sink and Faucet – Eclipse Stainless; Stainless-steel cabinetry with louvered doors in custom color – Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens; Light Fixture – Hammerton

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Natural Wonder

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Brett Hitchins.

A lush forest and creek paint a scenic backdrop for this secluded backyard paradise in North Vancouver, British Columbia. A series of French doors and huge, full-length windows link the indoor and outdoor living spaces, where the natural bluestone patio and dry-fit basalt walls and fireplace offer rustic contrast to the contemporary home.

A seating area beside a black-basalt-bottomed, elliptical, ornamental pool offers a visual continuation of the interior living room. The pool is highlighted by a waterfall of basalt columns reminiscent of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland; it is dramatically lit at night by a submersible fixture. An outdoor living room offers seating around the Rumford fireplace, and on the adjacent seat walls.

Just beyond, an outdoor kitchen with built-in grill, sink and serving bar is set against the back wall of the house, tucked under the existing eaves. Its concrete countertops are set on custom-fabricated, stainless-steel, industrial, checker-plate cupboards, designed by the homeowner. The outdoor dining room features a concrete table supported by steel legs, and a large pergola covered in Chinese wisteria. From the dining table, guests can look through a mature Japanese Snowbell tree, and see another lounging area several feet below.

Landscape Architect: Adrienne Brown

Company: ALaurel Design, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Project Size: 1,200 sq. ft.

Materials: Floor – Bluestone in ashlar pattern; Fireplace – Basalt cladding, custom chimney-top screen; Outdoor Kitchen Island – Custom stainless steel, checker-plate; Island Countertops – Concrete; Waterfall – Basalt

Brands: Grill – DCS by Fisher & Paykel

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Cantilevered Kitchen

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Mike Turner.

This sleek, contemporary, waterfront outdoor living space was created in stages. The outdoor kitchen is the latest phase to join the pool, gardens and fire pit seating area in this comprehensive project. The new space is designed to meet the functional demands of an entertaining center, while coordinating with the home’s chic, modern architecture.

Limited access to the backyard required the cantilevered roof to be engineered and constructed offsite before being craned into place. The unique roof provides shade for the cook and the guests seated at the raised bar ledge, and incorporates recessed lights to spotlight the work area.

The kitchen island’s galvanized steel framework is wrapped with an innovative ceramic surfacing material that’s resistant to heat, scratches, and UV rays, making it well-suited for outdoor use. Natural gas connections for the island’s built-in grill and sideburner are cleverly disguised in the brick support column.

Electrical outlets are hidden on the back of the island, while a gap under the bar provides access for blender cords and other small appliances. Installed side by side, a bank of insulated, magnetically-sealed storage components keeps utensils, cookware and other gear, dust-, dirt-, and insect-free. A stool at the bar makes a wonderful vantage point to view all phases of this sophisticated outdoor space.

Landscape Architect: David Himel

Company: McDugald Steele Landscape Architects, Houston, TX


Materials: Ceiling – Aluminum; Floor – Colored concrete; Outdoor Kitchen – Stainless steel, O-Kera by Okite ceramic surfacing; Counter – O-Kera by Okite; Pergola – Aluminum, brick

Brands: Grill – DCS by Fisher & Paykel; Cabinetry – Ronda Outdoors Kitchen Components

Budget: $50,000

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Cool Cabana

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 TK Iamges.

The homeowner bought the corner lot next to their home and demolished the old, small house on the property. In its place they added a pool and asked Texas Custom Patios to create a large, outdoor-living cabana with a long list of amenities. The 1,200-sq. ft., hip-roofed structure contains a carport, bathroom, storage area, and outdoor shower, as well as an expansive open space for entertaining and family fun.

In this area, a stone fireplace shares an angled corner wall with a flat-screened television; both can be enjoyed from the vantage point of the comfortable wicker seating and dining areas. A stone outdoor kitchen island with a built-in gas grill, charcoal kamado grill, refrigerator, sink, microwave, and storage, spans the length of the room beneath a trio of arched window openings.

The travertine flooring extends to an open-air seating area with a gas fire pit just beyond the pavilion on one side, and to the pool on the other, before winding into a walkway that leads to a sports court. Great attention is paid to the other architectural details in the space; the most impressive is a dramatic vaulted ceiling, crafted from tongue-and-groove pine that’s stained in a smoky bourbon finish and trimmed out with contrasting cedar beams and columns.

Builder: Robert Douglass

Company: Texas Custom Patios, Houston, TX


Project Size: 1,700 sq. ft.

Materials: Ceiling – Stained tongue-and-groove pine, cedar beams and columns; Floor – Travertine; Fireplace and Fire pit – Veneer stone

Brands: Grill – DCS by Fisher & Paykel; Doors and Drawers – Renaissance Cooking Systems

Budget: $158,250

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Oceanfront Oasis

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Joe Traina.

Inspired by the home’s Mediterranean design, this opulent outdoor retreat is a setting worthy of the majestic ocean vistas on its horizon. A portico terrace transitions the entry from the home into the outdoor space, and greets guests with a dramatically backlit, orange-onyx wall fountain that rains into a planting area.

Beyond the terrace’s immense arched columns is a uniquely shaped pool with a custom tile design. The pool and its integrated, elevated spa are dressed with three fire-pot fountains that cascade into the water and shower it with dancing firelight at night. The fire and water theme is continued in the pergola-topped cabana area where a custom fire pit, finished in tiles to match the pool, has its own built-in, soothing water feature.

In the outdoor kitchen and dining area, the grilling island incorporates an arched backsplash and intricate medallion embellishment, and would be right at home in an Italian villa. The freestanding, authentic pizza oven is a draw when entertaining. A second built-in grill is available on an upper-level balcony, along with an additional fire pit seating area. Designer-builder Ryan Hughes says extensive advance planning was the secret to incorporating all of the clients’ desired elements in the limited footprint of this luxurious space.

Design-Builder: Ryan Hughes

Company: Ryan Hughes Design Build, Palm Harbor, FL


Project Size: 2,500 sq. ft.

Materials: Floor and Other Surfaces – Natural Travertine tiles, glass tile inlays; Outdoor Kitchen Island – Custom masonry; Island Counter – Granite; Pergola – Cypress; Fire Pits – Custom with tile, stucco, and granite tops; Spa – Lightstreams glass tile in Steel Blue; Water Wall Feature – orange onyx, with LED backlighting

Brands: Pizza Oven – Fontana Forni; Furniture – Woven all-weather wicker by Patio Renaissance; Fire Pots with Decorative Glass – Grand Effects; Water Wall Feature and Pergola – Custom by Ryan Hughes

Budget: $450,000

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Sculptural Showcase

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Barbara Ries.

This serene outdoor entertaining space is a study in elegant simplicity. Two steel pergolas – both custom-made in an intricate, woven pattern – are used to define the different “rooms” within the space. Beneath the larger pergola, the main living room is set against the backdrop of a horizontally coursed, stone-veneer wall with matching planter.

A second pergola shelters the outdoor kitchen area with built-in gas grill, sideburner, storage components, and a raised seating ledge. The dining room is positioned between these two spaces, while a separate seating area rests on its own patio in another area of the yard. The modern design aesthetic is carried through the clean-lined contemporary furnishings, Corten steel planters, and cool gray color scheme.

A mature olive tree and Japanese maple are the focal points of a planting plan kept simple by design to showcase the homeowners’ sculpture collection. The art pieces are positioned throughout the space to add visual punctuation alongside perennials and grasses.

Landscape Architect: Pete Pedersen

Company: Pedersen Associates Landscape Architecture, San Rafael, CA


Project Size: 1,800 sq. ft.

Materials: Pergola – Custom-designed steel; Outdoor Kitchen Island – stucco; Wall – Stone veneer; Planters – Corten steel

Brands: Grill – Twin Eagles Sideburner – Twin Eagles

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Rental Retreat

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Tim Kramer Photography.

The outdoor space at this multi-unit, rental vacation home is large enough for up to eight families; it is tricked-out with resort-style amenities, and requires minimal maintenance. Its sheltered cooking and entertaining area contains an L-shaped outdoor kitchen with a built-in 54-in. grill, 14-in. sideburner, and a custom vent hood. The appliances, along with a refrigerator, sink, icemaker, and storage, are built into weatherproof, high-density resin cabinets with the color and texture of real wood.

This same material is used to enclose the outdoor television that hangs over a bar counter on the opposite wall. A unifying, horizontal design element is present in the planking on the vent hood and knee wall, floating shelves over the cooking island, and the stone walls.

Incorporated into the pool is a swim-up bar with serving from three sides. At the water-level bar counter in front, guests can enjoy drinks while seated on submerged stools. To one side, another water-level counter serves guests in the hot tub, and on the opposite side, a sunken café table offers dining without leaving the water.

The bar hut cabinetry matches that of the cooking area, and houses two additional televisions, a pull-out ice cooler, sink, bar ware, trash, and pool storage. Another key feature: The entire bar area can be hosed off for easy clean up.

Designer: Deborah Wright

Company: Stone Interior Outdoor Design, Freeport, FL


Other Contributors: Designer – Mike Moras, Outdoor Rep Group; NatureKast

Project Size: 270 sq. ft. (under roof)

Materials: Cabinetry, Grill Hood, Knee Wall, Floating Shelves – NatureKast TeakKast resin doors with aluminum frames, PVC cabinet boxes, stainless-steel hardware

Brands: Grill and Sideburner – Alfresco

Budget: $30,000

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Updating History

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Richard Mandelkorn Photography.

A renovation of the entire property restored the traditional character of this historic home through a series of projects including natural stone walls, antique brick walkways, and a pea stone driveway. The most significant undertaking was a dynamic outdoor living and entertaining area in the backyard. The new space adds a pool, spa and other modern amenities suited to the young and active family, while maintaining a timeless design in keeping with the rest of the home.

A pavilion, open on three sides, is the highlight of the outdoor living area. Beneath its solid roof and stunning, tongue-and-groove cedar ceiling is a towering, wood-burning, stone fireplace, mounted with a flat-screen TV. Comfortable, deep-seating wicker furnishings welcome guests for fireside relaxing and watching sports or movies.

In the cooking and entertaining area of the pavilion, an outdoor kitchen and bar are built into an island finished with white-painted wainscoting that matches the wainscoting on the walls. The fully appointed kitchen contains a grill, sink, refrigerator, kegerator, dishwasher, and storage cabinets. No need to head indoors; all the comforts of home are here, including a half-bath and private changing room in the rear of the structure.

Landscape Architect: Matt Sullivan

Company: Sudbury Design Group, Sudbury, MA


Other Contributors: Builder – Twin Peaks Construction; Pool – Aquaknot Pools

Project Size: 780 sq. ft.

Materials: Ceiling – Tongue-and-groove cedar; Floor – Bluestone; Walls – Azek; Fireplace – New England fieldstone and bluestone; Outdoor Kitchen Island – Azek, powder-coated, stainless-steel cabinets; Island Counter – Bluestone;

Brands: Grill – Lynx Professional Grills; Outdoor Kitchen Cabinetry – Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens

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Glass Act

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Brad Gober, Brad Gober Photography.

From front to back, landscape architect Candace Melton designed and oversaw the complete exterior renovation of this home. The driveway, walkways and landscaping were replaced in front of the house, with an attention-grabbing, basalt-column water sculpture near the street. But the magic really happened in the backyard where a comprehensive renovation of the existing pool and surrounding property transformed the space into a picturesque resort full of artful details.

The once-ordinary rectangular pool and spa are given a facelift with colorful, uniquely shaped, art-glass tiles. The glass tiles are repeated on the water feature wall that punctuates the south end of the pool, and the backsplash of the new outdoor kitchen that sits beside it. The tiles’ colors and swirling patterns are picked up in the stunning stained-glass panels that hang as backdrop to the kitchen.

Outfitted with a large-screen television, a stone-enclosed pizza oven, built-in grill, and numerous other appliances, the kitchen is the entertaining hub of the outdoor space, with seating for guests at high-top tables near the cooking action. A pergola extension off the outdoor kitchen shelters a dining room with a soaring fireplace, and a tennis court is ready for play just beyond. The homeowner, a master gardener, influenced the lush plant selection around the pool, koi pond, walkways, and the rest of the inviting space.

Landscape Architect: Candace Melton

Company: Skii Landscape Architecture, Tulsa, OK


Other Contributors: Interior Designer – Erin Harp; Exterior Lighting – Phos Electric; Stained Glass Wall – Designed by Candace Melton; Iron work by Angel Ornamental Iron Works; Stained glass segments by Roy Loman/Loman Studios; Masonry Work – Rea Stoneworks; Landscaping and Drainage – Rodolfo Martinez; Concrete Drive – Architectural Paving Systems

Project Size: 5,000 sq. ft.

Materials: Floor – India cutstone, flagstone; Outdoor Kitchen Island – Crab Orchard building stone; Island Counter – Bluemist flagstone; Fireplace – Crab Orchard building stone; Pergola – cedar; Art Glass Tiles – Silhouette collection in Violet Fire by Hirsch Glass Corp; Stained Glass Wall – Custom stained glass panels, Ipe wood wall; Front Water Column Feature – Basalt

Brands: Grills and Appliances – DCS by Fisher & Paykel, Hasty Bake Charcoal Ovens; Pizza Oven – EarthStone Ovens; Iron Grates – Iron Age Designs

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Pretty Pergola

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Kim Chapman.

These Texas homeowners bought the lot next door and used it to create a rustic retreat to remind them of the Hill Country they love. An 18x24-ft. cedar pergola takes advantage of the property’s water views and is large enough to easily accommodate areas for outdoor seating and dining. For greater comfort in the Texas heat, corrugated polycarbonate plastic panels atop the pergola increase shade, and ceiling fans generate cooling breezes. A wall of multi-fold, wood grain shutters lends an indoor-like feel to the space and provides privacy.

The floor beneath the arbor is made of Travertine pavers; it extends to an overflow patio of randomly-shaped flagstone slabs that are “grouted” with dwarf Mondo grass. In the center of this overflow patio, a fountain evokes images of an old-time, Hill Country town square, and adds calming water sounds.

Just beyond it, two large urns, planted with topiaries, announce the entrance to the pergola space. So thoroughly pleased were the clients with their new Outdoor Room, their daughter was inspired to create one at her home.

Designers: Mardel Fraivillig and Amanda Martin

Company: Bay Area Design & Landscape, Seabrook, TX


Project Size: 815 sq. ft.

Materials: Ceiling – Polygal plastic panels; Floor – Travertine pavers, multiblend flagstone; Walls – Multi-fold wood grain, powder-coated shutters; Pergola – Cedar

Brands: Fountain – Giannini Garden Ornaments; Shutters – Outdoor Shade & Shutter; Fans – Emerson Outdoor Fans; Outdoor Lighting – FX Luminaire; Aqua Pots – Sandstone Gardens; Travertine Pavers – QDI Stone

Budget: $35,000

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Dockside Delight

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Barbara Ries.

The main objective of this waterfront remodel: to take full advantage of Marin Lagoon living. To achieve it, the landscape architects created a plan with two beautiful terraces – one for cooking and dining, and the other for relaxing by the fire – that spill down to a lagoon-side dock. At the water’s edge, the dock serves as a staging area for the homeowners, who are avid sailors, to launch their boat. It has ample room for storing boating gear, and even holds a couple of chaise lounges when times call for winding down close to the water, rather than cruising on it.

The cooking and dining terrace includes an outdoor kitchen with a built-in refrigerator, gas grill and charcoal kamado to serve hot-off-the-grill buffets to guests seated at the adjacent dining table. Portable, gas, patio heaters stand at-the-ready to ward off any chill in the air. Adirondack-style chairs, modernly interpreted, surround a gas fire pit with rock medium on a terrace created for sitting, relaxing and simply enjoying the view. Native and drought-tolerant plantings, chosen in accordance with the area’s Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance, add pops of color against the neutral palette of this beautiful outdoor space.

Landscape Architect: Pete Pedersen

Company: Pedersen Associates Landscape Architecture, San Rafael, CA


Project Size: 2,000 sq. ft.

Brands: Grills – American Outdoor Grill (AOG), Big Green Egg

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Urban Oasis

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Ty Cole.

High above the bustling city streets, this sky-high Outdoor Room is a calming oasis that gives new purpose to a previously underutilized rooftop, and maximizes its spectacular views of some of Manhattan’s most notable landmark buildings. The space features an outdoor kitchen custom-fabricated from marine-grade stainless steel to withstand the corrosive environment. It’s partially set against a wood wall for warm contrast. The kitchen area includes a built-in sink, refrigerator, wine chiller, and dishwasher, as well as a freestanding grill and two custom planters for growing herbs and vegetables.

Separating the kitchen and a relaxation lounge with comfortable furnishings is a dining room with seating at both a table and bar-height island. Spanning the northern edge of the rooftop, a continuous, custom, ipe wood bench incorporates waterproof storage for toys and cushions.

The landscaping, including a specimen Japanese maple, grasses, sedum, and dianthus, frames the skyline view and softens the hard edges of the building. A green-roof border and green wall of climbing hydrangeas camouflage an unsightly skylight.

Other plantings are designed to visually merge with the rooftop gardens of neighboring buildings, giving the appearance of a larger, continuous park in the sky. Besides adding visual beauty, the landscaping absorbs storm water, and in combination with the white flooring pavers, reduces the heat island effect.

Landscape Architect: Tricia Martin

Company: WE Design Landscape Architecture, Brooklyn, NY


Project Size: 1,000 sq. ft.

Materials: Floor – Pressed-concrete pavers; Benches and Decking – Ipe; Outdoor Kitchen Islands – Stainless steel; Island Counters – Corian; Planters – Custom, powder-coated aluminum

Brands: Grill – Weber; Refrigerator – Viking Range; Dishwasher – Miele; Sink and Faucet – Blanco; Light Fixtures – Bega; Furniture – Gloster Furniture

Budget: $300,000

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Natty Nautical

Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Jim Powell.

After adding a new patio and built-in outdoor kitchen, the owners of this stunning lakefront home called in designer Ashleigh Kosin to complete it with furnishings and finishing touches. To create the coastal-transitional look they wanted, Kosin combined classic and contemporary designs throughout the space.

She chose oyster-colored wicker for the oversized sofa, chairs and coffee table in the main seating area, and paired it with clean-lined, modern, stainless-steel-and-teak bar stools at the kitchen island, echoing the stainless steel in the built-in refrigerator, beer taps and Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet grill. She included chairs from the same contemporary collection in a seating area off the master bedroom.

The blue, white, and sand color scheme was chosen to complement the blue-gray colors of the home exterior, the patio and island stones, and the color scheme in the interior living spaces. Nautical accent pillows, a colorful area rug, fun seating poufs, and marine-inspired decorative accessories add to the coastal vibe and lend an indoor feel to this outdoor living room.

Designer: Ashleigh Kosin

Company: Bell Tower Lake House Living Co., Richland, MI


Project Size: 700 sq. ft.

Brands: Sofa and Lounge Chairs – Kingsley Bate; Lounge Chairs and Bar Stools – Barlow Tyrie; Rug, Poufs and Decorative Accents – Dash & Albert

Budget: $16,000 (includes patio furnishings only)

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Photos Courtesy: ©2017 Brent Bingham.

This unique, custom, stainless-steel spa was created to be both a functional hot tub and a showcase piece in this outdoor living space. The spillover water feature can be enjoyed even when the spa is not in use, with the falling, splashing water providing visual interest and soothing sounds that add to the ambiance of the Outdoor Room. A raised seating ledge runs along two sides of the spa, and presents an opportunity for feet-dangling and conversation.

After a soak in the spa, the homeowners can grab a towel within easy reach from hooks on the fence, and retreat to the patio. There, an all-weather wicker sectional and chairs flank a linear gas fire pit with rock medium, offering warmth on chilly nights. The fire pit base mimics the contemporary lines and smooth exterior finish on the spa. Furniture cushions match those along the spa ledge for a coordinated look, while custom accent pillows lend indoor-style comforts to this relaxing space.

Landscape Architect: Shannon Murphy

Company: Diamond Spas, Frederick, CO


Project Size: 2,000 sq. ft.

Brands: Custom stainless-steel spa with integrated spillover water feature, water catch basin, and bench seating – Diamond Spas; Pillows – Custom

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More Stories in this Issue

Take it Outside

By Lisa Readie Mayer

A look at trends impacting the Outdoor Room, and the opportunity awaiting specialty retailers (if they choose to capitalize on it).

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By Richard Wright

In this vacation home in the northern Cascades, Tom Kundig has created both a structure and a lifestyle, and an irresistible force to be outside.

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Upgrading Outdoor Spaces

By Erin Carlyle, Houzz

A survey by Houzz sheds light on the costs, location, motivation, rationale and products involved in projects that enhance an outdoor lifestyle.

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2017 June Business Climate

In early July, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 Specialty retailers of hearth, barbecue and patio products, asking them to compare June 2017 sales to June 2016. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 192 useable returns.

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