On the site of this Minnesota lake home, there used to be a small family cabin. But as the family grew bigger, with spouses and grandchildren and cousins, this family vacation home needed to expand.

Howard Homes managed the construction of this new home and contacted Southview Design to work with their clients on the updated outdoor living spaces. This close collaboration between homeowners, builders, and landscaping led to the seamless integration of aesthetics and flow between inside and outside of this family vacation getaway.

The moon shines bright in the sky over a pine forest and luxury lake house backyard with a swimming pool and porcelain tile patio.

On the top of the many family members' wishlist was a swimming pool, which became the center of the custom landscape design. A mix of modern and traditional influences satisfies everyone's taste. Elegant lines and a high-end color palette create a dynamic contrast with the surrounding beauty of the established pine trees and unobstructed view of the lake.

Yellow silt fence floats near the shore line, rocky beach with a black silt fence log.

Taking special care to protect the lake

Building this luxury backyard landscape required taking special precautions and permits to protect the lake. Because the project is sited on a hill, there was an increased risk of erosion and construction debris polluting the lake. Multiple shoreline barriers (floating silt fence in the lake, silt logs and silt fence on the upland side) and keeping a tidy jobsite ensured that the lake stays pristine for all. The designer used a native seed mix to restore the woodland areas surrounding the project.

Aqua marine backyard swimming pool surrounded by a white porcelain tile and deck chairs.

Custom backyard swimming pool design

The backyard layout is centered around the swimming pool, which is large enough to swim a few laps or for the extended family to splash around. Travertine stone coping on three sides of the pool with a knife-edge on the side facing the lake gives a clear view of the water when lounging in the pool.

With several gathering spaces around the perimeter, there is a space for everyone in this backyard. Pick your micro-climate – with access to sun, shade, and protection from bugs, and even a little extra distance and solitude away from the pool and near the fire.

Northern Minnesota lakeshore landscape at dusk. A fire surrounded by a circle of white Adirondack chairs in the foreground, with the illuminated swimming pool and pool deck in the background.

Unforgettable summer nights

At night the landscape comes alive. The setting sun puts on a vivid show of painterly colors, and carefully placed outdoor lighting fixtures illuminate the pool, seating area nearest the house, and the way to the campfire.

Basic outdoor cooking station with built-in natural gas grill, storage, and a solid countertop.

It's easy to have a cook out

This outdoor kitchen has an unbeatable view looking out over the lake. Even on sunny days, the nearby pine trees provide a bit of shelter and shade. This L-shaped kitchen has built-in storage for essential grilling tools and is directly connected to the home’s natural gas supply. That means no more lugging heavy propane tanks to be refilled and replaced.


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