The backyard had only minimal landscaping – a small patio overtaken by weeds did not fit the size of the house. The plant material was either overgrown or too small. Not only was there no place to sit and relax, there wasn’t much to look at either. Working with Southview Design, these homeowners created an outdoor living space that functions as an extension on the home. The new outdoor living and dining room provide the perfect setting for enjoying life in the fresh air.

Award for Excellence in Landscaping 2020
Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association

Before & After

While this backyard has plenty of space and uninterrupted views, the patio and plantings were not appropriate for the scale of the property. Now, this elegant and functional outdoor living and dining room extend the living space of the home into the backyard and elevate the aesthetic appeal of the home.

Outdoor backyard living and dining room patios with bluestone pathway.

One patio, Multiple spaces

A Bluestone path leads to a sliding walkout door. This refined detail elevates the entire space without any fussiness. To one side, an outdoor living room with a grand fireplace as a focal point. To the other side, a patio dining room for enjoying breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Garden beds planted with flowers, shrubs, and grasses along the perimeter of the patio tie the landscape in with the architecture of the home, creating the perfect blend for indoor-outdoor living.

Living room patio with an oversized fireplace, ceiling fan, and pergola.

Cozy Outdoor Living room

Enjoy this outdoor living room all day long. A custom pergola defines the overhead plane, establishing a “ceiling” that makes the space more intimate in scale. It extends over only a portion of the patio, which further differentiates the space, one side shaded and one side sunny. The pergola adds much need shade to the patio, and the ceiling fan keeps it cool even on the hottest days.

Livingroom patio underneath a white pergola a twilight with the fireplace lit and outdoor lights turned on.

At night and later in the season, it’s easy to light a fire in the slightly oversized hearth. Outdoor lighting is both functional and beautiful, illuminating walkways as well as the gardens, and the space under the pergola.

Small seat wall frames the patio space.

Details like this corner seat wall are both formal and functional. This small wall adds seating or impromptu counter space while creating a gentle sense of enclosing the space.

Lush green grass lawn surrounded by Sedum garden and boulder retaining wall with stone steps leading to a fireplace.

Tucked away green spaces

Behind the fireplace is this verdant green oasis. A lush carpet of grass and drought-tolerant Sedum creates a peaceful backyard atmosphere. The plantings are integrated into the boulder wall to soften the hardscape.

yellow flowers spilling over boulder retaining wall with green gardens and trees in an island garden surrounded by a driveway.

The asphalt driveway in the picture curves around from the front to the tuck-under garage. This plant bed is on the east side of the house. The same Sedum is tucked into and in front of the boulders. Additionally, there are daylilies, Russian Sage, Echinacea, and Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle.

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