A Prescription for R&R

The owners of this very large backyard in Woodbury, MN were looking for a better way to spend their evenings and weekends – unwinding from their stressful jobs as doctors. A pool was essential for their two children. Also on their wish list: a party space to fill with friends and family. The goal of this project was to design a complete, outdoor space without overwhelming the natural border that lay just beyond their property line.

Before: Expansive lawn pitched heavily toward a pond.

After: Fiery outdoor living room and illuminated swimming pool.

A Steep Landscaping Challenge

The expansive lawn pitched heavily toward a pond. Using this to our advantage, we created a series of elevated transitions to provide interest and reduce cost by cutting back on fill. At the top of the hill, a deck was designed to provide outdoor space while not obstructing the view from the main windows. The deck stairs lead you to a paver landing that presents a grand entrance for those coming from the deck and the driveway.

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The Ultimate Outdoor Living Room

A set of Chilton stairs lead you to a small eating area and a structure with large, natural stone columns and a fireplace. Four sturdy columns are veneered in Eldorado stone and Douglas fir and fitted with low voltage lighting. The columns draw your eye up towards the matching arched, Douglas fir ceiling speckled with accent lighting. An oversized wood-burning fireplace is the focal point of this outdoor living room.

Outdoor living room design in Woodbury, MN

At one end of the 20’x45’ pool is a raised sun deck surrounded by stairs. An extended shallow end was designed to maximize all-ages water activities. The pool deck is poured, colored concrete and stamped in a fractured earth pattern for ease of cleaning and to provide a textured surface for safety under wet feet. Larger pool deck areas provide options for lounge chairs that take advantage of the sun at all times of the day.

Woodbury, MN patio and pool Landscape design

Special Landscape Design Touches

A stand of Aspen trees create a visual contrast and the homeowners love the sound of the breeze through the leaves. Tannenbaum Pines add winter color for an “up north” feel and tie in existing evergreens from the perimeter of the lot.

Low voltage, designer lights give added hours in the landscape and hidden speakers blend into the pine bark mulched beds to keep the parties rocking into the wee hours of the morning.

Although the steep elevation and massive amount of yard space created a few obstacles, a clean and interesting space prevails. The happy homeowners have had more than their fair share of get-togethers to break in their new outdoor addition. Two soggy and tuckered out children can attest to that.

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