The client’s needs were quite simple. Create a space that would keep the natural feeling of the surrounding woods yet provide a feeling of separation. At the same time, they wanted the area to be included in the flow of the backyard. Such an area could be found in the place of an old spa that was surrounded by dated and unsafe materials. This was a great opportunity to create something different.
With the grade falling downhill towards the old spa area the layout was perfect for a waterfall. A pondless waterfall surrounded by lush plantings was created to be a surprise element. As one enters the space down a few levels of stairs and platforms into the eating area, it becomes apparent through sound something more is there. The small eating patio is adjacent to the pool patio. It includes a modest BBQ and a small table for four. This intimate dining area overlooks the waterfall and lower firepit patio. The firepit element is a classic example of passive gathering. Where once stood a mixed bag of concrete and old wood now stands a space that provides years of enjoyment with timeless materials. With the addition of these elements the property was finally transformed into what the client had desired all along, and now they are sitting pretty.
From where once a small deck area provided the only level ground, the idea for open lawn space and entertaining space was to be developed. But that was only half the battle. In discussions with the client, the true dream was to include a pool area. At first inspection the task seemed one of monumental proportions. The design team worked at a concept that would be able to include all the elements requested and stay within a reasonable budget.
The main design concept was to tier the property into multiple levels, with the idea that the pool area would be at the top of the heavy slope, creating a unique space some 15’ above deck level.
Perhaps it is the multi-level entertaining area that sets the stage for this property. The new paver entry walk and walls from the driveway welcomes guests with an impressive view of a newly sculpted landscape. Curved lines and seating walls separate the spaces following existing contours and creating individual outdoor rooms. A beautiful set of stone steps reaches up the slope to the pool area. . Once atop the hill, a stone waterfall built into the slope sets the relaxing tone of the space.
Upon first sight the task of creating such a dynamic space might have seemed impossible. And although it literally was an uphill climb, the results of this project truly are fantastic.
The balance of both scale and space were very important in achieving this goal. As stately as the home appears up front, the property in the rear is much tighter due to the lots wide shape and sharp grade drop-off. Village codes restricted lot usage creating additional challenges. Classic and timeless materials such as brick, bluestone, limestone, and Belgian block were used to maintain the home’s classic style.
With a large family came requests for plenty of entertainment space as well as area for play. Elements such as the driveway entry court, great lawn, children’s play area, outdoor kitchen, bi-level infinity pool area with swim up bar, lounger space, and brick fireplace provide just that.
The pool is the perfect element in creating the illusion of depth. The glass like edge of the infinity pool seems to disappear into the rear tree line. But the real appreciation for the pool might be the 40’ water wall created by the pool itself, enjoyed while seated at the bar or on the lower lawn area. The slope down away from the house naturally set up the pool, creating two levels of usage. The creation of those levels was a challenge for both contractor and pool company. A grid of support piers and a proper drainage system had to be used to ensure a sound build for the pool deck. Soil conditions had to be corrected to allow for proper plant and turf growth.
The clean sharp style of both the pool and materials used throughout the rear usage areas remained consistent in detail with the front, providing this project with a combined classic sense of estate grandeur with a modern style.