March 7

2020 Award-Winning Landscape Design And Outdoor Living Remodel

For this stunning landscape design and outdoor living remodel, ReCraft Home Remodeling teamed up with Howells Architecture + Design to transform this small, underutilized backyard into a dreamy oasis perfect for entertaining.

The owners of this stunning Craftsman longed for an inviting backyard that shared the grandeur of the rest of the home. The small, neglected space was underutilized and not at all fit for entertaining. The perimeter, defined only by the shabby garages belonging to a few neighbors, lacked security and privacy, not to mention visual appeal. A remodel was well overdue.

Preparation For An Outdoor Living Remodel

It took careful planning and collaboration not to interfere with the neighboring structures. The existing deck, patio, and fence were removed. Trenches were excavated for electrical, plumbing, and gas. Concrete was poured in preparation for the pavers, hot tub, retaining wall, and planter. A shower drain was incorporated for the outdoor shower space. Electrical wiring paved the way for the hot tub heater, fountain pump, exterior outlets, and path lights. A gas line was installed for a new concrete fire pit.

Fountain And Planters

The yard perimeter is now secured and ultra private, with beautifully stained horizontal cedar fencing hiding the neighboring garages.

Concrete retaining walls resourcefully serve as bamboo planters, minimizing the footprint. LED garden lights hidden within the bamboo strategically illuminate the walkway for a safe exit.

The soft trickle of the elegant three spout fountain creates a peaceful and serene ambiance throughout the entire backyard space.

Soaking Tub And Deck

With great craftsmanship and precision, each Ipe deck board was carefully routed to precisely follow the curve of the new round cedar hot tub.

Not only does the hot tub deck double as extra seating, it also houses the hot tub motor and parts for easy access, but sight unseen.

Multiple levels of decking create dimension and interest, offering endless options for entertaining.

Tile Planter

The showcase centerpiece of this landscape design and outdoor living remodel project is the incredible, vibrantly-colored tile planter which separates the hot tub and fire pit entertaining areas. Incidentally, this exact blue tile was used in the kitchen remodel that we had completed before beginning the backyard project. We intentionally pulled these colors from the indoors out, to tie the spaces together beautifully in a seamless flow of stunning design.

Beautiful, bright blue and yellow Custom Heath Ceramics tile perfectly wraps the concrete planter on all sides, creating a stunning focal point in the backyard. Light and irrigation are smartly accounted for within the massive planter.

Fire Pit And Patio

Surrounded by a backdrop of warm cedar and lush bamboo, let the crackle of the fire transport you as you sit by the warm custom gas fire pit. 

The pavers underneath are geometrically lined with pea gravel, creating subtle repetition and continuity throughout the space. 

An exposed outdoor shower head is tucked in the corner for use before and after a warm dip in the steamy, inviting cedar hot tub.

Overcoming Obstacles

A handful of challenges presented themselves during this project. Some were anticipated, others less so. 

Some of the issues we encountered were:

  • The Fountain:  The 66” wide by 48” tall recirculating fountain weighs 300 lbs. This proved to be quite a challenge to get this piece onto the jobsite and into place! It took several people, straps, and patience to install this unit without damaging anything in its path.
  • The Deck:  Working with dense Ipe decking is a painstaking job. With various deck levels and routed boards around the deck, it took great attention to detail to keep things level and at the correct elevation so all details aligned. All exposed ends required sealing.
  • The Tile:  Tiling around a less than perfect concrete pour made the installation on this unique planter quite a chore. The tile pattern included three color variations that had to be strategically placed around the planter with as few cuts as possible. The installer had to practice the layout on the ground to get each side correct before installation.
  • The Neighbors:  Great collaboration was required with the surrounding neighbors in such close quarters. While most were very accommodating, the closest neighbor behind proved to be less than. An old broken down vehicle blocked our ONLY access for heavy machinery. We pleaded, we begged, but they wouldn’t move the car! Laughably, someone from our crew even offered to buy it! As a last resort, we managed to squeeze our equipment by with a narrow inch to spare. But, it worked and we now have a great story to tell!

In the end, all challenges were overcome, and this landscape design and outdoor living remodel project far exceeded the homeowners’ expectations. 

The Finished Project

landscape design and outdoor living remodel - slg

A warm, sustainably-certified (FSC) Ipe deck leads you from the back door of the home to a seating area with a mesmerizing three-spout recirculating fountain, creating a sense of peace and calm. Opposite the fountain sits an enticing round cedar hot tub, masterfully eclipsed by a custom bench. The multi-tiered deck guides you around the hot tub, past an outdoor shower system, to a massive, vibrantly-colored concrete tiled planter, easily the focal point of the entire backyard. An intimate custom gas fire pit and seating area await below the stairs. 

With the right design and team, we were able to transform this small, unattractive, underutilized space into an award-winning, dreamy, serene backyard oasis. The true potential of this small backyard was beautifully revealed and the homeowners couldn’t be more thrilled!

What’s on your home remodel wish list? Call in the remodeling experts at ReCraft to help bring your vision to life!


2020 Regional NARI CotY Award Winner, landscape design, outdoor living, ReCraft wins award for outdoor living remodel

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