At Hinkle, we know that investing in your home is a big decision. We prioritize transparency and communication at every step because we want your renovation to be a worry-free and enjoyable experience. For many clients, the design phase is the most daunting part of the process. It can be especially overwhelming for those starting from scratch or working with a large surface area. In this month’s transformation blog, we’re highlighting a makeover that faced both of those challenges. Keep reading to see how we transformed a bare-bones property into a bespoke backyard!
This second-story deck and underlying concrete slab may look familiar – it’s the go-to setup for new construction these days. While the space is wonderful for everyday use, the small footprint can quickly feel cramped when hosting guests. A few months after moving in, this Basehor family was ready for expansion. Their sprawling lawn had no shortage of square footage to work with, and it presented an endless array of design opportunities. While that can be a paralyzing combo for a homeowner, it’s a dream come true for landscape architects. Our team couldn’t wait to make a masterpiece out of this blank canvas.
When beginning a remodel, it can be tempting to jump into element selections and material preferences right away. But before you get into the small details, it’s crucial to establish an overall goal for the space. Will it be a serene environment for relaxing, an extension of your interior living areas, or a social setting with a bar and outdoor kitchen? Our designer, Rebecca Christus, guided the couple through this process, helping them to pinpoint grievances with their current layout and workshop potential solutions.
Once the backyard’s function had been determined, they were clear to experiment with different floor plans. Homeowners with a specific vision may prefer drafting a design from the ground up. For the majority of projects, however, using one of our catalog packages as a base is a much more time and cost-effective method. These clients did exactly that, customizing our S’mores Please patio to complement their architecture and reflect their personal style. Rebecca rendered 3D images of the final scope to ensure that all checklist items were being fulfilled.
Before we arrived on the scene, the homeowners partnered with an outside contractor on a composite deck expansion. Our objective was to activate the space beneath the porch with an attractive and functional living environment. (Quick project tip – if your deck and patio aren’t being installed by the same company, arrange for the deck to go in first. Otherwise, sections of your new patio may have to be cut away to bury post footings and piers.)
The deck overhang naturally divided the ground level into two sections – covered and exposed. Treating the zones as a singular patio would have resulted in awkward furniture placement and poor use of the available space. Rather, we treated the two sides as distinct rooms with their own materials and functions. The flooring was the greatest differentiator – we used Monster Slate stamped concrete for the under-deck area, and Holland Stone pavers out on the open-air patio.
The privacy of the under-deck area fostered a more intimate environment, so the space was geared towards individual and small-group use. Offering full protection from the elements and easy access to the basement, the innermost niche was the perfect spot for a media room. Beneath either end of the new porch, two cozy conversation areas encourage you to enjoy a morning coffee, unwind with a good book, or chat with a friend. While the present arrangement is ideal for small gatherings, the chairs can easily be repositioned to host a larger crowd.
The exposed patio was designed with a communal focus. Together, the curved Lamina Tandem bench, all-weather Adirondack chairs, and large sectional can comfortably seat 20 guests. The furnishings are centered around a gas fire pit. With its fill of electric blue glass, the feature remains a centerpiece even when flames aren’t burning. Though the space was designed for socializing, we didn’t want it to feel too impersonal. The seating wall and abutting evergreens create a visual divider that separates the patio from the rest of the lot. A river rock garden adds further definition, softens the transition from hardscape to lawn, and provides a home for colorful perennials.
Belgard’s Holland Stone pavers in the shade Burnt Amber lay the groundwork for a timeless terrace. Their simple shape is conducive to a number of laying patterns. In this case, the homeowners opted for herringbone – a classic motif with a fun and youthful feel. Of course, aesthetics aren’t the only factor to consider when selecting materials; functionality should be given equal consideration. Belgard’s products are manufactured to resist everyday wear and tear, so the patio’s beauty won’t be dulled by UV rays, staining, scratching, or harsh weather.
We have to applaud the clients on their finishing touches. Their inviting seating options, colorful landscaping, and seasonal decor truly put the “life” in outdoor living. Whether gathering around the fire pit, lounging in the sun, watching TV, or chatting in the shade – there’s something for the entire family! Best of all, the vibrant, year-round hardscape has the flexibility to accommodate gatherings of all types and sizes.
Your gorgeous home deserves a custom backyard to match! This project is a perfect example of how a few personalizations are all it takes to convert a standard catalog package into a bespoke backyard. Whether you know exactly what you want, or you’re having trouble narrowing options, our team is adept at helping homeowners clarify and achieve their outdoor goals. With Hinkle’s expertise and your creative vision, your dream space is well within reach. Call 816-608-8847 or visit our website today to get started with your backyard masterpiece!