National Contractor of the Year – Award Winning Project
Residential Landscape Design/Outdoor Living: Under $100k

NARI 2021 Residential Landscape Design Outdoor Living - Under 100k

National Contractor of the Year – Award Winning Project
Residential Landscape Design/Outdoor Living: Under $100k

NARI 2021 Residential Landscape Design Outdoor Living - Under 100k

Client’s Requests and Project Scope

This project was a complete overhaul of the client’s backyard.

The clients came to us with a poorly-draining, impractical backyard that had no character. They wanted an attractive, functional outdoor space that they could entertain in and also enjoy on quiet evenings.

The clients were in the midst of finishing their basement space out at the same time, and wanted to ensure that the patio space flowed well into the basement.

  • Fire pit + seating area
  • Outdoor kitchen
  • TV wall
  • Storage space
  • Dining area
  • Covered living area
  • Updated landscaping
  • Drainage solutions

Inspiration and Design

Our design team was tasked with marrying the existing deck, new basement layout, and backyard space into a cohesive whole.

Our solution was to break the space into three distinct outdoor ‘rooms’ that flowed together while each having its own character and function.

To the left of the space (top of the plan), we created a living space bordered by the existing deck steps. Our team addressed the client desire for storage and a TV wall at the same time, designing a slat wall that created a closet under the deck steps while also acting as a TV mount wall.

This made use of the awkward space below the deck steps while also providing a visual anchor for the space.

The opposite side of the patio (bottom of concept plan) is the dining/kitchen area. Also covered by the deck above, this space features a custom kitchen island with a screen wall above it for privacy. We matched the style of the kitchen wall to the living room wall for unity within the space.

Stepping into the open part of the site (bottom left of the plan), occupants enter the open fire pit patio. Composed of four individual concrete rectangles with turf joints between them, this area serves as a secondary seating area and is anchored by the central fire pit.

An updated landscape and lawn area surround the hardscape, creating a beautiful natural backdrop to the built environment.

Our design team came up with an intuitive drainage plan to address the water issues the existing space had without sacrificing the beauty or functionality of the landscape.

Each of the distinct designed spaces flow together, with sight lines and traffic flow ensuring the space works well if occupied by two or twenty people.


Landscaping plan concept



home with large backyard
patio with seating for 6 and fireplace

Living + Dining Space

Once the design was completed, our team began work crafting the outdoor spaces.

One of our biggest challenges was integrating the existing deck and steps, which the clients wanted to keep, into our design.

A high-end underdecking system was installed below the existing deck to dry in the living and kitchen area. Trimmed and painted to match the existing house, the underdecking system ties in seamlessly to the architecture of the house and makes our finished product look like it is original to the existing deck, thus solving the challenge of integration.

The existing concrete pad, falling into disrepair and draining poorly, was removed and replaced with a sealed look that updated the character of the hardscape.

The storage wall in the living room and the screen wall above the kitchen were constructed with a clean, minimalist character and then stained with a dark tone that really plays well with the lighter house and patio tones.

Our expert stone masons again worked their magic with the kitchen island, creating a beautiful mosaic of stone that acts as a focal point while serving its purpose as a cooking and prep space.

Sleek, slender solid surface countertops add a contemporary flavor that creates a playful juxtaposition with the more traditional stack stone elements of the kitchen.

Two large panoramic doors were installed leading into the house, creating a stunning transition and opening the possibility of a free-flowing indoor/ outdoor space when the clients are entertaining. As a whole, the two covered outdoor ‘rooms’ achieve the clients’ wishes for a luxurious multi- faceted outdoor space.

Open Patio

Our teams saw the open patio as a chance to create a statement space that looked great by itself while still flowing well with the covered patio.

The patio surface is the same as the covered space, but we decided to ‘deconstruct’ the patio squares and separate them with an aggregate border. This border, six inches throughout, creates a dynamic, modern aesthetic while also acting as a stormwater mitigation system to alleviate runoff coming from the patio and deck areas. This goes to show that green infrastructure doesn’t have to be ugly!

A concrete fire pit is located in the central terminus of the open patio, anchoring the space and clearly defining its intended use.

We selected this fire pit carefully, ensuring the size was consistent with the scale of the other hardscape elements.

As a separate entity, the open patio would be the highlight of any backyard. Combined with the adjoining spaces in this design, however, the patio ‘levels up’ and becomes a trandscendent outdoor living space. We are thrilled with the way it turned out and the amount that the clients use it.

Details and Accents

As it is with most contemporary designed spaces, material choices and craftsmanship in the details are incredibly important in the final presentation of the space.

As mentioned in the patio description, the fire pit was carefully selected not just for scale, but also for color and texture, echoing the patio surface while adding just a hint of color.

The patio color, aggregate material, and stain colors were all carefully coordinated to create a modern, transitional color scheme that is truly beautiful.

The stacked stone found on the kitchen adds a tertiary element to the space, introducing just enough of a traditional element to make the space feel warm and inviting, not simply modern and sterile.

Circulation flow between the open and covered patios was a major driver in the design of the space, and our teams took care to link the deck steps, basement entries, and all three outdoor ‘rooms’ logically.

Traffic flow here is intuitive to any user, and while each space is appropriately filled with furniture and built elements, nothing feels crowded or out of place.

Other details such as the striking metal ceiling fan, recessed can lighting, outer landscape lighting work together to flesh out the built environment and create an air of elegance.

A dry creek bed, expert plant selections, and careful landscape installation ensure that the ‘natural’ part of the project looks just as good as the hardscape.

One of the more innovative approaches our landscape crew took during the project was the installation of a small dry stacked stone wall that ties the dry creek bed into an existing stormwater system while hiding the huge concrete cap over the inlet pipe. The resulting component is an attractive focal point, transforming a liability into an asset.

Let’s Start Building Your Dream Project Today

Boyce Design + Build proudly serves the greater Atlanta area including: Athens, Atlanta, Alpharetta, Braselton, Brookhaven, Decatur, Duluth, Dunwoody, Johns Creek, Milton, Roswell & Sandy Springs, Smyrna/Vinings, Suwanee, Watkinsville.