Our clients requested a complete renovation of their Duluth backyard. The existing space was an overgrown mess with poor circulation, awkward transitions, and various components in disrepair. The goal was a naturalistic, flowing design that would create pockets for various uses, both for small family gatherings and entertaining large parties. The clients also asked us to preserve as much of the existing vegetation as possible and to embrace the sloped, rolling nature of the lot.
Our design solution was based around building the swimming pool into the slope and wrapping a landscaped terrace around it. A large boulder waterfall is centered on the slope, providing a stunning focal point for the entire backyard. The swimming pool stems out from the waterfall in an organic, flowing shape. A raised spa is also built into the slope, providing a secondary focal point to the waterfall and marking the transition from the natural aesthetic of the landscape to the more regimented nature of the patio, deck, and porch areas.
A paver patio extends from under the deck and links the swimming pool, kitchen, and access points for the deck and the upper lawn. The outdoor kitchen occupies the left hand corner of the patio below the deck, providing visual weight and a social hub near the pool. The deck was completely redesigned to better utilize the space and improve circulation. The footprint was expanded toward the left side of the house and the main staircase relocated.
The covered porch anchors the right end of the deck, adding a dynamic living and entertaining space to the main level of the house while still linking to the rest of the designed space. A stack stone fireplace is centered within the porch. Acting as both a stunning focal point and visual anchor to the space, the fireplace was designed to give the porch a sense of enclosure without blocking views of the swimming pool area.
Updated landscaping is present throughout the backyard. A naturalistic woodland aesthetic ties into the loose form of the water feature, in the terraces immediately surrounding the pool. The planting scheme becomes more regimented as it moves closer to the house and driveway, tying into the existing scheme seamlessly.