Friday, July 19, 2013

The Evolution of an Outdoor Living Area

The Goal:  Create an outdoor living area, functional in use, aesthetic in beauty and 'edgy' in design. The project would have two destination areas; the upper level, for sitting/socializing and the lower for dining.
Each destination area was given its own location but tied together by two identical staircase and a water / fire feature.  The lower area is dedicated to dining.
A spiral of water is surrounded by stone, starting below a fire bowl and cascading into a basin located in the dining area.  A fire bowl sits proud of the water structure providing both areas with warmth.
The 11' outdoor kitchen hosts a BBQ, sink and cooler, terminating into a large boulder that also functions as a serving surface.  Rock veneer and stainless steel embellish the face.  Large rectangles of porcelain tile are used on the counter for strength and environmental extremes.
Sandstone-like retaining walls divide the two levels and embrace the two staircase that curve around the water feature. Planting beds slope up to the retaining / sitting wall to soften the transition between the hardscape and the natural surroundings. Adjacent, a smaller boulder retaining barrier balances and complements the larger boulders built into the walls.
Each level has multiple drains routed to a sump and pumped into the sewer system.  The utilities and garage access are disguised with an espalier and columnar evergreen trees.
The heavy posts of the pergola frame three unobstructed views of the Boise valley.
The side entrance is flanked by a custom iron trellis and gate.  A statue is strategically placed within the evergreens to be a welcome surprise and focal point at mid-entrance.
The images show in chronological order the evolution of this outdoor living area from start to finish.

The final product:

Terry Sims is a Landscape Designer and Horticulturist. Her company, The Garden Artist, LLC is located in Boise Idaho. For more information visit

No comments:

Post a Comment