A Small Yard Now Big on Entertaining

Designed & Built by

Project Location: Takoma Park, MD, Historic


Project Summary: Backyard Makeover
Year of Completion: 2017
Aspects of Note: My Clients Report That They Use the Backyard Daily where previously they rarely ventured out.

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Project Description

My client, in the heart of Takoma Park, Maryland, lamented that they rarely ventured in to the yard and only occasionally ate on the deck.   With judicial use of existing elements and few bold strokes, they now have spaces that they use and entertain in almost daily.

To keep the budget in check, we drew from the existing elements — an existing deck, stairs to the yard, and a relatively flat, unformed space.  We kept the deck and the deck posts but replaced the barrier-forming pressure-treating railings with cable rails.  We did the same on the stairs.  The deck — a full story up from the yard — felt completely detached.  By closing in the yawning dark hole with earth-toned fiber cement boards we helped ground the structure.  A raised planting bed that morphs into an L-shaped raised concrete bench, further ties the deck to the yard.  Unexpected angles and strong focal points, further integrates the spaces.

The L-shaped concrete planters and cable rails contrast nicely with the informality of the irregular flagstone patio and the casual plantings.  Plump, relaxed all-weather cushions add comfort.  The large wood-burning fire bowl adds a focal point.

The family now regularly enjoys the yard with their friends, neighbors and relatives.


The Backyard was a Blank Slate
Pressure -Treated Railings Blocked views and felt heavy
The small deck was just enough for alfresco dining. But it felt disconnected from the yard.
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