Campbell Landscape Design Challenge: Putting Green, Pool, Custom Deck
It can be hard to see potential in a backyard space when its current form is nothing more than mounds of dirt and large construction vehicles. But for every successful major backyard renovation, there is a moment where the chaos of the process can make the end result seem inconceivable. In today’s Campbell Landscape Design challenge, we revisit a property that underwent a major design renovation.
Transforming from a blank canvas, to a finished, refined modern living space, you can see in the pictures below that the journey towards luxury outdoor living means dealing with moments of complete deconstruction. In this space, the homeowners were looking to renovate both their front yard and backyard spaces.
The homeowners had plenty of room to play with on their property. However, they weren’t sure how to turn their dreams of a luxury outdoor living space into a reality. In any landscape design challenge, the first step is talking to the clients to establish a wishlist. This is where we began.
After thorough conversations with the homeowners, we were able to get a clear idea of the client's lifestyle and design aesthetic, as well as a succinct list of their must-haves. On their wish list was a modern pool, kitchen, tanning deck, and plenty of room for outdoor seating.
They were eager for their outdoor space to offer clear, modern design lines and match the clean, simple vibe of their new home. With all of these things in mind, we got to work designing. After deciding on a general direction, we were able to transform the 2D design the clients loved into a set of fully realized 3D renderings.
For clients, 3D renderings are one of the most exciting stages of the design process. This is the point in the process where dreams start to feel like they may become reality. A blank slate is now mocked up into a navigable design, where the homeowners can envision themselves relaxing and moving through their brand new outdoor living space. In this Campbell, CA landscape design challenge, we went through one main round of 3D renders, followed by a set that included some slight revisions.
The First Renderings
The first round of renderings can be seen below. These images fully realize the chosen design picked by the homeowners after presenting the initial 2D concepts. In the first image, you see an overall look at the proposed backyard space.
Walking out from the back of the home, the clients step onto a small, covered patio space. From here, they step onto a long series of concrete steppers, moving past a new bar and grill area, and into the larger backyard space.
At the end of the concrete steppers, the homeowners can move one of three ways. They can step right onto a large concrete paver patio, and then onto grass, following it around to the front of the house. Or, they can step forward and up onto a raised deck area. Nestled inside the deck is the yard’s largest existing tree, casting shade over the dining and living space.
Creating a barrier between the deck and the pool and spa is a custom, gas fireplace. Homeowners and their guests can gather along one long side of the fire pit, while spa-goers can relax and have a conversation from their vantage point, as well.
Looking over the new, rectangular pool, you can see that a waterfall feature wall has been added along the perimeter. Along the back side of the home, the paver from earlier recurs, forming a tanning area. Around the entirety of the space is new landscaping, as well as a large privacy fence in light wood to match the deck.
Another huge benefit of the 3D rendering stage is that the homeowners get to see more than the basic layout of the design–the materials get brought to life as well. All designs are elevated by the colors, patterns, and textures that are chosen. Here, you can see how custom tiling in the pool, spa, and along the waterfall feature wall amp up the visual interest of the space, while keeping the clean, modern lines that the clients love.
Moving around to the front of the home, we decided to keep things simple, but elevated with modern materials and great landscaping and lighting. The driveway ties into the backyard space, featuring the same gray pavers. To the right of the garage, the front approach weaves through lighting and updated landscaping towards a small water feature.
The navigability of the space is always of utmost importance to us. Above, you can see how the front yard connects cleanly with the backyard space. A paved walkway is hidden largely from street view by strategic planting. Throughout the front and backyard, existing trees are kept to ensure shade.
The Final Renderings
After showing the first set of renderings to the clients, they were thrilled with the way things were progressing. However, they wanted to see some slight tweaks made before proceeding with the next steps. Below, you can see several of these changes rendered.
One of the biggest changes made in this set of renderings is the removal of the fire pit alongside the pool. Instead, this space is now free for lounging. Where the old tanning patio was, a running feature wall separates the pool from the rest of the property.
The clients were a fan of the changes made. However, there were still additional changes that would be made before the homeowners were completely satisfied. Below, you can see the culmination of several discussions with the clients. In these meetings, we discussed in depth what was and was not working for them in the proposed space. The result of those talks was further adjustments and additions to this Campbell landscape design challenge.
The Final Design
Below, you can see the final design rendered in 2D. Major changes here include another slight envisioning of the pool and spa space. While the deck is the same, with the tree nestled in the center a seat wall along the curve, other aspects have been changed or added.
The biggest of these changes is the addition of a second, auxiliary deck on the other side of the pool. This adds back the tanning space lost in the first set of re-renders. The waterfall feature wall is back here, along the far side of the pool.
In place of regular lawn space, you can see that we have opted for a putting green at the far end of the yard. The homeowners were such a fan of this proposition that upon construction, its square footage expanded notably. At the end of the day, every revision and tweak was worth it to bring us to the final product.
The Finished Space
From mounds of dirt to a polished outdoor living space, this Campbell landscape design challenge brought together all of our favorite things. Great design, functionality, style, and undeniable cohesivity are on display in the finished space, seen below.
In the final photos, you can see the previously mentioned revisions come to life. The multi-dimensional composite decking flanks both sides of the new pool. Along the back wall is a brand new water feature wall. Here, funky tile and a slight angle bring an air of the unexpected into this otherwise laid back space.
Another major change made during construction was the re-addition of the gas fire pit. IN the above photo, you can see a fire feature resembling that mocked up in the very first round of 3D renderings. Here, however, it does not border the new pool. Instead, it is more central to the home, lodged between the dining area and outdoor kitchen. As a centpoint, it encourages guests to anchor in place and have a conversation.
It’s not every day you see a putting green in a backyard. As we mentioned, these clients loved the idea of the mini golf space that they decided to expand its footprint. Instead of a paver patio, we decided to dedicate that square footage to more putting space. From practicing your swing, to entertaining guests, this green is large enough for fun and function, and adds some natural color back into the yard.
Part of having a great yard is knowing that it is multi-functional. When it comes to outdoor living spaces, functionality relies on lighting once the sun has gone down. It’s our mission to design lighting plans that help yards feel safe and navigable, but are also adept at setting a mood. This means providing overhead lighting where possible, as well as pool lighting, path lighting, and spotlighting to bring out the yard’s best features.
No matter how disconcerting things may look in the midst of construction, the real magic of outdoor design is how quickly it can be pulled together. From piles of dirt, to a sleek, modern backyard with something for everyone, this Campbell landscape design challenge is a testament to trusting the process. We think the results speak for themselves.
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