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  • Writer's pictureWELD

San Jose Landscape Design Challenge: Custom Deck, Pool, and Spa

At Water and Earth, we believe great things can come in small packages. Many of our clients with smaller backyards come to us concerned that their dream backyard is not possible due to square footage. This simply is not the case. Today’s San Jose landscape design challenge reviews a small backyard that underwent a big upgrade.

Read on to see how we took this San Jose backyard from cramped and outdated to a sleek, elevated entertainment space.

Introducing The Space

When these clients reached out to us, they were working with a space that was simply not serving their purposes. The original yard featured a simple paver patio with raised landscaping beds, mirrored by a single, slim strip of lawn. The homeowners were looking to do more.

Looking out from the home over the original backyard space.

As we stated, many clients with narrower spaces such as these feel that they are limited by the amount of square footage or shape of their space. While this isn’t true, it does mean that clients will simply need to identify what aspects of an outdoor living space are most important to them.

In this San Jose landscape design project, the clients top priorities were plenty of space for seating, and a beautiful, custom pool and spa. They were also looking to refresh the landscaping and add outdoor lighting to improve the overall functionality and ambience of the space.

Another look at the initial space.

After discussing the possibilities and the homeowner’s priorities, we were able to whittle down the design to a sleek, modern layout that served all desired purposes. Determining a final design is always a collaborative experience. At Water and Earth, we prioritize collaboration to ensure that every space is a true reflection of the client. Once we have the green light on the final set of designs, we move forward with construction.

Construction and In-Process Photos

A look at the first stages of construction as the pool is framed.

When homeowners come to us with a project proposal, many of them have questions about the timeline of the process. Understandably, they are looking for confirmation about assumptions they may have about how long designing and building a custom backyard really takes. The truth is, no two projects have the exact same time line.

Many factors impact how quickly your space can be completed. From weather, to labor shortages, to supply chain issues, there are many factors in flux. True as this is, we find it’s helpful to show clients insight into the construction of various spaces, such as this San Jose landscape design.

The space after completion of the pool, spa, and decking.

As you can see, not all elements of the space can be worked on simultaneously. If you are interested in adding a pool, most construction teams cannot begin work until that aspect of the space has been completed. That means that decking, patios, lighting, landscaping, and more cannot come to fruition until the pool has been completed. To read more about the phasing of constructing outdoor living spaces, take a look at our blog on the matter.

Another look at the completed decking surrounding the new pool and spa. The space awaits finishing touches like landscaping and lighting.

As construction wrapped on this San Jose landscape design challenge, the clients were left with their dream backyard. Functional, modern, and beautiful, the completed space managed to pack a big design punch despite limited square footage.

The Finished Space

A look over the pool and spa from the home.

Modern materials and sleek, geometric lines come together to optimize the space in this San Jose backyard. Looking from the home, the clients step directly out onto a brand new deck. Large enough to accommodate both casual seating, tanning, and a dining area if desired, the composite wood continues from the deck to the retaining wall along the back of the property. Custom lighting illuminates both the pool and the spa as the sun goes down.

Spotlights highlight the updated landscaping around the perimeter of the space.

At the far end of the deck, the homeowners can step down into a small, grassy side area perfect for pets or kids. As in all of our spaces, we paid special attention to the lighting. Great outdoor lighting can be the difference between a space that becomes essentially invisible after dark, and a yard that looks as good at night as it does during the day. To achieve this ambience, we placed uplighting around the perimeter of the yard and in key landscaping moments.

Looking over the raised spa toward the home. Custom tile and coping give the pool and spa a refined, funky feel.

To create some visual interest and separation of space, we create the spa as a separate entity to the pool. Not only is it a separate feature, but it is raised slightly above the grade of the pool itself. This gives those soaking in the spa a 360 view of the space, allowing them to feel self-contained, but not cut off from the rest of the yard. Keeping in line with the warm colors of the rest of the design, the pool and spa are finished in warm-toned coping, and lined with custom tile.

Explore More Design Surprises

No two designs are exactly the same. Explore more design walkthroughs for unique spaces like this one on our blog. From the outdoor design questions you need answered, to works in progress, and more, visit our blog today.

Looking to keep up with the day to day hustle and bustle? Follow us on Instagram for daily inspiration and progress photos from our latest landscape design projects.

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