Earlier this summer I wrapped up a really fun design project. The owner of this beautiful Victorian home in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston wanted to create a back yard for entertaining.
The starting point was a back yard that was uninspiring and featured a large deck that cut the house off from the yard.
The owner wanted to create a space where guests could flow easily from the kitchen, into the landscape. He wanted plenty of seating space, a small patch of lawn (for lawn games), and most importantly, a hot tub.
One of the first design choices was to remove the entire deck and create a new one, with steps aligned with the french doors, to provide easy flow from house to yard. We also changed the french doors so they swing outward, and weren’t cumbersome to get around from inside of the kitchen.
|New doors allow for better circulation|
Finding a location for the hot tub was a challenge, I wanted to keep it close to the house, and accessible to the mudroom. I ended up designing the spa to fit in between two set of steps (the main set up to the french doors and the side set up to the mudroom). The set of steps off of the mudroom were extended to create a platform of sorts. This provides an easy place to enter and exit the spa.
|Side steps create a platform for easy entry/exit into the spa|
Part of designing a space for entertaining is to create a variety of seating spaces. With this home, an L in the house created a great space for what we called the “living room”. This space is designed to be a lounge area, with lots of comfortable seating, tables, and overhead lighting. What really defines this space, though, is the custom pergola which creates a very cozy setting. The “living room” overlooks the “dining room” area of the yard where we located the grill and a large table to create a cooking/eating space.
|The pergola defines the “living room”|
|Stone seat wall|
I’m very excited about how this project turned out, and I think that the major concepts; circulation between inside and outside, the creation of differently programmed spaces, and lots of seating, really work to make this a great yard for entertaining!