From Lackluster to Blockbuster: A Contemporary Backyard Retreat

At some homes in the Pacific Northwest, yard space is an afterthought. Nine months of gray casts a shadow on the idea of outdoor living, and homeowners shift their focus inside.

Hunts Point 1_FAt others, it’s the main attraction.

The team at Project Groundwork, SCJ’s landscape architecture studio out of Seattle, transformed the backdrop of this contemporary home from dreary to dreamy with features that can be used throughout the year.

A new ipe (pronounced E-pay) deck converted the previously small, uneven space into an expansive area, all on one level. Ipe decking resists wood rot, mold and fungus and even provides slip prevention – perfect for wet Northwest winters.

Hunts Point 8For the opposite side of the calendar, the team added an air of opulence with a privacy fence enclosing the intimate pool area, a built-in gas fire pit, raised corten steel planters and dramatic lighting.

But wait…there’s more! “We all know kids play outside rain or shine,” said Mark Garff, SCJ’s principal landscape architect. “So, we kept that in mind, too.”

A garden on the side of the house features a play lawn with raised, cedar planting beds – a springtime must for Northwest families. Steel-edged crushed granite walkways, lighting and thoughtful planting complete the space.

Hunts Point 1“Our team was able to bring this area from an overlooked space to an intentional oasis,” Mark said. “One that can be used day or night, any time of year.”

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