One of my favorite things about being a landscape architect in Knoxville is the variety of projects we work on at Carex Design Group, using diverse design styles. Whether we’re designing a cozy outdoor oasis with a splash, creating a relaxing outdoor sanctuary for reflection, or tackling an eclectic pool party yard for a crowd, no two projects are the same. For one of our best projects of 2021, we dove into designing a sleek entertaining space. Here’s what we did …
We’d already established a great relationship with these clients working on a previous landscape design. When they were house hunting in Knoxville, they called us to look at the property before they bought it to ensure the landscaping they wanted would work in the space.
The property has a small backyard that sloped significantly toward the golf course beyond the property. The family wanted a space that was sleek and clean-looking but outfitted with multiple opportunities for entertaining kids and adults alike. Their wish list included a pool and pool house, built-in spa, basketball court and a chef’s outdoor kitchen.
It became a fun puzzle pulling these elements together. First we worked with the family’s architect to figure out where to anchor the space with a pool house, which served as the start of the basketball court. We incorporated a paver inlay outside the pool house door featuring a letter S for the family’s surname.
Then we carefully added all the requested elements.
Because the husband and father in this family is a tall, athletic man, and many in his family share his large build, we were careful to design spaces that would be comfortable for everyone. We made the spa a little larger than we might typically and increased the counter height in the outdoor kitchen.
We also designed extra space between the fire pit and surrounding seating area to ensure there was room for long legs to stretch out and enjoy the fire.
To give this couple the sleek look they were hoping for, we embraced the color palette established by the black and white house, using painted white brick and light-colored FireRock oyster pavers. To add a bit of green and texture in a very stark design, we incorporated a grid of synthetic turf under a roofline where we could tuck a few pool lounge chairs to get people out of the sun on hot days.
Managing the Landscape Construction Process
Although we manage the construction of many of our landscape designs, the service was especially helpful for this project for two reason: 1) the family was traveling often during the construction process, and 2) there were more than 15 subcontractors or vendors involved in building this project. To help coordinate this work, we managed a very tight schedule to make room for everyone who needed to work in the tight space. We also provided weekly email updates to the clients to keep them in the loop on progress and next steps, sending photos regularly so they could see the project and provide input where needed. Although the scope of a project such as this means we were on the property for many months, the end result made it worth the long process.
Our Favorite Features of This Knoxville Landscape Design
What I love most about this project is the extensive network of wires, pipes and controls that are below the surface. All of these hidden features helped us keep the space looking clean and free of clutter. We embedded speakers into the fire bowl columns and chose planters with hidden speakers for either side of the pool house entryway.
In the kitchen, we were charged with incorporating a variety of cooking methods to support the family’s many parties and gatherings. To make that happen, we tucked in not one, but two Big Green Eggs, a griddle and grill with rotisserie. We also included a sink, ice maker and storage drawers so the chef had everything at his fingertips. To keep the sleek look, we also incorporate access panels in the kitchen that matched the storage drawers where the homeowners could easily access the water and gas shutoff valves and the controls for the radiant heat system.
As we were designing the space, the homeowner requested that we add a slide and diving board for the kids. To ensure the space could grow and age with the family, we designed these elements in such a way that it would not leave a hole in the space to remove them when the kids grow out of these activities.
Late in the project implementation, the homeowner also asked us to incorporate an American flag into the space. To give them what they wanted and continue the clean aesthetic, we called upon our friend at Denovo Designs who created this beautiful aluminum flag artwork that’s backlit with low-voltage lighting for a striking look.
Start Your Own Landscaping Project
To get your own outdoor oasis, whatever the style, fill out our contact form or call me at 865-765-5550.