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Glen Allen, VA Landscape Design Challenge: Basketball Court, Pool House, and More

In today’s landscape design challenge, we'll take a look at a project in the neighborhood of Glen Allen, Virginia. Although not far from downtown Richmond, this home sits on a lot with a heavily wooded perimeter. Trees create natural privacy and contain a large backyard space primed for a modern landscape design update.


Glen Allen, VA home before any landscape design.
An overview of the initial backyard space. This home is located in Glen Allen, VA.

As stated, this home was situated on a lot that was wooded heavily at the perimeter. In the backyard itself there was a large, organically shaped grassy lawn that was largely undeveloped. The lot had very little existing landscaping.

The edge of this Glen Allen, VA property was covered by trees.
The yard was largely undeveloped, surrounded by dense tree cover.

Off the back of the home, a small wooden deck housed a table and set of chairs. Stepping down into the space, there was an existing paver patio. While functional, this space was not optimally configured and was due for a design update.


An old deck stair case leads down onto an old brick paver patio in this landscape design challenge in Glen Allen, VA.
Stairs led from the small deck to the existing paver patio.

In this Glen Allen property, the driveway led from the street around to the back of the home where the garage was positioned. The concrete driveway was functional, but did nothing to contribute to the desired modern look for the home.

A large, concrete driveway.
The existing concrete driveway.

After talking to the homeowners, they were excited about the possibility of creating more usable space in their backyard. They were looking to make the most of the square footage, which meant dividing up the space into a more practical layout. These clients were interested in incorporating a custom backyard pool and pool house, outdoor kitchen, and seating area.


Because the driveway already had a large footprint, the homeowners had no qualms about the prospect of expanding it. Doing so would allow us to integrate yet another entertainment element in the space–a basketball half-court.


Finally, these homeowners wanted to refine the landscaping and planting, and elevate the look of the entire outdoor space to fit their aesthetic tastes. With this in mind, we hit the drawing boards and returned with two distinct design concepts.


Concept A


2d Rendering of a landscape design challenge by water and earth landscape design in Glen Allen, VA.
Concept A

The first design presented, Concept A, showcases this new division of space. Stepping out of the back of the home, the clients walk out onto a refurbished deck, in a more modern finish than their existing model. From here, they follow a set of stairs down onto a large paver pool deck and patio, and into the main space.


The paver patio, which spans to encompass both the pool and the outdoor kitchen area, is made of modern interlocking concrete pavers. In the center of the patio is the new, custom pool. Set parallel to the back of the home, it is finished on its right side by a water feature wall and a line of planting. To the left, the pool deck leaves enough space for pool furniture, allowing the clients to lay out and enjoy the summer sun.


Behind the pool is the brand new seating and dining areas. In the left corner, a rectangular gas fire pit acts as a central point for relaxing on chilly evenings. Walking to the right, the homeowners step into their new outdoor kitchen and living space, complete with a mounted TV. Above the kitchen and living space is a large overhang, attached to a newly proposed pool house.


The right half of the yard, divided by a large line of purposeful landscaping, is dedicated to recreation. A large swath of grass leaves room for kids and pets to run freely. The driveway has been expanded to fit a new basketball half court.


Concept B


a 2d rendering of a landscape design by water and earth landscape design company in glen Allen, VA
Concept B

The second design, concept B, contains many of the same design cues as the first iteration, but makes notable changes to the orientation and layout of certain features. As in the first design, the homeowners step out onto a large deck. However, where the first design maintained the original size of the deck space, Concept B sees the deck expanded. In keeping with the larger size, the small staircase from Concept A has been enlarged, now allowing dual entry and exit by wrapping the entire corner of the deck.


Stepping off the deck, the homeowners find themselves on a modern concrete paver patio similar to that seen in the first design direct. However, instead of a pool that runs parallel to the home, it has been oriented perpendicularly and pushed further toward the edge of the property. Reorienting the pool leaves a larger area of patio free for use.


The pool house and covered outdoor kitchen/dining space has also been reoriented. Running parallel to the pool, the paver patio creates a runway between the features. At the perimeter of the space is a new, elevated landscaping plan that adds color, texture, and continuity throughout the outdoor living space.


While the left side of the yard has been reoriented, the design elements in the right side of this space remain unchanged from the first design. A large yard space is surrounded by trees and manicured shrubs, while the larger driveway houses the basketball half court, creating a space with something to offer everyone.


3D Rendering


After viewing both designs, these Glen Allen homeowners preferred the separation of space proposed in the second landscape design direction. Once this design was chosen, we proceeded into the next stage of the process, 3D renderings.


3d rendering of a composite deck on a home in Glen Allen, VA
The new, expanded deck off the rear of the Glen Allen, VA home.

Above, you can see how the old deck has been removed, replaced by a larger, composite wood deck with plenty of space for outdoor seating and dining. Around the deck, a railing provides safety. For added color, an L-shaped planter provides a touch of greenery. Planters containing various trees, shrubs, and native plantings are used similarly throughout the space to break up hardscaping. In this rendering, you see the large corner staircase, ushering the clients down onto the brand new paver patio.


3d rendering of an outdoor kitchen and living space off a home in glen Allen, va
A view of the new outdoor kitchen and living area from the back of the home.

Stepping down off of the deck, you find yourself in front of the new outdoor kitchen and living space, rendered above. You see here the large extended pergola roof anchored by a brand new, modern pool house. The L-shaped bar creates plenty of room for seating and dining. In the living space, an outdoor fireplace winds up the side of the pool house, priming the yard for cozy evenings at home.


3D rendering of a pool and pool deck with paver patios and tanning lounge chairs.
A view of the custom pool, surrounded by native plants, accented by a water feature wall.

To the right of the new pool house is the custom pool, rendered above. The paver patio seamlessly morphs into the pool deck, creating a bright, modern contrast to the trees and grasses that finish the space. The pool itself is clean, rectangular, and fits seamlessly into the space. At the far end, a water feature wall uses three fountain jets to create movement and elevate the design.


a 3d rendering of a landscape design challenge done by landscape design company water and earth in glen Allen, va
An aerial rendering of the living space including the deck, pool, and poolhouse area.

Above, you can see how each element of the space is linked together, while remaining distinct. The same pavers run throughout, creating a seamless transition. Meanwhile, the geometric lines of the pool, pergola roof, and planters break up each area into a distinct living space. The result is functional, dynamic, and beautifully modern backyard space.


3d rendering of a driveway basketball half court landscape design challenge in glen Allen, va
Looking from the pool toward the basketball court.

Above, you can see the secondary half of the yard, rendered. The original driveway has been refinished and expanded to include a new basketball half court. Behind the driveway, a large lawn area is bordered on all sides by privacy plantings. In the background, the property’s treeline remains intact, amplifying the private, natural feeling of the space.

3d rendering of a finished landscape design for a modern home in glen Allen, va.
An aerial view of the entire backyard living space at this Glen Allen, VA home.

After seeing the renderings, the clients were thrilled. The new space was modern, functional, and undeniably beautiful. Lush landscaping adds color and texture to seamless composite wood and luxury patio pavers. From a brand new outdoor kitchen and custom pool to a driveway basketball court, this space merges modernity with simplicity. The result is a yard that is as much fun for kids as it is for the adults.


At the end of the day, Water and Earth is dedicated to a style of landscape design that takes into account each client’s unique needs and lifestyle. While much of Richmond and its surrounding area is still attached to its colonial roots, many homeowners are looking for a fresh perspective.


In this Glen Allen, VA landscape design challenge, we brought new life to a classic home, creating a design that is a reflection of the present day and will serve these homeowners for many years to come.


Glen Allen to Downtown Richmond, VA: Explore More Design in Your Area

From Glen Allen to downtown Richmond, VA, explore more designs like this one by visiting our blog. From walkthroughs of finished projects to deep dives into upcoming spaces, get your questions answered and find inspiration for your own custom backyard. Want to see what we're working on now? Follow us on Instagram for behind the scenes looks at our current landscape design projects.




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