Midlothian, VA Landscape Design: Covered Kitchen and Large, Custom Pool
Updated: Feb 15
In today’s landscape design challenge, we visit another property in Midlothian, Virginia. Like most of these properties, the homeowners came to us with a blank slate. Though the lot was large in comparison to many downtown Richmond properties, the space was largely unused.
After talking to the clients, their wish list contained a number of popular items. They wanted a large, modern pool and plenty of space for seating. They were also interested in a covered patio or deck area, with an outdoor kitchen for entertaining.
Introducing The Space
Though most of the space was undeveloped, the homeowners did have a small patio that had been built off the back of the home’s rear entrance. This space was not large enough, and was not functional for the current homeowners. After discussing design preferences and getting a sense for the necessary flow and function of the future space, we hit the drawing boards and came back with two distinct design directions.
The first concept, or Concept A, is seen above. In this design, we retain much of the yard space while expanding hardscaping to create a dynamic outdoor living and entertaining area.
Starting at the rear entrance of the home, we proposed a widening of the existing steps to allow for a less cramped exit and entry way. Stepping down into the space, the homeowners find themselves on a brand new paver patio. To the left, the pavers transition into composite decking that is home to the new outdoor kitchen and living area.
In order to create a separation of space, we designed a large pergola structure that extends from the home and creates a completely covered space. This allows the clients to use their new kitchen rain or shine, increasing functionality as well as serving as a natural extension of the home’s design.
To the right of the stairs and patio is another large deck, matching the material used in the kitchen and living area. The deck extends up the right side of the space, and forms a tanning deck for the brand new pool.
The pool in this concept is a large, rectangular shape, set perpendicular to the long line of the property. Tihs rates a natural division between the living and entertaining space, as well as creating a line between hardscaping and the remaining lawn.
We finished the space with raised planters and polished landscaping to elevate the green space and soften the modern lines.
The second design, concept B, is a notable departure from the more compact layout of the first rendering. Stepping out of the home’s rear entrance, the homeowners descend a widened staircase. In this design, however, they are not flanked by a covered kitchen and living space. Instead, the lawn bisects the property vertically, allowing the grass to be immediately accessible to the left of the stairs.
To the right of the stairs is a cozy dining and kitchen space that is situated directly behind the pool. In this design, the paver patio surrounds the pool on all sides of the perimeter. This gives the clients room for lounge chairs and easy access to the pool from every angle.
Continuing further into the space, the homeowners step off of the pool deck and onto a small wooden bridge lined on either side by plantings. From here, they continue along an aggregated stone pathway before stepping up onto an auxiliary deck. Here, the deck forms a satellite space that contains the new fire pit and seating, completely covered by a custom pergola structure.
After reviewing both designs, the clients decided that they preferred the simplicity and accessibility of Concept A. With this direction chosen, we proceeded with creating a series of 3D renders to bring the 2D space to life.
Above, you can see how the area immediately off the home’s rear exit has been transformed into a natural extension of the living space. Bisected by a paver patio and pathway, two decks create two dedicated living spaces. On the right side of the rending above, you see the covered outdoor kitchen and living space. An L shaped peninsula creates bar countertop seating. An L shaped sectional creates a cozy, living room feel.
On the left hand side of the frame, you see the new dining space. Above the dining table, string lights weave back and forth amplifying the modern ambience and bathing the space in warm light after the sun goes down.
Next to the dining space, the fire pit is tucked into a cozy corner of the deck. The long, linear shape of the pit allows for ample seating. In order to maximize the functionality of the space, an L shaped bench has been rendered along the wall of the planter, which is filled with native shrubs and grasses.
In front of the living and dining spaces is the new pool. Long and linear, it features both a shallow and deeper end, as well as a large baja shelf to the far side. This baja shelf not only allows plenty of room for tanning, but also serves as a function exit and entry into the pool from two sides.
Of course, a space needs to be functional long after the sun goes down. In the above rendering you can see how a strategic lighting plan not only adds evening ambience, but safety and functionality. From spot lights along the sides of the home, to pendant lights in the kitchen, every space is navigable and warm even in the late evening hours.
Large properties are a lot of fun, but pose their own unique set of challenges. With a large expanse of space, you must determine the best way to break it up. While there are many different iterations that are possible with generous square footage, the right design is the one that is most functional for the homeowners.
In this Midlothian, VA landscape design challenge, we were able to create a space that was highly practical, while retaining all of the modern beauty the homeowners were after.
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