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Sleepy Hollow Landscape Design Challenge

Whether we're transforming small backyards in downtown Richmond or larger lots in our surrounding suburbs, Water and Earth brings the same dedication to bringing our clients dream space to life. In today's landscape design challenge, we visit a Sleepy Hollow property. Over the last few months we've worked with the homeowners to arrive at a design that we can't wait to bring to life.

Introducing The Space

This Sleepy Hollow home was situated on a large lot. The front of the home had been previously finished, and featured simple landscaping, a unique, winding driveway, and plenty of grassy space for kids and dogs alike to run and play.

sleepy hollow Virginia front yard landscape design

The backyard, however, was a different story. While the front yard had been polished, the backyard space was a blank canvas and had not yet been seeded with grass. The homeowners were starting from square one, and had a lot of ideas. Thankfully, they had the space to bring most of them to life.

unfinished backyard in sleepy hollow Richmond va

In terms of existing architectural features, the home itself was a clean, modern build with a large elevated deck off the back of the home. The clean lines and modern feel set the tone for the outdoor space. In regards to features, these homeowners were looking to install a custom pool, fire pit, and outdoor seating while maintaining grassy space.

the back of the home with a large, raised deck

After discussing their wish list, we got to work and came back to discuss two distinct design directions with the clients.

Concept A

The first concept, Concept A, is shown below. With this direction, we took notes from the clean, geometric lines of the back of the home. This meant centering the main living area in a long, linear rectangle, and allowing it to be softened by the surround grass and plantings.

2d landscape design direction concept a

Walking out of their home, the clients step out directly onto the lawn, and walk down towards the finished living area. Bordered by a long line of concrete steppers is a custom, rectangular pool with a built in spa and Baja shelf. A water feature wall adds movement and texture.

To the left of a the pool, two flights of stairs help the homeowners to navigate the unique, tiered design of the space. Stepping off the first flight, they arrive on a large paver patio, housing their new outdoor kitchen and dining space. Continuing down the next flight, they arrive in a cozy sunken area below the pool, fit with a custom fire pit, seat wall, and plenty of space to relax with friends and family.

This hardscaped area is softened at its perimeters by planting beds and tall, leafy trees that provide shade and visual interest to the living space.

Concept B

The second design, Concept B, captured many of the same design elements as the first direction, but with a different utilization of the space. Where Concept A was long and linear, Concept B stretches back toward the edge of the property, taking advantage of the depth of the lot as opposed to the width.

2d landscape design direction concept b

As in the first design, the homeowners step out of their home onto their finished lawn. The same long line of concrete steppers borders the custom pool featuring a spa and Baja shelf. However, instead of a large patio that stretches out toward the left of the page, the clients can descend into a large, general living space using flights of stairs on either side of the pool.

At the bottom of the staircase is a large paver patio, separated from the pool by large planter bed. Half of this patio space has been dedicated to a new outdoor kitchen and dining area. The other half is outfitted with the custom fire pit and L-shaped seat wall. Overhead, twinkling string lights bring the whole space together.

The Final 3D Renderings

After viewing both concepts, the clients decided that they like elements of both designs. They loved large, sunken space below the pool in Concept B, but wanted to have more space that was level with the general grade of the home. To do this, we utilized Concept B, general design and added a large upper patio and tanning deck, which you can see in the aerial view below.

3d rendering aerial view landscape design Richmond

In the rendering below, you see the top level of the pool deck. A larger paved space for tanning replaces the concrete steppers seen in the 2D concepts. The long, rectangular pool features a built in space, Baja shelf, and allows for a gradual increase of water depth. In the background, you see the auxiliary patio level with the rest of the yard.

3d rendering custom pool and paver patio tanning deck landscape design Richmond Virginia

Moving down into the sunken living area, you see the change in elevation from the pool and upper deck to the kitchen and fire pit space. Finishing the visible edge of the pool is a long water feature wall with scrappers that flow into a large catch basin below.

In front of the this, the patio opens up to the fire pit and outdoor dining space. Finished with sleek white pavers and a modern retaining wall, tall grasses surround the sunken patio and soften the clean, simple lines of the design.

sunken outdoor living space

Looking from above, you can see how the design utilizes the depth of the yard, with the design extending toward the back of the property. This layout allowed the homeowners to retain a large quantity of yard space to devote to a lawn, which flows seamlessly into the finished front yard.

aerial 3d rendering landscape design Richmond Virginia sleepy hollow

At the end of the day, these final designs are a direct reflection of how great communication and collaboration with clients allows dream outdoor spaces to be realized. No matter the size or location of your home, we are dedicated to bringing beautiful, modern outdoor spaces to the greater Richmond, VA area.

For more design inspiration like this, visit our blog. To keep us with us day to day, follow Water and Earth Landscape Design on Instagram!

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