Award Lehigh Valley Builders Association Professional Excellence Award Winner
A beautiful home deserves an outdoor living space to match, but this home’s existing small pressure-treated builder’s deck just didn’t cut it. This homeowner knew her backyard had greater potential and called on the services of MasterPLAN to help her visualize and enjoy her new outdoor living space that checked all the boxes with a modern style!
With this outdoor living space incorporating so many amazing features at every turn let’s start at the top. Just as any failing builder’s deck, our first task was to remove the existing structure to make way for the new low-maintenance deck of our client’s dreams. The new deck was constructed out of composite decking and was designed to have a seamless connection to both the driveway and to the glass sliding door to the dining room. An easy to navigate connection is always in MasterPLAN’s forethought for safety and a streamlined aesthetic! It was also important to the client to have the 3 essential zones in this space for immediate use – grilling, dining and lounging.
Not wanting to have a cooking station that was bulky or taking up too much room, we decided to cut into the siding of the home to add extra hidden structural support so the grilling station could float! As if that wasn’t unique enough, we finished this space with a 2” thick custom ivory concrete countertop to give it a more modern look. The rest of the deck was designed to be ample enough to fit a dining table and a chaise lounge set to relax after a delicious meal. However, this space wouldn’t be complete without an attached roof system!
The A-frame roof system above the deck not only houses dimmable recessed LED lighting, a contemporary ceiling fan and a recessed Bose speaker system, but it’s what you don’t always see is what makes this space truly wonderful. Requesting a solution to pesky summer gnats and hungry mosquitoes, our suggestion of incorporating an automatic Phantom Screen System was quickly given a green light! When not in use the screen system lives up in the roof beams in order to provide an invisible concealment, but the screens can descend at the touch of a button! To complete the bug barrier, we incorporated fixed screens in the roof gable, underneath the deck flooring and sandwiched between the slat chase behind the grill island. 100% coverage!
Traveling down the deck staircase, the homeowner is greeted by a brownwave flagstone walkway that leads to the under-deck storage area and the lower patio entertainment space. To the right, we installed a MasterPLAN original corten steel rain curtain with water circulation equipment hidden underneath the structure. Off to the side, we included a brownstone bench for respite or to enjoy the sights and sounds the water feature provides! On the Techo-Bloc smooth greyed nickel paver patio and opposite the custom water feature, is where the party kicks up a notch…the bar area! There is something really cool at every glance here.
We strategically designed the bar area to be at a 42” height, so the “bartender” could comfortably tend to the guests or sit down and chat just the same. The counter of this bartop is also a custom ivory 2” thick cement slab, but this bartop has a cool-factor that is out of this world. We incorporated thousands of hand-placed fiber-optics in this countertop, which flows throughout like a constellation in the sky. The concealed motor underneath gives the homeowner the power to turn the color-changing system on, keeping it all one hue or having it flow into the rainbow, fixed or in pulsing pattern. Honestly, this is one feature that is a focal point all on its own, but we still have more to cover!
The backdrop of the bar area is a ground to deck white stucco chase, which doubles as one of the deck pillars, and at ground level, we recessed glass shelving to store the homeowner’s favorite bottles to entertain with and a refrigerator underneath for snacks and cans. Adjacent, we designed a floor-to-ceiling 2×4 slatted chase which doubles as the backdrop to the grilling station on the upper deck! Even though that seems like a lot, there’s still more! We have another concealed gem to share and it is hidden in this slatted chase. We incorporated a double-door section that houses an outdoor tv, which is mounted on a fully articulating tv mount so the homeowner can swing it out for everyone to view at every angle of the bar!
Just beyond this area is where the homeowner, family and guests can sit back and relax. This lounge space has a modern Paloform natural gas fire pit underneath a beautiful custom pergola that ties back into the home. This solid stained pergola is framed with engineered lumber and is completed by bi-directional vinyl shade slats which are low maintenance and provide dappled shade when the sun is high. Just beyond this lounge space is an area for the homeowner and her friends to sunbathe or chat with a nice glass of wine and soak in the scenery while listening to the nearby water feature.
The patio provides a solid foundation for the active bar area, the relaxing fire pit space and the chill zone. However, to soften the hardscape, we planted a row of Steeds Hollys along one side of the patio for year-round evergreen privacy and other evergreen and perennial plantings for pops of color. To bring some texture and visual interest to the spaces, we decided to incorporate large planters where we could introduce tropical plantings to further the resort feeling! The planters were strategically placed to delineate “rooms” yet make everything feel like one cohesive space.
To tie everything together as a whole, we finished the spaces off with lots of LED lights which illuminate the spaces beautifully when the sun sinks low in the evening. To step back and take this full outdoor living space in, it is hard to decide which destination to visit first. This truly was a fun space to create and we couldn’t have asked for a happier client!
"Having someone who can take your ideas, mold them and produce a final project that exceeds your expectations has made me enjoy my home even more!"