Outdoor Living

by Kyle Clapham


John V. Mutlow Architects
Los Feliz, Calif.


Photos: Michael Arden/Arden Photography

Project location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Square footage: 550
Project cost: $300,000

Designing a pool house that sets into the hillside with transparency, continuation of space and minimal intrusion into the garden became the main focus of the project. The existing hillside retaining wall, therefore, was removed and set back into the hillside to minimize intrusion into the rear garden.

The roof and supporting columns are independent of the wall in order to reinforce the floating and transparent quality of the sunroom and pool house. The 6-inch reinforced concrete floor and the 12-inch filled concrete block wall serve as a heat sink in the winter because they are heated by the low-level sun. In the summer, with nightly flushing, they keep the sunroom cool.


Doors: Fleetwood
Moulding/trim: Brady Sheet Metal
Brick/stone/stucco: Angelus Block Co.; La Habra Stucco
Roofing: GAF
Windows: Fleetwood
Locksets/hardware: Fleetwood
Structural: Simpson Strong-Tie
Insulation: Johns Manville
Tankless water heater: Rheem
Lighting: Halo
Kitchen cabinetry: IKEA
Countertop: Caesarstone
Sinks: Franke
Faucets: Grohe
Refrigerator: Avanti Beverage Center
Toilet: TOTO
Shower: Hansgrohe
Bath sink: TOTO
Sink faucet: Grohe


Arch-Interiors Design Group
Beverly Hills, Calif.


Photos: Chris Miller

Designer: Christopher Grubb
Project location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Square footage: 1,705
Project cost: $200,000

The back yard of this Southern California home was a blank slate. The design team was enlisted to create an outdoor space that’s less of an “entertainment area” and more of an “en plein air” (in the open air, as the French say) expanse, since it really is the ultimate oasis. The client requested an all-encompassing outdoor retreat that would feature a saltwater swimming pool, jacuzzi, fire pit, shower and outdoor bar/kitchen, plus ample space for lounging, sitting and dining. The client wanted a space that would feel very natural with shades of sea-inspired blue and green.

One of the biggest challenges was raising the deck to be level with the home’s entry points. This required a very specific grading for the pool and positioning of the decking material. Additionally, the homeowner wanted some natural grass to provide a break to the hardscape.

The designer concealed the electrical behind a cabinet and smartly arranged the appliances for ease of use. Overhead, a pergola helps to define the space, and LED lighting makes it easy to cook outside in the evenings.


Decking: Resysta
Awning fabric: Sunbrella
Countertop: Cosentino Resysta
Pool/shower tile: Lunada Bay Tile from Walker Zanger
Sconces: Murray Feiss
Appliances: Twin Eagles
Sink/faucet: Twin Eagles
Refrigerator: Delta Heat
Glass pieces in fire feature: American Fire Glass
Drain cover: California Faucets StyleDrain by Christopher Grubb
Shower fixture: Signature Hardware
Barstools: Trex Outdoor Furniture
Furniture: Restoration Hardware
Umbrellas: Customer owned
Decorative pillows: RAGS
Beach ball fabric: Romo
Planters: All Modern
Lights in pergola: Core Lighting
Awning fabrication: Marine Awning


Bluestone Construction
Henderson, N.C.


Photos: Carl Amoth Photography

Designer: Wayland Shamburger
Project location: Fairview, N.C.
Square footage before: 6,326
Square footage after: 11,110
Project cost: $5 million

Properties in the mountains of western North Carolina tend to lend well to views and potential. Along with remodeling the entire home, the owner wanted to add a huge outdoor living area.

The outdoor living space is located on the view side of the home and has tremendous long-range mountain views. The scope of the outdoor project consisted of the following spaces and functional areas: a pool with an infinity edge, hot tub with vanishing edge, fire pit with recessed seating area, an outdoor kitchen with a steel trellis structure, and a covered seating area for TV and fireplace viewing. All of this complete with beautiful landscaped areas.

The greatest challenge was the location of the structure on the steep mountainside and the ground consisting of mostly clay. The team members were required to do extensive engineering work, hiring soil engineers and civil engineers to make sure the structure was designed appropriately for the location.


Siding: Custom cedar
Brick: Custom masonry
Windows: Kolbe Ultra

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