December 2018 - July 2019
Concrete: Abel Rodriguez
Irrigation: Cougar Irrigation
Painting: S&G Quality Residential Painting
This Windsor Park backyard project was designed and built for a fun family in the summer of 2019. They didn’t quite know how to use and experience their yard with the previous organization of patchy grass and random planting interspersed throughout the yard. The clients wanted to rework their entire backyard to create more comfortable spaces for outdoor living. It is now activated, allowing for entertaining, dining, playing, and relaxing. Our goal was to create a screened space with large unobstructed views that looked out upon a simple and textured garden. The big challenge was to work around a large, protected pecan tree, which restricted the size of the screened-in porch. The tree serves as both a visual focal point and an organizational anchor that all of the spaces revolve around.
The landscape has a restrained palette of native and adapted drought-tolerant plants, cast-in-place concrete, zoysia turfgrass, native riverstone, and Texas basalt gravel. Clumping bamboo envelopes the yard in lush privacy. Our plant strategy heavily leans towards warm-toned blooms and butterfly-attracting plants. Native selections also provide durable, low-maintenance textures and fragrances. The design utilizes site-fabricated steel edging to define spaces by their function. Riverstone indicates planting beds and basalt gravel indicates walking path. Zoysia indicates unprogrammed playspace while concrete provides a durable surface for the two living spaces.
The 480 sq ft screened-in porch is organized in an L-shape. The west side of the porch is a dining space with a custom-made Accoya hardwood outdoor table. The north edge of the space creates a living space with a wall-mounted television and sectional couch. The interior palette is subdued and warm with white and natural wood as the major theme. Ample recessed lighting makes the space equally functional in both night and day while the two ceiling fans help to make the Texas summers more bearable.
The structure consists of a painted steel frame with stained cedar accents for the parapet and ceiling. The entire screened porch is held up by a steel structure consisting of six posts and three beams. The band of screening that wraps the porch has no structural duties and has large 3’x 8’ unobstructed openings. Considering users of all ages, the custom fabricated door provides a durable solution for many years to come as it is framed with steel and infilled with 1/16” hole perforated steel.
The family now spends a lot of time on the screened porch with their cats, who can safely enjoy a taste of the outdoors. When the summer hits, a salt-water pool sits on the concrete patio for their young daughter. The custom bench gives a place to sit while she splashes, and will be a great place to have friends mingle again once the pandemic passes. Landscape lighting brings the eye out to the extents of the space, with uplighting grazing bamboo and downlighting casting a glow over the bench and patio.