We were approached by the community’s doctors in the village of Staunton, a small, tight-knit idyll where everyone knows everyone else, located not too far from Edwardsville, IL. The married couple (one a general practitioner, the other a dentist) are entering the newest phase of their lives – they’re becoming grandparents!
An already impressive yard space
While they already have a stunning backyard with a pool, a natural flagstone patio and a small pavilion for their five dogs, they sought us out to transform their outdoors into a space with a backyard pavilion where their kids and grandkids will have years of fun at grandma and grandpa’s.
When we met with them, we were so impressed with their approach to their garden and how they’ve already created ample green space around their backyard.
They are seriously accomplished gardeners whose outdoor space has many trees – the perfect locale for shady respite.
Understanding the clients’ needs
As we talked further with the client, we discovered what they hoped would be in this new section of their outdoor living: an outdoor kitchen containing not just the standard grill option, but also refrigeration and a sink.
They also wanted a bar-height countertop abutting the pool area where pool-goers can mosey up and get refreshments, a backyard pavilion to house this kitchen and bar area and cover enough patio space for dining for 8, and, lastly, a pizza oven where the clients can really flex their culinary muscles.
We sent our recap of our meeting and got to work. Taking the measurements for their property was challenging, as they had so many existing elements. Still, using our triangulation methods of measurement, we were able to pinpoint to the ¼” where our existing site conditions were.
We took those measurements, paired them with our elevations, and got to work designing this transformation for our doctor couple.
3D design reveal
When the couple came in for our 3D design reveal two weeks later, the wife’s response was, “It’s beautiful!”
For the main event – the kitchen – we sleekly combined the bar height portion and the regular cook-height portion of the kitchen into one large L-shaped kitchen – one of our biggest kitchens built to date!
We surfaced the kitchen with our outstanding natural Chilton thin-cut stone, which has wonderful red, orange and white hues. We then topped the kitchen pieces with polished natural black cobalt. The pairing of the reds from the Chilton and the black from the cobalt made the entire space stand out.
We then outfitted the kitchen with a premier series RCS grill and a refrigerator to easily store perishables while they cooked (or cold refreshments for the pool goers!) To complete the kitchen, we included a sink – with code-compliant plumbing – so that dishes can be cleaned as the clients cooked.
Weather-proof patio space with a Backyard Pavilion
Because the clients wanted to be able to entertain no matter the weather, a large 16’x20’ pavilion from Country Lane Gazebos was installed.
All of its posts were buried in either part of the kitchen pieces or inside full-masonry pillars, whose thin-cut stone and caps matched the materials inside the kitchen.
A seamless transition
Beneath the backyard pavilion, we laid out our patio. To match the natural flagstone of their existing patio, we used Belgard’s Mega-Arbel paver system, which mimics the look and feel of natural flagstone. And, like we’ve done for so many other projects, we used a different style Belgard paver for the kitchen area proper, to help make it feel more like its own special space, separate from the main area.
To further match the existing site conditions, we created an “arc and tangent” design theme for the overall layout of the patio. The existing flagstone patio has a similar curvature and we wanted to ensure that the transition from the existing space to the new seemed as organic and natural as possible.
One of the “wow” factors we built into the space was lining almost the entire outside of the patio with a gorgeous block seating wall in charcoal, with white caps. The wall’s layout helped differentiate it from the rest of the yard and created the feel of an “outdoor room”.
Wood-fired pizza oven
The last major component of this design was the wood-fired pizza oven. Using a full-masonry Chicago 750 Wood-Fired Pizza Oven, we surfaced it with the same Chilton thin-cut stone and black cobalt countertops.
We even attached two small cook-height kitchen pieces to the oven that housed a pull-out trash drawer and an outdoor refrigerator. This means that the clients can store all of their pizza toppings outside while they make their pizza!
A new outdoor paradise
When the project was completed, we set up a final walk-through with the client to go over everything with them. We helped them start a fire in their new wood-fired brick oven so they could see how it works and, as we did so, the wife said, “I cannot wait to bake my first loaf of bread in this oven!”
In the coming years, as the grandchildren make visits and enjoy this new outdoor paradise, we’re eager to see our wonderful clients become the envy of their Staunton neighbors.
At Envisioning Green, we pride ourselves on creating exceptional outdoor loving spaces. Whether that means adding a backyard pavilion, installing a wood fired pizza oven, or designing the outdoor patio of your dreams, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today by filling out the form on our website or calling us at (618) 307-6677.