On the grounds of an expansive modern farmhouse, designer Mark Godby and architect Steve Borlik of Young and Borlik Architects created a cozy destination for catching up with family and friends. At the end of a formal path beyond the pool, a large outdoor fireplace sits framed by stately columns and flanked by comfy couches perfect for fireside chats.
You can grill and your guests can chill when you have a covered outdoor kitchen, like this one from Distinguished Pools. A rustic tin-roofed structure protects the wraparound bar and cooking zone from sun and sudden showers, while cheery strands of bistro lights create a subtle glow overhead.
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With an outdoor screen and projector, a tropical-inspired grass-topped wooden roof and a gas fire pit for gathering around, this backyard from Cedar Springs Landscape Grouphas everything you need for movie nights and more.
Fire safety note: It’s important to make sure your project is in accordance with local regulations, especially where fire is concerned. Generally speaking, with open walls (as in the space shown here) and gas fire pits, there is little that needs to be done for additional ventilation.
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With a covered pavilion complete with a dining and fireplace lounge zone on one side, and a vine-covered pergola with a second fireplace on the other, this poolside pavilion is so well-appointed it would be hard to leave. And with thick beams and sturdy stone work, the structure from Dotter & Solfjeld Architecture + Design looks built to last for many, many seasons.
A pavilion doesn’t need to be far-flung to feel like an escape, as this sleek, modern addition from LSA Architects proves. This unique space is used as an airy outdoor living room and perch from which to watch kids playing in the pool beyond. And since it’s adjacent to the dining room, it can also act as an extension of the dining space when the bifold doors are opened wide.
See more of this modern Australian home
If a modern aesthetic doesn’t appeal, get back to the basics with a rustic stone shelter where you can get away from it all in the comfort of your own backyard. With a wood-burning stone fireplace and round dining table, this pavilion from North Fork Builders of Montana would make a relaxing gathering spot for savoring life’s simple pleasures.
With their children now grown, these homeowners tapped Architect Marcelo Valdes to transform their backyard play structures into a three-season pavilion, complete with an authentic South American grill from Uruguay and Brazilian hammocks for lounging. During the summer, the couple leaves the structure open and airy, but when the weather cools down, sheets of polycarbonate easily pop in to warm it up.
See more of this Minnesota pavilion
By extending an existing deck and adding a freestanding pavilion on top, Bob Kiefer of Decks by Kiefer created a welcome getaway that seamlessly blends with the house. A louvered cupola and paddle fan keep the outdoor lounge area as cool and comfortable as possible, even in hot weather.
With a vaulted ceiling, outdoor fireplace and comfy furnishings, this outdoor room in sunny California sees a lot of use. The pavilion, located adjacent to a cozy guest cottage (both designed by Heather Young of FGY Architects), provides an idyllic spot for the homeowner to savor alfresco meals with her guests.
See more of this guest cottage and pavilion
A series of linked decks leads to this party-ready pavilion from Laird Jackson Design House in Austin, Texas. A chandelier, outdoor table lamps and an abundance of seating make for a fun gathering space once the sun goes down on a hot Texas day.
Your turn: How would you use a backyard pavilion? Tell us in the Comments.