Take Your Back Yard to the Next Level!
Where: Portland, Oregon
In his own words: “Many homeowners want to turn their property into usable living space. New features will pull you outside and keep you there.”
In this all-consuming digital age, it’s important to get outdoors and into nature. “My goal has always been for my clients to have a great outdoor space that enhances their daily lives,” says landscape designer Micah Dennis, the owner of Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design in Portland.
Read on for Dennis’ tips for upgrading your outdoor spaces and enhancing your life.
If you have a big yard, create individual areas with different purposes. “This will break up a large property and allow it to be utilized more effectively,” Dennis says. “Use inviting walkways to lead to spaces that provide gathering spots to entertain all ages. Areas can include outdoor kitchens, fire pits for roasting marshmallows, putting greens, playsets — the options are endless.”
In the Happy Valley yard seen here, Dennis’ design features areas where the homeowners and their teenage kids can entertain. “A two-sided fireplace has lounge chairs on both sides for relaxing, while a grand gazebo with an outdoor kitchen and bar area has a wood-burning pizza oven,” he says. “A fire pit patio next to a cascading waterfall offers another space to gather, while pathways wind throughout, inviting guests to explore.”
To make a small space feel larger, incorporate a focal point such as a fireplace or gazebo. “Create a space as a destination that’s not attached to your home to ensure it gets plenty of light and doesn’t feel cramped,” Dennis advises.
In the narrow backyard in Portland seen here, Dennis diverted attention away from the nearby fence using a gazebo-covered living space. “We added beams in an awning design to ensure that it looks even larger,” he says. “The hardscape also serves as a second focal point that transitions into a putting green into the side yard.”
Keep the elevation grade relatively level throughout your yard for more cohesive outdoor living spaces. “One grade throughout the yard will ensure that your space feels continuous and much more livable,” Dennis says.
The owners of the Lake Oswego property seen here had an unused pool surrounded by a yard that sloped in many directions. “We filled the pool and graded most of the landscape,” Dennis says. “Hardscaping, stairs and pathways lead you in, about and through the yard, which includes an inground spa, two fire pits, an outdoor living room and kitchen, a bar and a wood-burning pizza oven. The space has become a second mini home that the owners use daily.”
More: For more information on Micah Dennis and examples of his work, visit Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design’s Houzz profile.
This story was written by the Houzz Sponsored Content team.