Backyard Oasis in Yorktown

Materials: Boulders, pavers, wall block, gravel, fiberglass pool, PVC pergola, cedar lumber, gas burner, kitchen appliances, plants, mulch, river rock

Backyard Oasis In Yorktown, VA

We’re thrilled to walk you through this two-phase backyard oasis in Yorktown, Virginia. This family had big dreams for their backyard transformation. With a pool, two waterfalls, a huge pavilion and kitchen, and luxurious landscaping, their vision was spectacular. 


However, we also knew that doing it all at once could be disruptive and costly. We started with the masterplan. Once complete, we worked with out clients to develop a phase approach to minimize disruption. It was important to them not have to backtrack or undo any work as the plan unfolded over the years. 

We broke the project up into three phases. Here’s how we did it:

Phase One focused on immediate enjoyment. We installed a pool, patio, first waterfall, landscaping, walkways and more so they could start relaxing right away!

Phase Two was hangout central! We partnered with Chad Bertrand of Bertrand Homes to build the custom pavilion with a full bathroom to include a shower. We then tied everything together with the pergola entryway, second waterfall, fire pit and fully equipped outdoor kitchen. 

Our final phase, which has not yet started yet, will be the front yard. We will install a circular driveway with a fountain, lots of landscaping, and also fill in the front culvert for a level lawn.

Our phased approach let this family enjoy their yard all summer long between phases. And when Phase Two was complete, they had the backyard oasis of their dreams – a stunning, luxurious outdoor living space perfect for entertainment.

Now, let’s take a look at the details!

Can't wait to see the final result?

This backyard oasis in Yorktown had several unique aspects:

But it all started so ordinary!

That’s a lot to fit in one backyard! But if you were to walk through this space, you wouldn’t feel overwhelmed. It wouldn’t feel like there’s too much going on, and that’s because we were very intentional with the design, layout, and overall vibe of the space. From the moment you walk through the back gate, you’re taken on a journey through this nature-inspired backyard, and you’re able to see how each small detail fits perfectly with the rest of the space.
Let’s walk through how we brought all of these many details together!

Pergola Entryway

We didn’t want this space to be just a backyard – we wanted it to be an experience. We installed a 6-foot tall gate across the walkway that leads into the backyard. The purpose of that tall gate is actually to hide the space from view until you enter inside. This provides a sense of privacy, but it also makes the backyard feel special and tucked away, like a hidden oasis.
The first thing you’ll notice once you walk through the gate is a 14-foot long pergola over the walkway. Once again, the purpose of this pergola is to constrict the view a bit. You don’t immediately see the entire backyard, but you start to get a glimpse of the pool, the trees, and straight ahead you see the flowing waterfall. Once you reach the end of the pergola, the whole space just opens up right before your eyes.

Patio and Poolside Lounging

Once you step out from beneath the pergola, the first space you enter is the patio and lounge area. We kept the main patio clean and simple by installing Techo Bloc Blu 60 pavers with a Villagio border. Because this backyard has so many different features, we wanted to keep the material and design of the pavers pretty simple so they didn’t distract from the rest of the space.
Along the side of the patio we added some screening and landscaping. We planted some arborvitae along the fence which will get to be about 15 feet tall, adding even more privacy to the backyard. Then we added some panels which will be lit up at night, creating a really cozy spot in this big yard.

Backyard Waterfalls and Landscaping

Above the pool is the first water feature, a 38-foot long, 4.5-foot tall waterfall. This is a massive backyard waterfall that truly looks like something you’d find in nature. You can hear the water rushing down and it provides a magnificent view. It’s like you’ve been transported right to the mountains, and you’re standing by a flowing stream. Our goal with this water feature was to create an incredibly serene experience.

The sound fills the whole yard.

A few of the trees that you can see in the landscaping around this large waterfall were already here in the yard, laid out in different areas. We were able to re-plant the Weeping Cherry and the Japanese Maple and incorporate them into this beautiful water feature.
The second water feature we incorporated lies on the other side of the yard. When you’re standing on the patio, you’ll notice that the pavers change as we laid out a path leading to the next space in this backyard oasis. The shape and design of this path is supposed to really bring you on a journey through the yard, guiding you from one destination to the next. For this walkway we used the Techo Bloc Villagio pavers, and we created this curve that really just pulls you along.
You can see we kind of have different displays of perennials along the path. We’ve got some hydrangeas, heleborus, pyracantha, and holly, just to name a few! We also added more privacy screening to this side of the yard, helping the space to feel cozy and warm.
One of my favorite things about this whole space is actually this little hidden waterfall that you don’t know about until you round the corner. We added this waterfall to bring more of that relaxing sound of water to this side of the yard, and of course to enjoy the view. We also added some large rocks around the landscaping, and we cut some of them right into the edge of the path, creating a very natural and mountain-inspired view!​
Another reason for adding this second waterfall was to break up the space and create another centerpiece that we had to walk around. These homeowners didn’t want to have any grass back here, but we also didn’t want to just install a sea of pavers and concrete. The waterfall and landscaping provide depth and movement to the space.

We used cedar panels to create privacy between neighbors.

Phase one completed, mostly!

Cozy Seating Area

Positioned right next to the little hidden waterfall is a circular inlay with a seating wall. This is the perfect spot to walk out to in the morning and drink a cup of coffee. It’s a unique little area that almost feels tucked away, and you’re able to see and hear the waterfalls all around you!

Raised Fire Pit

If you leave the seating area and continue to follow the path, you’ll see a gorgeous fire pit. To make this fire pit feel like its own unique destination, we decided to raise the elevation just slightly so that you have to step up and into the space. ​
This was very intentional because I love to create a sense of distinction in each of these areas of the yard. Around the fire pit we have a seating wall, along with room for some chairs so that everyone can gather together and enjoy the warmth of the fire, while also sitting right next to the large, rushing waterfall.

Large Outdoor Kitchen

As if all of that weren’t enough, we also built an epic outdoor kitchen! This kitchen has just about everything you could ever want or need, I honestly don’t know why you would even cook inside if this was sitting in your backyard!
The very first thing that you’ll notice is the gorgeous bar top. The homeowners actually had the material imported because they had a really specific look that they wanted, and the grain and textures running throughout are just beautiful. There’s room for seating and hanging out all the way around the outside of the bar, but once you come to the other side, you’ve entered the workspace…
The homeowner really wanted the prep and cooking area to feel a bit separate, and he wanted to keep people from walking in and out, so we intentionally kept the space a little tight between the bar and the cooking area. That way everyone can still gather around and line up down the outside of the bar, but the grill master has all the space he needs!
Now, let’s talk about appliances. First we have a really cool Hestan grill built into the countertop with a large side burner for sautéing right next to it. Underneath there are several cabinets for storage, as well as some nice soft-close drawers. We also installed a little hands-free trash can right into the bar so you can just pop it open with your foot.
As you come to the corner of this cooking area you’ll see a Bellagio Pizza Oven with wood storage underneath. To the right of the pizza oven is an EVO griddle, a sink with storage underneath, and a RecTeq smoker. I personally love the RecTeq smokers – they are an awesome addition to any outdoor kitchen. If you want to find out more about how I use it in my own backyard kitchen, check out these videos here!
The last appliance at the very end of the counter is actually a large pot boiler. To make this as easy to use as possible we created a small step down in the counter top. This way if you’ve got a massive pot with boiling water you’re not having to get all the way up on your tip toes, or risk burning your arm trying to stir what’s inside! It’s just another small detail that makes this space as usable and enjoyable as possible.​
Of course we can’t forget to mention the pavilion around the kitchen, built by Chad Bertrand from Bertrand Homes of VA. Not only did they create a beautiful pavilion for this backyard kitchen installation, but we also added a full bath and shower behind the pavilion. This is the perfect addition to any outdoor space because it keeps people from tracking dirt and debris into the house!

Nighttime walkthrough, here's what over a 100 lights looks like.

Final Thoughts

This space has a lot of different elements, from the pergola entrance to the pool, the surround sound waterfalls to the special seating area, and of course the fire pit and kitchen. This backyard oasis truly has it all, and every single piece of it was designed with a purpose. We can’t wait to share the final piece of this transformation.  Our goal is to create a space that feels unique to each family, and encourages people to get outside and enjoy their own backyards.

Check out the video for a more in depth look at how we created this backyard oasis!