Introducing the Backyard Oasis Project
This week we are sharing an exciting new project that we have been working on - the creation of an incredible backyard oasis for a lovely family. The goal for this space was to design and build a relaxing, multifunctional outdoor area with three main hangout zones: a four-season porch, a cozy fire pit area with an outdoor kitchen, and a screened-in pergola.
I hope you're ready for a blast from the past because today we're taking on a yard that's stuck in the 80s and giving it a major upgrade. Now, I wasn't around in the 80s, but I can definitely relate to those memories of seeing our loved ones rockin' those bright purple and yellow windbreakers with geometric shapes. Ahh, the fashion choices of yesteryear!
But let's get back to the task at hand, because I'm thrilled to share the journey of this amazing transformation with you. So, let's dive in and break down the process step by step.
Today we’re taking you on a journey through a remarkable transformation in Newport News, Virginia. In this detailed account, we will walk you through the entire process, from the challenges we faced to the stunning features we incorporated. Prepare to be amazed as we unveil the captivating hardscape and water features that have turned this once mundane space into a backyard paradise for the whole family.
We’re taking a look at our top five favorite backyard transformations and sharing some of the coolest features from each design. We’ve got everything from a tropical paradise with a poolside waterfall, to a modern oasis with lots of clean lines and an epic plunge pool. Keep reading to find out more about our favorite backyard makeovers.
The centerpiece for this modern backyard transformation on the Southside in Virginia Beach was a pergola. Our clients wanted a space where they could get out and enjoy their yard all year long, so we did some research and decided to try a new brand of pergola that was beautiful, sleek, modern… and also MISSING for several months!
What if we told you that you don't have to leave your home in order to have the outdoor experience of your dreams? What if you could create that sense of adventure, natural beauty, and relaxation right in your own backyard?
That is exactly what we did for this space in York County, Virginia.
When we first stepped into this backyard in Hampton, there was nothing in the space. Before the transformation, the homeowners were never really out here. The yard was basically just the place where they came to walk their dogs, and that was it! There was nowhere to sit, nothing to do, and there since there wasn't a fence in place the dogs couldn’t even run around. Well, they decided it was time for a change!
Have you ever had that feeling that something was missing, but you just didn’t know what it was? That was definitely the case for this homeowner, Ray.
You see, we had already completed phase one of a backyard transformation for this homeowner. We started in his barebones backyard, I used my trusty can of spray paint, and we made a plan that we thought would bring all of Ray’s wishes and hopes for this space to life.
Back in 2018, my business was struggling a bit. I still needed to learn how to actually operate and run a business. Enter: The Contractor Fight. The funny thing about The Contractor Fight was that this group was made up largely of a bunch of pond builders, and suddenly I got to be a part of that world.
While we had already built a bunch of water features at that point, we definitely weren’t doing it at the same caliber as these people. I immediately loved the camaraderie that this group had, and the tribe that The Contractor Fight had built. I started getting introduced to different builders around the country, and ended up at Aquascapes Pondemonium event, where I met April (aka “Queen of the Lady Pond Builders”) from American Waterscapes.
This backyard was a blank canvas. As you can see from the before shots below, it was more or less nothing but dirt. While it wasn’t much to start with, the lack of pre-existing elements gave the homeowner freedom to dream up and create his ideal outdoor space with us, and that’s just what we did.
Supply chain delays are a dreaded part of our post-2020 world that continue to impact us today and while we try to finish projects as quickly as possible, sometimes the situation is out of our control. That was the case for this Yorktown home, but our main focus was to make the backyard one worth waiting for...and thankfully we were able to deliver!
Break out the tissues, because this is by far our most emotional video yet...
This couple was just like you and I - living their lives, trying to save money, and enjoying their marriage when an unexpected cancer diagnosis took them by complete surprise. They started to re-evaluate how they were spending their time and money, and realized that their outside space was creating stress instead of enjoyment. It's exactly the kind of transformation we love to take on.
What started as an afterthought or a luxury - a backyard they could love - became a high priority, and that's where we stepped in...
This homeowner was, quite simply, tired of staring at the same old giant plot of grass in his backyard day after day, month after month. He's in the same situation a lot of people find themselves currently: working from home full-time. While there are some awesome perks of working from the home office, there are some definite drawbacks. After all, who wants to get tired of being in their own house?
The good news is that we had a massive plot of land and a built-in beautiful water view at this space in Lanexa to create something spectacular. We began to hatch a plan...
When we started working on the outdoor set for the Hampton Roads Show at WAVY TV 10, we knew there were three critical elements: the fire pit, an outdoor kitchen, and of course some lighting and landscaping to complete the look. After talking with the producers, though, we decided to surprise them with one more addition...
Does the sloped yard and water run-off problems ruin our project?!
We faced some pretty big obstacles at this house in the heart of the Ford's Colony Williamsburg neighborhood, and we had to come up with answers. Here's what we did...
When the heavy rains come to Virginia, they can really wreak havoc on the backyard! Fortunately we had a lot of grading to do anyways, so all the extra mud will be cleaned out and we can leave everything back in its perfect condition.
This was a very complete project so it took some time to make everything not only look good but flow smoothly throughout the space, and we actually finished with a walkway leading to the backyard from the front of the house so there would be an easy way to get to the good stuff. And if you're wondering, there was a LOT of good stuff to get to...
We started out with our favorite kind of yard: one with absolutely NOTHING in it from the start! It's a blank slate for us, and we were excited to get to work.
The first thing we're adding is a pavilion, patio, and fire table with a burner in the center. Next to it will be a large circular seating area, and behind that is going to be one incredible hot tub covered with a pergola and curtains for a little privacy. On the other side we're installing a large outdoor kitchen, which is going to be pretty incredible for a few reasons...
We're so excited to start work at this brand new neighborhood in Newport News that's not even listed on Google Maps yet! Right now we're in the process of unloading material to begin construction on this backyard, which needs some work and a lot of additions to make it friendly for outdoor living! Luckily that's our specialty, so here's what we did...
We stepped into this Yorktown home with a backyard where we've already built a few extras, including a pergola, columns, and pavers. However, along with the good there was the not-so-good, including an old deck that had to be torn out and replaced with something much better. The deck fell apart when the grading itself fell back towards the house, causing water issues and damage beyond repair. Luckily, we got the call and stepped out to get it fixed and looking good again!
This is one of our shortest project recaps so far - but that doesn't take away from how cool this project is! We set about matching the homeowner's modern, contemporary style with a new backyard addition, and the results didn't disappoint.
Starting out with a Techo-Bloc 16x16 square, we added a black fire pit at the very center for an edgy look. A few additions came here and there, with a smokeless insert as well as - of course! - some lighting to accent the space.
This backyard may be simple, but as you can see it's anything but boring! Enjoy the finished work in our video and final photos of this cool space in Hampton below.
We've been waiting on this project for a long time, and it's finally ready for us to show off! When these homeowners first called us with their idea, we were excited, but house renovations - as they often do - went long on the timeline and the budget, so their back yard had to wait for awhile. Luckily, their beautiful view of the James River Bridge wasn't going anywhere, and we saw the potential of this incredible Hilton Village home from the first visit.
For obvious reasons, the homeowners wanted to maximize their sunset view while keeping the space kid-friendly, so we got to work with a few goals in mind.
As much as we love how our projects look, one often-overlooked component is that sound that a water feature can create in a backyard. Just close your eyes and listen to the sound of flowing water, then imagine what it would be like to hear that every time you open your back door. It's one big component of our desire to allow people to live life outdoors!
For this Williamsburg home, we were working to create two separate spaces for enjoyment. There was already a fire pit with a seating wall, but the flow of the yard wasn't quite right, and we had to add a water feature as well. Here's how we made the transformation.
Working with budgets is a big part of our project design, and we understand that projects have to fit within your means and budget, even if we have to get a little creative to make everything happen! This homeowner in Chesapeake set a budget of $15,000 and emphasized the need to stay at that number - so, along with creating a beautiful outdoor space for her, that was at the top of our minds!
Here's how it turned out.
You already saw part 1 of this project when we began to create a backyard paradise at this Williamsburg home, and now we're thrilled to show you the final results. This little slice of heaven is tucked away amidst already-beautiful landscaping, and our goal was to create a space where the homeowners could truly enjoy what was already growing right in their backyard.
The basic outline of the area was to add pavers with a stair landing, water feature, fire pit, and - of course - a small but beautiful water feature. The curved staircase leads down from the new landing straight to a grill, perfect for backyard cookouts. The fire pit, centered among the pavers, has some added features - a wood grain look and smokeless insert - that will make this space perfect for those outdoor summer evenings spent with friends.
And that's not all...
The beginning of a project often looks like a lot of demolition, but envisioning how the final project will look when it's done keeps us motivated to work hard! This little spot of paradise in Williamsburg already has beautiful landscaping throughout the backyard, so we wanted to add to what was already there by making the space even more welcoming.
About Easton Outdoors
We started out as the neighborhood lawn boys – a group of high school friends trying to make some pocket change. It soon became more. We realized how much we enjoyed landscaping. Over the years, we've transformed hundreds of properties, beautified countless landscapes, and made many homeowners proud. This has become our passion!