Have you ever looked at your small backyard and thought, "There's just not enough space for anything"? Well, think again! In this backyard transformation project, we helped our client turn their tiny yard into a cozy oasis where they could work from home and unwind after a long day. With a combination of strategic planning, clever design choices, and a lot of hard work, we created a beautiful outdoor space that proved size doesn't matter when it comes to backyard dreams. So, let's dive into the step-by-step process of this remarkable transformation!
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.
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.
There's not much that hasn't changed about this backyard! When the wetland buffer was moved the possibilities opened up, and we've made quite the transformation at this home in the Cypress Creek neighborhood of Smithfield.
First up is the Forno Bravo pizza oven, which required some interesting modifications to keep the inside as hot as possible and insulated well.
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...
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'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.
We covered some of these details in Part 1, but this is a project that we have been involved with for much longer than we anticipated! Long story short, when the wetland buffer behind the Cypress Creek neighborhood in Smithfield got moved, the possibilities opened up for these clients, and we all got right to planning what we would add to a beautiful backyard pool.
One big change we started with was the actual pave color. Instead of having to apply new stain themselves, we suggested these homeowners opt for a new, chocolate border around the pool to make the space pop. At the same time, though, we needed to make sure Phase 1 and 2 were cohesive. Nobody wants to look at a backyard and see exactly where one project ended and another one began! Plus, there was one more key element to add...
You can't beat a view like one right on the water in Seaford (a little town near Poquoson, Virginia)! While the second-story deck was already in place, we wanted to create a special oasis on the ground floor for an extra flair and a shaded view of this little York River inlet.
One of our problems: how do you add to the perfect water view with a boat dock? Well, it's a problem we love solving...
Sure, this Virginia Beach home already featured a beautiful pool as the highlight of the backyard, but somehow it needed a little more...and, as always, we had a few ideas 😏 The challenge for this space was to combine a concrete pool with pavers in a natural looking way, and add a little privacy in the meantime.
The elements we added - a seating wall for coziness, shade panels, some landscaping featuring ligustrum, and color-changing lights - all achieved this goal, but what we're REALLY here to talk about is the brand new outdoor kitchen.
An outdoor kitchen can include tons of features, from a gas grill to stunning granite countertops to an ice maker built right into the design. Truly, the options are endless! For this project in the beautiful Hilton Village area of Newport News, we brainstormed with the homeowners to make sure we weren't missing anything, and in the process came up with two nice additions:
1) HD TV installed directly underneath the countertop so the homeowners and their guests can watch any station comfortably from their patio chairs.
2) Open-flame gas burner that lights easily, has multiple safety features to prevent any accidents, and adds some fire to any party.
They love the results and if we're honest, we are a little obsessed ourselves. Check out the finished product and leave a comment letting us know what YOU would add to an outdoor kitchen if you could. Dream big - the sky is the limit!
It wasn’t that long ago COVID happened. It was a bit rough. Travel was almost completely nixed. Consequently 2020 was coined The Year of the Home. Boy was it! As we entered 2021, the trend continued. We were asked many times to use the vacation budget to create a place where experiences, conversations, and life could happen steps from the living room. We happily accepted the challenge. We are honored to change the landscape around Hampton Roads, consequently changing the way our clients live outdoors.
Watch the video below to see some of our favorites, then click here for a brief review of our top 10 projects and take the opportunity to vote for YOUR favorite!
Years ago we added outdoor landscaping and a fountain to this beautiful backyard in Yorktown. This year, we came back to add an outdoor kitchen complete with under-counter storage, side-burners, and a built-in Napoleon Prestige grill. We also included WiFi enabled low-voltage lighting to make sure you can get around it during the evening.
If it wasn't already a welcoming space, this small kitchen addition is going to make the ambiance even better. It's a usable space even in inclement weather, and we can't think of a more perfect way to welcome fall.
What would you want in an outdoor kitchen? Comment and let us know!
We started with a mess and ended with a pool! Originally, we installed everything from a patio to a hot tub in this Toano backyard, but it was time for a pretty big upgrade. Of course, we had to tie the new pool in with the existing hardscape, and the result is an absolutely incredible outdoor space.
Now, the yard features:
We already worked on this space near Lee Hall in Newport News last year, but then our client wanted something more. Originally, we put in...
...but if that wasn't enough, we are now adding a putting green to her backyard! Watch the video to see how we're maintaining proper drainage, installing color-changing lights for nighttime fun, different holes with different levels of difficulty, and more. We're thrilled to add a mini-golf course to her backyard...have you ever thought of doing something like that?!
At the end, you'll get a sneak peek of the finished project, along with some fun before-and-after shots.
Who knew what 2020 would bring?! It ended up being The Year of Home. I mused that since no one would be traveling to Paris or Venice this year, maybe people would put their vacation budget into their home, landscape, and outdoor spaces. While I may have meant that as a joke, it wasn't far from the truth, as few of our clients have told us.
Despite the challenges of finding supplies, manufacturers being shut down, wood prices skyrocketing, and material shortages, we had a lot of fun this year. We live to create. We enjoy the end result. We love seeing our clients live in their new space. We take pride knowing we had something to do with the memories they'll create enjoying the great outdoors.
Here are the Easton Outdoors top 10 projects for 2020!
The short answer:
You're looking at $8,000 to $50,000, maybe more if you want a fancy pizza oven.
Basic grill islands with counter space are a straightforward addition to just about any patio or existing outdoor area, and the sky's the limit from there! Updates like a refrigerator, sink, underlights, bar area, or even a TV (getting excited here!) will take your space to the next level, and could very well add another zero to the price as well.
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!