Top 10 Projects of 2023

As we look back on the year that has passed, we’re thrilled to showcase the top ten projects that we have had the pleasure of working on. From stunning fire pits to tranquil koi ponds, these projects are a testament to the importance of creating beautiful, functional spaces in our homes and yards. We’ve had the privilege of working with passionate homeowners who share our love for transforming their spaces into something truly special, and we’re thrilled to share their projects with you. So sit back, grab your favorite beverage, and get ready to be inspired by the top ten projects of our year.

10. Creating an Epic Space for a Disabled Veteran

Each space we created was special in its own way, but number 10 really stole our hearts.

We had the privilege of building a completely ADA compliant space for a disabled veteran, in partnership with Belgard and Tunnels to Tower. But what truly made this project special was the fact that our entire local community came together to support this veteran. With their help, we were able to provide an epic space for free, so that the veteran didn’t have to spend a single cent.

We want to give a huge shoutout to the amazing teams who made this project possible – Wayne Harbin Builders, Mercury Mulch, Techniseal, Brilliance LED, Smith Turf & Irrigation, Bennett’ s Creek Nursery, Lawn Ventures, and Shawn Cameron Transport. We couldn’t have done it without them!

9. A Captivating Fire Pit Right Next to the Fairway!

Located just a few steps away from the first hole on a beautiful golf course, number 9 is a space that effortlessly blends beauty and function. We wanted to create a fire pit that would captivate your attention, and what better way to achieve that than through the use of multicolored hexagonal pavers? Their unconventional shape and vibrancy create a unique and striking look that beckons you to come closer and explore.

To further enhance this captivating design, we included a multidimensional wall in both light and dark gray shades that creates a subtle, yet impactful backdrop. While the fire pit area undoubtedly steals the show, we also wanted to ensure a cohesive design throughout the rest of the space. That’s why we chose large rectangular monochromatic pavers, creating a foundation that effortlessly ties everything together.

​Whether you’re sipping on a refreshing cocktail or enjoying a friendly game of golf, this space has something for everyone. It’s a place where community and connection come together, and we are incredibly proud to have played a part in bringing it to life.

8. An Outdoor Cigar Lounge for Ultimate Relaxation

Coming in at number 8, this project holds a special place in our hearts for its unique story and the joy it brings to those who experience it.

Originally built last year, we recently received a call back that it was time for phase two of this project. We eagerly got to work building an outdoor cigar lounge, a space carefully crafted to provide a haven for relaxation and connection. We designed a 14×16 foot pergola with a polycarbonate roof, ensuring protection from the elements while preserving the essence of being outdoors. To create a cozy ambiance, we installed two 240 volt heaters, offering warmth and comfort on cooler evenings.

We knew the true heart of this space lay in the details, and so we added an outdoor kitchen, complete with a fridge and a grill. To enhance the atmosphere further, we incorporated a delightful water feature, its gentle sounds creating a soothing soundtrack for relaxation. And as day turns to night, outdoor lights gracefully illuminate the space, casting a warm glow that invites you to unwind and escape the stresses of the world.

​We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to bring this project to life, and we extend our heartfelt appreciation to our wonderful clients for entrusting us with their vision. It has been an honor to work alongside them in shaping this beautiful space that brings happiness to all who enter.

7. A Spectacular Koi Pond for Swimming

Coming in at number 7, this project truly encapsulates our passion for reconnecting with nature and creating spaces that inspire and uplift.

When our client approached us, he had a heartfelt desire to draw his kids outside and create opportunities for them to interact with nature. We took this mission to heart and set out to exceed his expectations.

Imagine diving into a serene 6-foot-deep koi pond, surrounded by the beauty of nature. The main body of water spans an impressive 20 x 35 feet, providing ample space to swim and explore. We carefully incorporated natural boulders, seamlessly blending them with a tumbled hardscape block.

We designed the space with meticulous attention to detail, incorporating large boulders that invite little ones to climb, explore, and embark on imaginative adventures. And let’s not forget the tanning ledge—a perfect spot for sun-kissed relaxation.

We are deeply humbled by the opportunity to collaborate with our client-turned-friend on this remarkable endeavor. Their vision, coupled with our expertise, has resulted in a space that not only fulfills their dreams but also enriches the lives of those who encounter it.

6. Transforming n Old Deck into a Playful Oasis

Coming in at number 6, this project began with those familiar words, “We need to get rid of this old deck!” 

Before we knew it, this family had a stunning swimming pool, a brand new driveway, beautifully crafted pavers, a charming pergola, and even a cozy fire pit. It was a labor of love that surpassed all expectations.

​But what makes this project truly remarkable is how we managed to keep the footprint small. With a household filled with energetic children and playful dogs, it was crucial to create a space where they could still run and have room to play. We knew the importance of striking the perfect balance between functionality and beauty.

​After countless design iterations and collaborative discussions, we landed on the ideal blend—a space that caters to their active lifestyle while retaining the beauty of an inviting lawn. It may not be large enough for a spirited Arsenal match, but it is more than enough for these kids to score a goal and create lasting memories.

5. A Work From Home Paradise

At number 5, we have a backyard design that may look familiar to many of you in the Newport News community. This project holds a special place in our hearts, not just because of its stunning beauty but also for the meaningful way it has touched our client’s life.

Our client approached us with a desire to be able to telework from her backyard, without feeling exposed to the prying eyes of her neighbors. We knew that we had to create a space that was not only beautiful but also functional and private. And that’s precisely what we did.

​We designed a 14 x 16 foot pergola, thoughtfully covered with a polycarbonate roof to provide adequate shade and comfort. But that was only the beginning—our team also incorporated an outdoor kitchen with a burner and a grill, a magnificent water feature that would create a sense of relaxation, and breathtaking landscaping that would mature and give our client the privacy she desires.

4. A Mountain Retreat in the Backyard

Coming in at number 4, this project holds a special place in our hearts, not just for what it was, but for the incredible individual we had the honor of building it for.

Our client, a koi pond fanatic, wanted something different—a water feature that would transport him back to the mountain home he fondly remembers. With that vision in mind, we set out to create a space that would awaken his senses and bring him closer to the tranquility of a cabin nestled by a babbling brook.

​Tucked into the back corner and perfectly aligned with the back porch, this water feature took on a life of its own. It completely enveloped the back of this home, inviting you to sit and marvel at its beauty. The sound of gently cascading water, the beautiful view of the surrounding greenery—it all came together seamlessly, creating an oasis that truly feels like a mountain retreat.

3. Bringing a Southern-California Vibe to Virginia

Coming in at number 3, this particular project holds a unique charm and simplicity that has captured our admiration.

When we were asked to create a southern-California vibe backyard—a layout not commonly seen here in Virginia—we knew we had the opportunity to bring something truly exceptional to life.

By carefully designing two separate areas—a 13 x 13-foot square and a 13 x 19-foot rectangle—we were able to achieve that breezy, laid-back ambiance reminiscent of the West Coast. We deliberately ensured that these two spaces were not perfectly aligned with each other—creating a sense of effortless asymmetry, a touch of whimsy that adds to the overall charm.

To tie it all together seamlessly, we added stepping stone connectors, leading you from one space to the other. The landscape, crisp and vibrant, paints a picture of tranquility, guiding you through this backyard oasis. And when the sun sets, the magic truly begins as landscape lighting illuminates the pathway and accentuates the beauty of the space.

​We couldn’t help but wonder if this design would be “beach boys approved.” But even if it’s not, what truly matters is that our clients are beyond thrilled with the transformation! 

2. Overcoming Challenges for a Breathtaking Backyard

At number 2, we bring you a project that not only captivated us with its sheer beauty but also posed incredible challenges that tested our skills and determination.

From the onset, we were faced with the daunting task of navigating ridiculously tight access to this backyard, which meant carefully orchestrating the movement of our materials and equipment. But we were determined to bring this vision to life.

To get the 22,000 pound pool shell into the backyard, we had to strategically coordinate the moving of a shed and maneuver a semi truck through a narrow side yard. To say I was nervous about this part of the project would be an understatement. (😅)

​But the efforts were richly rewarded as the final result surpassed our wildest expectations. A breathtaking water feature, unlike anything you’ve ever seen, gracefully weaves its way through the entire space, centering on a magnificent heated and cooled plunge pool. Complete in every way, this backyard leaves nothing to be desired. And the grand finale? This incredible space is perfectly positioned to allow you to witness the breathtaking spectacle of the sunset over the James River.

1. Thoughtful Design and Community Support

At just 11 feet wide at the entrance, expanding to 14 feet at the back, this design defies expectations, enchanting all who enter with a sense of endless possibilities. It’s a remarkable testament to the power of thoughtful design and creativity, making this space feel bigger on the inside.

But the true beauty lies within the purpose behind this creation. Every element, every detail was passionately crafted to ensure the lowest possible maintenance, allowing the dedicated staff of a deserving non-profit to truly enjoy this space. From the simplicity of the landscaping to the permeable pavers that harmonize with nature, from the warm lighting to the granite work table that encourages creativity and collaboration, and not forgetting the serene fountain, every aspect was carefully selected to enrich the lives of those who tirelessly serve our community.

Yet, as exceptional as this space is, it is the heart of our community that truly makes it shine. We couldn’t have completed this project without the support of Yorktown Materials, Shawn Cameron Transport, and Mercury Mulch, who selflessly donated their time and materials to bless this local non-profit.

Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to each and every one of you who have joined us on this incredible journey. Wishing you all a Happy and Awesome New Year!