How to Add Personality to Your New Backyard

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!

We threw around several different ideas. Initially they thought they wanted a plunge pool, but once we started pursuing that course of action they realized it wasn’t actually the best fit for them. While they couldn’t put their finger on exactly what they wanted, they knew how they wanted the space to feel. 
They were looking for something special, something unique…and this is so important when we’re creating these outdoor spaces. We aren’t here to convince our clients to pick the most popular features or to follow the latest trends, we want to help them create a space that truly feels unique to them! So they brought us all of their ideas for the space, and we used our knowledge and experience to bring their dream backyard to life. 

These homeowners have a lot of personality, and we wanted to make sure that we created a place that reflected that. We wanted their friends to come over, walk into the space and say, “this is so you.” So, how do we create something that is really unique? How do we give them something with some personality?​

We started by exploring some materials that are different from what we typically use. When it comes to pavers, Techo Bloc offers a ton of options to choose from and we knew we wanted to do something unique with the pavers to create a really cool vibe in their yard. We decided to feature two unique elements from Techo Bloc to accomplish this.

First, we came up with a plan to incorporate the Techo Bloc Graphix wall in various places throughout the yard. This wall has some really unique aspects that make it an awesome fit for this sleek, kind of edgy backyard space. The pieces of slate in the wall vary in size and depth, creating an ultra-modern look. There is also a mixture of smooth and chiseled textures on the wall which creates a sense of movement and visual interest. Because this material so perfectly embodied the vibe that the homeowners wanted in their yard, we incorporated it in four distinct places throughout the space:

      1. The Landing Wall
      2. The Seating Wall
      3. The Fire Pit
      4. The Water Feature Platform

When these homeowners first step out their back door, they walk onto the landing where we used the Techo Bloc Blu60 smooth paver. This paver is sleek and simple, and we used it throughout the landing and across the main portion of the patio. Then we created some contrast with the landing wall, the first place where we use the Techo Bloc Graphix material. We added some lights to the landing so that at night time, when it’s all lit up, it creates a really cool shadowing effect thanks to the varying depths in the wall. 

Right next to the landing, we installed a traditional above-grade hot tub. Originally they talked about having the hot tub further out in the yard, but eventually we all agreed that no one wants to scurry from the hot tub all the way across the yard to get inside, especially when it’s cold out…the shorter the distance, the better!

The next place that we incorporated the Graphix wall was in and around the fire pit. The Graphix wall made up the base of this sleek rectangular fire pit, and we added a wall along the fence for additional seating and more visual interest. A fire pit is one of my favorite things to add to an outdoor space because it has a way of bringing people together. It creates a space for people to gather around and just relax and enjoy the outdoors. 

Another element that always increases the ‘relaxation effect’ is a water feature. I mean really, is there anything more relaxing than that sound of water?! We don’t think so. We added a stacked slate sphere from Aquascape, and we elevated it just a little bit out of the grade to make it pop and add that sound of water missing from the space. We once again used the Techo Bloc Graphix wall to build the elevation for the water feature and tie in that sleek, modern look.

The second unique element that we used was the Techo Bloc Squadra  paver in Onyx Black. The Squadra is a small 3×3 square cobblestone paver, and we knew it would be the perfect choice for what we installed next. Flowing from one end of the space to the other, we created what we coined the black river. Starting at the water feature, we used the black Squadra pavers to create an inlay that flowed away from the water feature, all the way out to the entrance of the space.

​Truth be told, figuring out the perfect layout for this “river” was painstaking. We needed to get it just right! The idea was for it to replicate a real river that widens out and then chokes back down, has movement, and just kind of tells a story. We wanted this river to tell a story about their outdoor space as you walk through it.

All of the effort was definitely worth it, and the black river ended up being one of their favorite design elements of the new space! 

Construction is a messy and destructive process, and most of the time people only see the finish, they don’t see everything that had to happen in order to get there. That’s why we find it so important to build a relationship with our clients: when you have a contractor that you can trust, the mess isn’t quite as scary! Starting with the sales process and continuing all the way through construction, we prioritize getting to know homeowners so that we can create a space that best reflects their personality and lifestyle. 

At the end of the day, we want to give homeowners exactly what they need to relax, enjoy, and just get outside – right in their own backyards! ​

Check out our video on YouTube to see more behind the scenes of this unique backyard transformation: