Large back yard is of course relative. But 1730 sq foot patio design is quite impressive.
This was a fun project in part due to the pool removal, all of the existing landscape will be removed and prepped by a large excavator. That leaves me with a flat open surface and very little restrictions.
One restriction was the main body of the patio required something other than an open space. I found the grill/counter/bar design to really add to this project. I took some explaining but the more the owners thought about it the more they liked the idea. They had considered designing a fire place worked into the current chimney with seating around that as the focal point. The problem with this was the view. Their backs would always be away from the nice open view!
They do have a kitchen and serving area inside the slider door near the bar/grill, so this removes the need for a sink and plumbing, but lets face it, grilling is much more entertaining and social than cooking on a stove indoors.
The curved retaining wall serves as overflow seating. This is a must for designs that accommodate entertaining. You can comfortably entertain 4-6 people and not feel like you are drowning in the space, but at the same time one can easily fit up to 50 people milling about indoors and out with added furniture and the existing seating options.
One missing part to the existing design was a lawn yard to use. With the pool, everything was gated in and surrounded with landscape and hardly a lawn to see or use. By removing the pool, we can bring in some additional top soil and seed a fairly nice size low grade area usable for many lawn games. The yards, when the neighbors wide open spaces are included, can even accommodate chipping some golf balls or tossing a Frisbee.
Finally, the fire pit is a gas fed design. After all, who wants to have to shower off that smoky smell every time you sit by the fire? Using the retaining wall as a seating area just made sense. And the placement gave us a nice area to landscape to break up the flow and separate the fire pit from the main patio area.
This plan, if approved, will be installed in 2014.