A built-in grill and dining terrace flank the screened pavilion by Studio Z.
A fountain surrounded by liriope and crossvine brings the sound of falling water into the landscape.
Room & Board lounge chairs overlook a sweeping lawn.
Concrete bowls overflow into the pool.

Outdoor Oasis

Rolling Acres transforms a barren yard into a modern refuge

As they were embarking on the renovation of a Chevy Chase home, Studio Z Design Concepts tapped Rolling Acres to collaborate on the project, which included a pool, pavilion and outdoor living spaces. The firms worked to transform a barren backyard into a clean-lined, modern oasis for entertaining.

The half-acre site sloped dramatically, which made realizing the clients’ wish list a challenge. Rolling Acres’ Mark Voelkel tackled the slope by designing a series of retaining walls, stairs and planters that descend from the entry/garage to a dining-and-pool pavilion level, a pool terrace and finally an expansive lawn. A six-foot-tall retaining wall at the property line helps to level the landscape.

The clients wanted to hear the sound of falling water in their garden, so the designer created a green wall on the façade of the garage next to the entry gate. It features a stone fountain and a concrete bowl planted with petunias. Matching bowls, installed poolside, spill water into the pool. Interior designer Mike Johnson of Lori Graham Home helped select materials and furnishings in the pavilion and outdoor spaces, keeping the look sleek and modern.

Now that their backyard retreat is complete and planted with annuals and perennials offering color throughout the seasons, the clients could not be happier. Says Voelkel, “We’re all very pleased with the outcome.”

AWARD: Distinction, Outdoor Living Area (Design/Build). LANDSCAPE DESIGN: MARK VOELKEL, APLD, Rolling Acres Landscape/Nursery, Brinklow, Maryland. RENOVATION ARCHITECTURE: STUDIO Z DESIGN CONCEPTS, Bethesda, Maryland. INTERIOR DESIGN: MIKE JOHNSON, Lori Graham Design + Home, Washington, DC.