Landscaping + Outdoor Living Case Study The owner of an unremarkable tract home in Alexandria had an ambitious wish list for his triangular, quarter-acre lot—including a 50-foot-long lap pool, a separate spa for year-round use, an outdoor shower structure, a fire pit patio, a deck, a screened porch, a grilling station and abundant plantings. He hired Brian Hahn of Botanical Decorators to tackle the project, which was made more challenging by a steeply sloped backyard and problematic easements.
Hahn designed a 50-by-10-foot pool, citing it at a 45-degree angle from the house to meet the easement requirements. The angled pool helped orient views away from the rear neighbor’s house and toward an adjacent park; it also made the yard feel bigger and added visual interest to the landscape. “Everything then followed the angle, including the screened porch and the roof deck above it,” explains Hahn. In addition, he created a large, triangular bed between the house and hardscape where lush plantings now soften the home’s faux brick foundation.
Hahn designed terraced outdoor rooms to accommodate the sloped yard, delineating each with plantings. The grilling station, outside the screened porch, features a built-in grill, five-foot countertop, and fridge. The adjoining fire pit patio is made of Pennsylvania flagstone and mini cobbles.
Near the pool, an attractive shower enclosure is made of weather-resistant cellular PVC composite painted to look like wood. The spa nestles in a private spot beside it; a dedicated operating system makes it functional year-round, even when the pool is closed. The travertine pool surround keeps the surface cool underfoot, while cedar fieldstone retaining walls add visual warmth throughout.
Landscape Architecture: Brian Hahn, Botanical Decorators, Olney, Maryland.
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