Home & Design

Backyard Wonder

A design team imparts a resort-like vibe to a woodsy McLean Home

Reimagining a secluded backyard as a private playground started with near-perfect terrain and clients who knew exactly what they wanted: a place to spend happy years together before three daughters leave the nest. 

“This project was done with a family focus,” explains landscape architect Joseph Richardson, who crafted a blueprint for the three-quarter-acre property. “There’s a certain informality to it, but what they have created is resort-like.” In the backyard, he plotted a 22-by-50-foot swimming pool; a board-formed concrete seat wall alongside it is lighted by a 50-foot-long LED strip. 

At one end of the pool, Michael Winn of Winn Design + Build conceived and constructed a 500-square-foot, post-and-beam pool house featuring a wet bar, lounging space with a gas fireplace, a changing room and an outdoor shower. “We felt the post-and-beam design gave the structure an airier feel,” says Winn. 

The clients placed RH furnishings around a Hart Concrete Design fire pit, which is sited near an outdoor kitchen and dining terrace. The pool deck of Techo-Bloc pavers edges a 7,500-square-foot lawn. Lavish perimeter plantings of Green Giant arborvitae, oakleaf hydrangea, sweetspire, holly, witch hazel, rhododendron and bottlebrush buckeye flourish amid more than 900 perennials, grasses,
ferns and bulbs.

“I love pretty pictures,” Richardson notes. “But at the end of the day, I am most gratified when someone tells me how their project has improved their lives."

Landscape Architecture: Joseph A. Richardson, PLA, ASLA, Richardson & Associates Landscape Architecture, Washington, DC. Architectural Design & Contractor: Michael Winn, Winn Design + Build, McLean, Virginia. Pool Construction: Jose Pimenta Construction Company, Rockville, Maryland. Landscape Installation: Black Pearl Management, Leesburg, Virginia.

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