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Featured in D Home’s Definitive Guide to Decorating Every Room in the House

When the weather is right, there’s nothing like relaxing in your own outdoor oasis. A lush home garden is the perfect place for a springtime stroll, a backyard pool beckons on sunny summer days, and a covered patio is an ideal spot for a glass of wine in front of the fireplace once temperatures start to drop. We especially love design that blurs the lines between indoor and outdoor living. Integrating the two areas offers the best of both worlds and makes both spaces feel more expansive. Plus, it’s never a bad idea to reconnect with nature.

Lush Lawns

We love the look of a verdant expanse that transforms your home into your own private corner of the world. We already know that plants are good for your health—so take a deep breath and enjoy the greenery around you.

Nathan Schroder
Timothy Kolk
LEFT Landscape architect David Rolston played with sight lines in his personal garden to create an oasis.
RIGHT Architect David Webster George built his Bluffview home in 1960, including a small man-made creek to divert rainwater away from the house.

Reflect your Style With a Cool Pool

Is there a single more essential home accessory in Dallas come June, July, and August than a pool? A functional necessity in the sweltering days of summer, a pool is also an opportunity to make a style statement. With options for shapes, surrounds, materials, and more, you’ll want yours to echo the aesthetics of your home, be it modern and minimal, fun and playful, or lavish and lush.

Timothy Kolk
Timothy Kolk
Stephen Karlisch

Clockwise from top left:

  1. Scott Merrill, the architect behind Florida’s Seaside community, applied his knowledge of beautiful water features to this pool in Highland Park. Why it works: Unlike many backyard areas that may clash with the main house, this one blends in perfectly. Jan/Feb 2006
  2. Josh Needleman of Peacock Alley added this pool when he and his wife remodeled their 1966 Glen Allen Galaway home, with help from landscape architect Mike Munsterman. Why it works: The new addition stays true to its midcentury roots, with room to play. Mar/Apr 2013
  3. The backyard of this 1920s Hal Thompson home was fully excavated, and nearly 3,500 square feet of “tiered living area” were added beneath the pool. Why it works: The pool’s shape maintains the elegance of the loggia that surrounds it. May/Jun 2008
  4. Architect Lionel Morrison created this modernist house for the honorary consul to Spain, Janet Kafka, and her husband. Why it works: The Spanish influence is subtle but well-executed in the stucco walls. May/Jun 2008

Where to shop for pool projects:

Bonick Landscaping
David Rolston Landscape Architects
Mesa Design Group

Don’t Fence Yourself In

Use your outdoor space to the maximum for the utmost fun. Seating areas don’t have to be square—get creative with swings, hammocks, or cozy, fireside seating. We love the look whether in the front yard or back.

Lou Lambert’s Fort Worth abode is built into the Trinity River hillside, allowing an expanse of space.

Why it works: The tree swings (from Florida) allow guests to enjoy the view outside the studio space.

Nov/Dec 2018

There may be a white picket fence, but Regan Carlile’s University Park home is anything but traditional, down to the painted-black exterior.

Why it works: The bold color choice adds edge to the Cape Cod, complete with a front sitting area.

Jan/Feb 2018

Where to shop for outdoor furniture:

David Sutherland
Janus et Cie
Stori Modern

Blur the Lines Between Indoors and Out

When we poll builders about what requests they’re getting from their clients, indoor/outdoor living is consistently one of the most asked-for items. (Credit an influx of California residents who are used to more moderate climate—and maybe less mosquitos—for this trend.) And though it’s not always realistic to throw open the doors and let the outside in (hello, August heat), we love the idea of transitional spaces that make your outdoor areas more comfortably livable and, on the other hand, bringing the best of the outside in.

Take the indoors out:

For fully integrated living, create transitional spaces that allow you to enjoy every season.

Tracy Hardenburg created this perfect living room on the patio to complement landscape architecture by Harold Leidner Landscape.
Why it works:This cozy outdoor living space is as comfy as its indoor counterparts. Jan/Feb 2018
Cody Ulrich

Bring the outdoors in:

Enjoy Mother Nature in whole new ways with rooms that allow fresh air to flow through.

Pär Bengtsson
Nathan Schroder
LEFT Landscape architect David Rolston played with sight lines in his personal garden to create an oasis.
RIGHT Architect David Webster George built his Bluffview home in 1960, including a small man-made creek to divert rainwater away from the house.

Worldly Influence

Travel the world in your own backyard with elements from around the globe. Whether you incorporate small pieces like Moroccan-inspired lanterns or go big by building an Italianate loggia, the possibilities are limitless.

Cristina Lynch honors her Mexican heritage throughout her home, designed by Dan Nelson—especially on the veranda, which houses traditional equipale-style chairs and tables.
Why it works: The barrel-shaped chairs provide comfort as well as a conversation piece. Jul/Aug 2011
Manny Rodriguez

Create a Space You Love With These Core Elements

Heather and Ray Balestri’s formal garden, featuring a sculpture by Lin Emery, is visible from the pool area, thanks to landscape designers Lee Roth and Glenn Bonick.
Why it works: The area evokes peace and calm while still allowing for play. Sept/Oct 2012
Stephen Karlisch
  1. Design with symmetry in mind.
  2. Build your own secret garden with a walled exterior.
  3. Get cozy with a plush lounge area.
  4. Make green grass grow all around, all around.
  5. Add height with bushes for extra privacy.
  6. Consider installing a sculpture for visual interest.


Photography by

  • Nathan Schroder
  • Timothy Kolk
  • Stephen Karlisch
  • Aimee Herring
  • Manny Rodriguez
  • Pär Bengtsson
  • Cody Ulrich

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