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Home & Garden

Sit Back and Relax in This ‘Pretty in Pink’ Backyard

Architectural designer Patrick Craine takes a page out of his own design book to create a backyard space for his Oak Cliff home—a previous Most Charming winner—that’s just as appealing as the front.
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Patrick Craine's Backyard Pink Swimming Pool
Elizabeth Lavin

For Patrick and Cindy Craine, a backyard built for swimming and storage was nonnegotiable. While they fell in love with their Tudor-style abode and the potential to make it their own—something they couldn’t do in their previous Manhattan apartment—the backyard left more to be desired. “We had plans drawn up for the pool before we did the house,” says Patrick, who is the principal at Practice, An Architectural Office. The overhaul has been a labor of love. The shipping-container-turned-backhouse arose out of necessity for the family of cycling  enthusiasts, who lacked space to store bikes. “Cindy threatened to go to Home Depot and get a storage shed,” Patrick laughs. The pink steel panels on the backhouse were a means to an end as Patrick realized he needed a way to keep smoke from the countertop grills from staining the shipping container’s stucco facade. But for this creative, finding a solution through a design lens was a fun challenge. “This is what I love about design in general,” he says. “We make mistakes or omissions all the time. Resolving those tensions allows for more opportunities in design iteration.”

Great Outdoors

Homeowner and architectural designer Patrick Craine dishes on his design choices.

Ship Shape

Unsatisfied with Cindy’s “design nightmare” of a storage option, Patrick decided on a quick solution and ordered a shipping container. He had the container cut and glass doors put in, as well as the outside stuccoed and painted, to bring the design of the home and outdoor space together.

Think Pink

For Patrick, a touch of pink has become a professional signature. His obsession goes back to his post-grad portfolio, which he did in the bright rosy shade. “I stick some sort of pink in every project,” he says. “Even if I have to put it in the back of the cabinet, we’re gonna put it somewhere.” For his own home, it was no different. Patrick searched for a unique material to encase the pool and found the retro, ’50s-inspired pink tile from a company out of Japan.

Growth Potential

Because of an abundance of ground water, planting in the backyard has been nothing short of a learning experience. Patrick has experimented with different plants but ultimately decided to incorporate stone detailing instead of grass and opted for Mexican plum trees instead of Texas redbuds.

Bigger Isn’t Better

Because of the smaller size of the Craines’ pool and spa, heating takes only a few hours, enabling the family to take advantage of the backyard feature year-round. 

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Lydia Brooks

Lydia Brooks

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