When it comes to a chef’s dream working environment, most would think of a “state of the art” kitchen, and they would likely be right. With that in mind, owner Zach Koolen, along with his team at Cedarcroft Landscape & Design, have provided that dream, creating the outdoor version, and with so much more than the client could have ever imagined.
For this featured project, Zach pointed out that the first meeting between he and his client took place at the end of August 2016. The client came with the design work already completed, however both the client and Zach decided some changes would be required to ensure the project not only went as smooth as possible, but was exactly what the client wanted. “This client was great to work with because they really did know exactly what they wanted in their backyard transformation. I was able to work collaboratively with them, and I believe the end result is proof that the relationship worked well.”
And boy, did it ever!
The client’s original backyard space was essentially a blank canvas, although they already had some decking, fencing, and grass. Wanting to match the beauty of their home, and create a dream escape where they could entertain family and friends, Cedarcroft and the client agreed on the final version of the plans in November 2016, and broke ground in late May 2017. With that, the transformation had begun.
Zach explains, “The first part of the project was really to pull back the grass, removing the soil, fencing, and anything else that was required. This is where the really important work is done, but perhaps not the most exciting for the client. The focus of this stage of the work is to get the grading right, ensure proper drainage and plumbing, dig foundation holes for any planned structures, and of course get the project ready for the pool.” The pool itself is divine, and installed of course, by New Wave Pools, Zach’s father’s company. The design itself looks like it came straight from a resort, with stairs that extend the length of the pool, and are wider and more comfortable than a standard pool entranceway. The lines of the pool layout are clean and streamlined, and interest is brought in by the inclusion of waterfall features that flow into the pool from a gorgeous natural stone wall. In a professional backyard design like this one, the pool remains a stunning element, but doesn’t impose on the other features this design called for. Of note, the pool’s water feature is finished at the top with a coping stone in a smooth antique black finish. Zach took this same coping finish and utilized it throughout the build, which ultimately connects each area into the overall design.
And what pool would be complete without the addition of a pool house as a changing space, storage, and of course a washroom, so wet feet don’t have to intrude into the home! Zach and his team designed and built this useful structure so the client could use it most of the year. “The pool house was designed with a great storage area for the pump, heater, and equipment, and the bathroom is a good size so that it can be used as a change room as well. We also installed baseboard heating so that the washroom space could be used in the winter months when the client uses their hot tub.” The hot tub is located just off of a new deck and stairway that Zach and his team had installed, with lighting added on the stairs to lead the way during nighttime use. That same deck and stairway lead you into the incredible dining / entertaining area, a space definitely fit for a King and his Queen!
Did someone say “outdoor shower”? Well the clients did, and Zach delivered. The shower is very private, and has a Scandinavian feel, which fits perfectly with the outdoor shower experience.
Now to the outdoor kitchen, which in a word, is simply incredible! Zach used the same smooth coping to finish the countertops, which was polished and sealed to “food grade” standards. “These homeowners are food lovers, and love to “play” in the kitchen, so we were lucky enough to be able to put in the best appliances so everything the homeowners would need would be right at their fingertips.” This amazing design also includes elements not seen in most outdoor kitchens. The pizza oven, the BBQ, and also a pantry, were all included and essential to making this outdoor kitchen project perfect. The client also had a double fridge built into the counter space, so that there was plenty of space for all the food and beverages of choice. Complete with barstool seating at the elevated bar top, this kitchen now has everything the client wanted, thanks to the delivery and dedication of Zach and his team!
Just off the kitchen area is a warm and comfortable sitting area, complete with living space furniture, a concrete fire-bowl coffee table, and several other propane fire structures that not only look like artwork, but are also mobile so they can be moved throughout the backyard space. This entire area sits beautifully under a custom-made wood structure by Timberkits, and made from the same Douglas Fir as the privacy screens, complete with a roof to match the pool house, making for a space that everyone can enjoy regardless of the weather.
Another part of the design that you cannot help but notice is the privacy that the homeowners are able to enjoy within their neighbourhood. The private environment is in part created from the landscape itself, with trees, bushes, and hydrangeas creating soft drama, while still producing beauty and charm. I think one of my favourite parts of this design are the custom laser cut, 4’ x 8’ metal privacy screen mounted on Douglas Fir posts to tie in with other structures on the property.
The homeowners, along with family and friends, have been enjoying this amazing space since July 2017. It’s a tribute to a family who loves to cook, dine, entertain, celebrate, and simply spend time with the people they love. Zach and his team at Cedarcroft Landscape & Design have not only done an amazing job of providing the perfect space, they have provided this family with their backyard dream, one that is certain to be enjoyed for many years to come.
Written by: Kelli M. Maddocks | Photography: Kathy DeMerchant Photography
LivingSpaces & Lifestyles Magazine would like to congratulate Cedarcroft Landscape Design on winning
“The Award for Excellence” from Landscape Ontario for the project featured in this article!