Backyard Pool With Cabana? Yes, Please.

When temperatures skyrocket, the owners of this cool Falls Church space have it made.

Photo by George Brown.


From the street, Josh and Lauren Cury’s West Falls Church home doesn’t seem too different from its neighbors. But venture beyond the gate to the backyard, and the modest suburban setting gives way to a hidden paradise.

The Curys’ mandate was pretty clear, recalls landscape architect Joseph Richardson. “Josh said, ‘I want the coolest backyard you’ve ever designed.’ ”

“If you ask us, he succeeded,” Lauren says. Especially considering what the yard looked like when the couple bought the house after it was built in 2015. “There was no porch, no patio—just a set of stairs leading down to grass. We wanted to use all of the property [a compact 2,400 square feet] in ways that we were going to enjoy.”

Now, the rear yard is anchored by a “cocktail pool,” which Richardson designed specifically for the owners’ heights, so they can enjoy refreshments in the pool with the water level just-so. A separate water feature made of stacked Pennsylvania flagstone wraps around the pool with fountains on two sides.

Pavers frog-hop across a section of the pool to reach a set of lounge chairs under a cabana. An Arhaus sectional outdoor sofa provides yet another place to stretch out next to a custom firepit by Hart Concrete Design. (The adjacent screened porch has a sleek Malm fireplace, rendering the porch both stylish and functional for most of the year.)

To ensure total privacy, Richardson bordered the yard with evergreen magnolias, interspersing Japanese and paperbark maples for color and texture. He then layered in a dense mix of plantings that bloom from spring through fall. “Every season, there’s a surprise,” Lauren says.

“He really integrated our ideas into his master plan—it turned out awesome,” Josh adds.

Richardson credits his clients for the project’s success. While Lauren focused on the porch and all the furnishings, Josh trained his attention on the pool and garden. “At every level, [they were] willing to push the design,” he says, “and at every level, I was better for it.”

Project Credits:
Landscape Architect: Joseph Richardson Landscape Architecture
Landscape Contractor: Wheat’s Landscape
Pool Contractor: José Pimenta Construction Co.
Porch Contractor: Denny + Gardner

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Categories: Home & Design