Knockout Pools and Patios

Picture yourself in one of these fabulous outdoor spaces.

Photo by John Cole.

Zen Paradise

Architect/Builder: Anthony Wilder Design/Build, Cabin John, Maryland, anthonywilder.com

This beautiful deck in McLean came about because owners Patty and Jim Smith had worked with Anthony Wilder Design/Build on their previous house. They asked one of the firm’s architectural designers, Maria Fanjul, to create a private outdoor relaxation space with a calm, soothing feel. Given that the terrace extends into the front yard, the Smiths wanted to have privacy while maintaining pleasing aesthetics for themselves and their neighbors. That meant, first, adding tall skip laurels, which grow 10 to 12 feet high and flower fragrantly in the spring. Faux boxwoods create the illusion of thick, living walls and blend in with the trees beyond. The louvered partitions that frame either end of the space are crafted with the same wood as the decking—hand-cut ipe, a durable South American hardwood similar to teak. A vestibule connecting to the inside of the house has tile flooring from Architectural Ceramics made to look like river stones. The 6-foot-long gas fire pit by Paloform adds a focal point and separates the seating area from the hot tub. “At the end of each day, we love coming home and disappearing into our serene zen outdoor living space,” Patty says. “We can relax in the hot tub, and with the touch of a button, light the gas fire and leave the day’s work behind.”

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