Knockout Pools and Patios

Picture yourself in one of these fabulous outdoor spaces.

Photo by Ron Blunt Architectural Photography.

Patio Power

Landscape Designer: Wheat’s Landscape, Vienna,

Pool and Spa: Alpine Pool & Design Corp., Annandale,

Landscape designer Mark Finlayson is probably great at playing Tetris or at packing a suitcase. When clients Beth and George Albright were puzzling over how to fit a pool, hot tub, sitting area, grill and more into their small Arlington backyard, he simply suggested turning the pool perpendicular to the house. “That’s when everything fell into place,” Beth says. Finlayson and his colleagues at Wheat’s Landscape transformed the Albrights’ Country Club Hills property into a mini resort of sorts, where the family can relax, eat, play and entertain several nights a week almost year-round. The outdoor grilling area and dining table are basically extensions of the indoor kitchen, but the real hangout is the heated, 28-by-14-foot swimming pool. The adjacent fireplace and TV weren’t in the original plan—they came along during construction—but they’ve proven to be great additions. The TV pivots so the family can watch golf, baseball and football from the water. Plenty of stone and cinder block separate the fire from the electronics, so there’s no heat transfer. Wheat’s replaced the property’s original Leyland cypress trees with Cryptomeria and holly trees for year-round privacy, color and textural interest—plus a smattering of hydrangeas, perennial geraniums, hostas, ferns and grasses. “It’s a small space,” Beth says happily, “but we made it work.”


Ellen Ryan (@ERyanWriter) wrote about teen volunteers in the November/December 2017 issue.


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Categories: Home & Design