Photos by Stefan Radtke
The team behind this Armonk project created the ultimate indoor/outdoor entertaining space in Westchester County.
Part of a larger home expansion and renovation, the homeowners of this Armonk house wanted to create the ultimate entertainment space in their backyard. Although the 40’ × 20’ pool was already there, living in the home for several years informed the owners of exactly what they wanted to add.
The family like to entertain, and they love to cook, so it was essential to have areas to accommodate large and small gatherings, an outdoor kitchen, and indoor/outdoor spaces that flow seamlessly into one another. “Our work at the terrace level focused on creating new indoor/outdoor entertaining spaces, including a full kitchen,” says Scott Hirshson, AIA of Hirshson Architecture + Design. “Above, we expanded the kitchen, created a new great room with a wall of glass overlooking the pool, a new deck, and a stair connecting the multiple levels.”
On the first floor, an indoor/outdoor living room was created with a wood-burning fireplace, screens that retract into the ceiling, heaters to supplement comfort during cooler evenings, and plenty of room for relaxing and eating.
And what better way to fully entertain than with an outdoor kitchen with multiple seating areas? “The outdoor kitchen was designed for multiple chefs, as the family of five love to cook and entertain,” says Hirshson. “The client had a clear vision of family and friends sitting at the counter while he cooks looking at the pool.”
Hirshson says that when designing an outdoor kitchen, it is imperative to use cabinets with weather sealing. “[They] make a tremendous difference for the storage of towels, sunscreens, beverages, and pool toys,” says Hirshson. “The custom cabinets in our kitchen are set up on stainless-steel feet. This enables the homeowner to easily hose down the patio should one need to clean after entertaining.”
A large table provides ample seating for a sit-down dinner, while a sectional sofa centers on the fireplace with a TV above. Café tables lining the pool are perfect for parents to enjoy a drink or for the kids hopping out of the pool. “This has a more casual feel compared to the formal table set under the covered patio, and seating for 12 easily accommodates their family with room for guests,” says Hirshson.
For the patio itself, porcelain and stone paving was used. “Thermal bluestone makes for a beautiful pool coping, but many new porcelain products offer a nice balance of color and heat reflectivity, making them comfortable on the hottest summer days,” he says.
One of the top concerns for the homeowners during this project was how to make the lower level feel like an extension of the style and finishes of the main living space. “We achieved this through the detailing of the steps and the railing connecting the upper deck to the outdoor kitchen below,” says Hirshson. “Concealed lighting, wire rails, wood caps, shiplap, and stacked stone speak to the juxtaposition of modern and traditional architectural details.”
Summer style at its finest.
“The outdoor kitchen was designed for multiple chefs, as the family of five love to cook and entertain.”