3 Beautiful Backyards Made for Summers Outdoors in Westchester

Photo by Sean Jancski

Summertime, and the (outdoor) livin’ is easy — especially at these three spectacular al fresco escapes throughout the region.

A Naturally Inviting Refuge

The Team

Landscape Architect: Sean Jancski Landscape Architects
Pool: Wagner Pools
Pool House Architect: Crozier Gedney Architects
Landscape Contractor: Landivar Landscaping Inc.

Photos by Sean Jancski

The project: An infinity pool with integrated spa, pool house, and seating areas

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The back story: The homeowners moved to Rye from the Midwest, where they had a home with an expansive backyard and pool. They wanted to add a pool to their new home while maintaining an open lawn area.

Design objective: To create an outdoor pool environment that preserves and protects the landscape’s natural features

Design challenge: Designing a pool setting in a yard with unusual topography. “The property had steep slopes; the homeowners could not picture where they could place a pool,” says Sean Jancski of Sean Jancski Landscape Architects in Rye.

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In harmony with nature: “The property has beautiful natural features, such as boulder outcroppings, so we wanted to design an environment that worked in harmony with the surrounding landscape,” says Jancski. “This was achieved by designing a raised infinity-edge pool that avoids disturbing the significant areas surrounding it.” The infinity edge faces a lush, natural, green wall of plants and trees from the forested area beyond, and a mixture of perennials, beach grasses, and evergreens provides colorful interest year-round.

A spectacular cabana: The pool house/cabana, whose architecture is a mix between traditional and farmhouse style, includes a kitchenette, bathroom, and laundry. Pretty peach-colored curtains frame its entrance, and a striking transitional-style lighting fixture hanging from the vaulted ceiling acts as a focal point.

An Idyllic Oasis

The Team

Architect: Choura Architecture
Pool Build: Pools by Al
Landscape: Gail Bishop, Thunder Hill Landscape Architecture & Garden Design

Photos courtesy of Choura Architecture

The project: Pool, site design, hard-scaping, and landscaping for a newly built classic Georgian-style house

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The back story: For a family of four who enjoy spending time at home and entertaining, a welcoming outdoor oasis was created with ample versatile spaces and easy access to the home.

Design challenge: “The topography of the land required skillful management of the pool design while creating functional outdoor space,” says Bana Choura Loughran of White Plains-based Choura Architecture.

Bent by design: It is not an illusion, explains Choura Loughran: The pool is actually bent. “The pool shape follows the contours of the gentle slope behind it,” she says. “The hill was retained by creating a curved natural-stone wall that offers a place to sit. It follows the pool shape, almost like an amphitheater.”

Soothing sounds: A fish pool is replenished by a modern fountain projecting from the stone wall, adding the soothing sound of flowing water.

A pair of porches: The pool is viewed and accessed from the home’s two inviting, columned, covered porches. They serve as a dining-and-sitting area and feature cheerful red-cushioned furniture.

Cooking space for top chef: The expansive patio features a dining table topped with a sunny ocher-yellow umbrella, chaise lounges, and a spacious outdoor cooking area designed specifically for the owner, a professional chef.

Waterside Sanctuary

The Team

Landscape/Exterior Design: Zavaglia Associates
Pool House Design/Build: M. Partellow, Inc. with Arlene Pilson Interior Designs
Pool: Water’s Edge Pools, Inc.

Photos by Germaine Gatewood

The project: Pool, pool house, gardens, and dining and entertaining areas

The back story: This active family with three children in their teens and early 20s wanted to create inviting outdoor spaces at their home, both for relaxing and hosting large gatherings.

The view: The property features expansive water views of an inlet in a conservancy area.

Design objective: “We worked with the homeowner to unify the different architectural elements of the home and introduce a contemporary, resort-like feel to the outdoor spaces,” says Jess Zavaglia of Larchmont-based Zavaglia Associates, which was responsible for all landscape design, including plantings, styling, and furnishings.

Design challenge: “The home was built in stages and has several different architectural influences,” says Zavaglia. “We needed to bring all the outdoor elements together to create a unified look and feel.”

A perfect pool house: “The pool-house exterior design was created to fit naturally into the surrounding landscape,” says Arlene Pilson of Arlene Pilson Interior Designs, in Pound Ridge, who collaborated on its design with builder M. Partellow Inc., also in Pound Ridge. “It incorporates all of the client’s requests: a large, screened porch, changing room, bathroom, living room, and kitchen,” says Pilson.

Daybed à deux: The poolside daybed by Janus et Cie is just right for lounging à deux, and the outdoor living room’s L-shaped couch by Brown Jordan offers another welcoming gathering spot.

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