A Tudor Home’s Backyard Transforms Into an Outdoor Oasis

Wait until you see this Tudor home’s backyard. Photos by Mike Van Tassell

Thanks to a Bedford-based architecture and design firm, an unused yard gets a new life and use with the addition of a beautiful pool, spa, and cabana.

Where there is now a beautiful pool and spa, attached cabana, outdoor bar, and dining terrace was a side yard that was unused by this family of six. The small, corner lot of this Tudor home was transformed thanks to the team headed up by Carol Kurth Architecture + Interiors into a true outdoor oasis.


Like any pool project, it came with challenges. For this one, there were four large hurdles the team had to face and resolve.

pool yard

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The Tudor design of the home dates to the 20th century, and the original bricks on the existing house were handmade and no longer available. The team had to research the origin of the brick and stone and gather multiple samples to create a seamless connection between the existing home and the new pool pavilion. “To create a unified and visual aesthetic between the existing and the new, keen attention was paid to the unique architectural elements of the original home,” says Carol Kurth, FAIA, ASID. This included pattern, scale, and texture as well as mortar color and joint details. “Mock-ups were presented for detailed review and approvals, ultimately achieving a seamless design thread while infusing a modern approach to the transitional style,” she adds.

Being that this was a side yard, the team wanted to create an enclosure for privacy and safety reasons, but not feel enclosed. “The lot line and streetscape are planted with lush evergreens, which will eventually conceal the fencing as the plantings mature,” says Kurth. “The rest of the fencing is tied into corners of the home, tucked amidst plantings.”

outdoor bar

The area they were working with was also on the smaller side, but with design ingenuity and thoughtfulness, the team was able to incorporate multiple areas that serve different purposes. “The creative challenge on a small site is to be able to create an experience of outdoor rooms and vignettes that can serve multiple purposes, from relaxation to entertaining on a large scale,” says Kurth. “I love how we mixed historic details with modern sensibility to bring a new dynamic personality to the project and the reimagining of the yard areas to create a more functional outdoor lifestyle for [this] family.”

Finally, this home is situated in a beautiful enclave of Tudor homes on a corner lot; therefore, the approval process was challenging. “It was a difficult approval process to get a pool situated on the side of the prior lawn area, in this neighborhood, on this property,” says Kurth. But they did it and made the overall yard more functional.

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