We first began designing this project in 2019 with the couple who lived in the building. By the end of 2019, the outdoor oasis was complete, and the couple had become a family. We love design stories like this, in which our projects must be multi-functional – seamlessly transitioning from playtime to cocktail hour.

Two become three
Family time in the yard

In urban design and specifically with our residential projects, space is always a challenge, so we must be creative and invent solutions to incorporate all the clients wishes in a limited space. We accomplished this goal by designing around the pergola, which housed the dining and lounge spaces on an elevated deck. Each subsequent space ­– the grassy play area and the kitchen – extend from this central feature.

Built-in outdoor kitchen

This custom-designed pergola oasis features Japanese influences such as the paneled walls which cast delightful, shifting shadows throughout the day.

Williamsburg Oasis
Custom cement tile table top by Rebecca cole

The pergola performs double duty in this space as a beautiful focal point and a structure of continuity. The pergola’s Japanese influenced shutter design runs parallel to the pre-existing fence creating continuity to unite each section of garden. Additionally, the pergola ties the outdoor space to the interior living space as seen through a series of floor-to-ceiling windows. This layout required us to consider not only the feeling from inside the garden but the feeling from inside the home throughout every season. The pergola provides lush beauty in the summer, and industrial elegance in winter months when plants fall back and lose their leaves.

al fresco dining

Each aspect of this project served a functional purpose for the design. The high-quality faux grass provides a soft run for play. Since the backyard was particularly windy, we utilized birch trees whose bough bends in the wind but will not break. Cream colored, soft ceramic planters are subtle when filled with summer blooms and stand tastefully on their own throughout the winter season. The slatted pergola casts beautiful shadows for reprieve from the sun. The cement elements were custom designed to bring a modern Williamsburg style to the backyard. The millennial pink cushions, selected by the client, add warmth to the industrial elements. We are still searching for millennial pink petunias to match!