Atmosphere

Patio Party

How a few simple changes revived a backyard.

July 2009

Before its renovation, this historic 1930s Cheesman Park backyard did little more than consume water and take up space. With an interesting, if slightly neglected, teahouse and mature foliage, the homeowners knew it had the bones of a functional yet elegant entertaining area. Enter Randy Randolph of Denver's Lifescape Associates. Here, his backyard transformation strategy.

Pass on the Grass
Forgoing a traditional lawn, Randolph installed a red flagstone patio through the center of the yard. In addition to cutting down on lawn maintenance, the patio added color and functionality; the homeowners now use the space for tables when they throw parties.

Clear Out the Clutter
By pulling out and paring back the yard's overgrown elms, chokecherries, and circa-1980s shrubs, Randolph made the entire space feel bigger and allowed room for more interesting trees, like the flowering star magnolias, to thrive.

Find Your Focus
Installing the antique-style fountain in the center gave the design a focal point and added color, sound, and extra seating to the backyard. Fountains can act as centerpieces around which to arrange potted plants. This also works with fireplaces, which Randolph added to the teahouse.