When Jay and Susan Freeman bought their contemporary spec home in University Hills, the huge backyard was largely empty, save for a concrete patio accessed by a sliding glass door. So they hired Chris Turner and Paul Wrona of Denver’s Elevate By Design landscape architecture firm to reimagine the blank canvas as a space for entertaining. Their request was simple: “We wanted to make the outside align with the inside as much as possible,” Jay says. Crafted from a mix of wood, concrete, and metal, the resulting design contains three separate zones—outdoor kitchen, dining area, and fire pit with seating (next to a water feature that’s backlit at night!)—that blend into one welcoming space. Who’s ready for a barbecue? ebdstudios.com

Concrete counters and tigerwood doors help the built-in outdoor kitchen blend seamlessly with the back of the house. A Twin Eagle gas grill facilities year-round cooking. Photo courtesy of Emily Minton Redfields