After recently moving from California to a beautiful waterfront home in the small Connecticut community of Rowayton, this client sought to create a multi-use backyard where the family could dine, play and entertain while enjoying a panoramic view of Long Island Sound’s Wilson Cove. Keeping safety and occasionally challenging New England weather conditions in mind, the design features two sets of granite steps, an aesthetically appealing guard rail near the seawall for the protection of the family’s children, and plants and features requiring minimal upkeep and that are salt tolerant.

To allow frequent use of the two-level backyard area for a variety of family activities, an upper terrace was created featuring dark gray granite pavers around the recently installed spa. From the spa level, a grand set of granite steps lead to the cantilever deck, and then a second set of floating granite steps leads down to the lower patio – an ideal play space for the children.

To accommodate the client’s “California meets New England” sensibility, colorful planters and cushions adorn the outdoor furniture in the lounging area. To allow relaxing enjoyment of the beautiful view, a custom wood bench was installed at the base of a stucco retaining wall. Plantings that echo these colors were selected, including salt tolerant shrubs and grasses. To contain water runoff from storm events, a gravel infiltration bed was installed under the lower patio and drainage inlets were added on the pool patio. The result is an idyllic oasis for the family to enjoy Connecticut’s changing seasons.