Outdoor Living Area (Design/Build)

Grand Award

Botanical Decorators, Inc.

Magnolia Manor

The client's wish list would have been more appropriate for a yard twice this size. First and foremost was a request for a 50-foot-long lap pool and separate spa that could be used year-round. The other items included an outdoor shower, a fire pit patio, a deck, a screened-in porch with a fireplace, a grilling station, and lots of plantings for privacy. It was seemingly impossible to get all this into such a small, odd-shaped yard with three separate easements and 8 feet of grade change. This is a yard for all seasons. Swimming in the summer, sitting by the fire pit in the fall, cozying up to the fireplace in the winter, and enjoying everything as the bulbs come up in the spring.

Grand Award

Botanical Decorators, Inc.

Oasis on Rosemont
Bethesda, MD

This project is in the Bethesda suburbs situated within a small enclave of custom homes. The clients wanted a space reminiscent of what they experienced while growing up in Jamaica. We designed a villa-style retreat that integrates the existing veranda-style porch with a outdoor living space comprising a plunge pool, outdoor kitchen, fireplace, and lush landscape plantings. Large concrete planters and contemporary furniture finish out the inviting outdoor room.

Grand Award

GardenWise, Inc.

Old Town—Classic Courtyard
Alexandria, VA

This Classic Courtyard is located in "Old Town" Alexandria, Virginia, and was originally a dark, cluttered, run down space. The new arbor columns and decorative trellis panels with oval cutouts form the backdrop for the new seat-height stone water feature basin and flanking planters. The water feature is highlighted by a cast stone lion's head waterspout.

Grand Award

Rolling Acres
Landscape/Nursery

The Payne Residence

Rolling Acres transformed this narrow backyard with an elevation change of 11 feet into a modern and linear backyard oasis. A series of retaining walls, stairs, and planters create three terraces: the screened porch extension terrace, the fire pit and grill terrace, and the south-facing lounge terrace. The designer replicated the same materials used for the house in the landscape and paired the hardscape with a minimalistic plant pallet.

Distinction Award

Botanical Decorators, Inc.

A Perfect Little Bungalow


Distinction Award

Outdoor Spaces, LLC

Rottmann Residence

Our team designed a four-tiered outdoor living area with multiple spaces for entertaining large groups and relaxing with family. Our masons, carpenters, and landscapers worked as a team to create a backyard that includes an outdoor kitchen and bar, outdoor television, stone fire pit, stone fireplace, multiple seating areas, and an outdoor game terrace for table tennis and darts. This once disconnected backyard is now the life of the neighborhood.

Honorable Mention

GardenWise, Inc.

Capitol Hill—Contemporary Courtyard
Washington, DC

The Capitol Hill Contemporary Courtyard is located in the Southeast sector of Washington, D.C. Strong diagonal layout of the masonry elements breaks up the boxy city garden space. A seat-height water feature with a single frothy jet is the garden's focal point, viewed from several vantage points of the home and the courtyard space.

Honorable Mention

Kane Landscapes, Inc.

Hillside Wooded Retreat

This landscape, which was constrained by a steep hillside and the location of a septic field and 8-foot retaining wall, was designed to create an easy and functional outdoor entertaining environment for the client's family and friends. Careful attention ensured that all the features, from the three-story deck to the kitchen island, maximized space and flowed seamlessly. Over 100 large boulders, many covered with moss, help the plantings and hardscape blend into the natural wooded area below.

Honorable Mention

Through the Garden, Inc.

Nature Preserve Backyard Haven (Harris Residence)

The Harris residence sits high on a small wooded knoll overlooking a winding river gorge in the middle of a nature preserve. It is an incredibly scenic place to live, but it lacked any comfortable outdoor living space in which to relax and entertain, so the clients asked us to create this in a way that would bring them even more "up close and personal" with the wild environs. Our solution was to create a beautifully naturalized, rugged rock outcropping all along the hill crest with large, beautifully weathered boulders laid in loosely staggered formations extending 6-8 feet out over the slope to provide a safety buffer, and then including intermittent bench-height boulders along the edge of the terraces as comfortable perches with 180-degree views down into the river gorge. Inside this broad perimeter, as the elevations continued to climb another 4-5 feet up toward the house, we created a large waterfall cascading down through a series of rustic flagstone terraces and steps that all look as if they are carved out of the land itself and yet provide a very comfortable outdoor living area for people and creatures alike.