Large swaths of grass and raised flower beds may be paradise for bugs and outdoor critters but designing an entertainer’s paradise requires more finesse and careful curation. After working with Nathan Taylor, owner and principal designer of Obelisk Home, on an extensive interior renovation, the owner of a charming midcentury style home in Southern Hills was ready to take the renovations outdoors.
“Basically, there was room for like six people to gather,” reflects Taylor of the old backyard design. “There was like a big, raised flower bed kind of in the middle of her yard, and then a very small little sitting area.”
As an avid entertainer with a large and diverse friend group, Taylor’s client needed a backyard that was conducive to hosting—with defined spaces for eating, lounging and casual conversation. “[She] wanted a fire pit and a large entertaining area,” says Taylor. “We removed the large, raised planter and then we added the pergola and put a fire pit underneath.”
Taylor extended the existing cement slab out into what was open—and underused—yard space, creating additional gathering spaces for lounging and dining. And to round out the newly imagined outdoor entertaining space, a hot tub was added adjacent to the fire pit and set halfway into the ground for easy entry and exit.
From the furniture selection to the color palette, the home’s midcentry style played a major role in the overall design. “That was really important,” Taylor says. “The Adirondack chairs had definitely more of the midcentury modern flair and vibe to them as opposed to your traditional Adirondacks.” And in the additional seating area outside of the pergola, a fresh coat of paint gives new life to a vintage 1950s outdoor patio set. Accenting chairs throughout the patio and around the fire pit, pillows and cushions in vibrant shades of turquoise and yellow connect exterior to interior with a shared midcentury-style color palette.
After design, construction and landscaping wrapped, the only thing missing from the space was its guests. “She hosted a big artists group out there for like 35 people,” reflects Taylor.” So, some were by the fire pit, some were at the dining table, some were in the other seating area. Everybody gathered around—it was really fun.”