Outdoor Spaces

Outdoor Spaces 2016

We searched 417-land to find homes with outdoor spaces that embody this design strategy, and we’re confident that they’ll each inspire you to take the next step toward creating your own open-air oasis.

By Jennifer Adamson and Savannah Waszczuk | Photos by Jeremy Mason Mcgraw

Mar 2016

When the chill of a 417-land winter passes, there’s nothing like uncovering your patio furniture and lounging poolside or inviting friends over for that first barbecue under the stars. However you use your outdoor space, there are so many ways you can build it to reflect your lifestyle and still stay current with today’s trends. We searched 417-land to find homes with outdoor spaces that embody this design strategy, and we’re confident that they’ll each inspire you to take the next step toward creating your own open-air oasis. 

On the list are a  posh poolside escape in Highland Springs, a family-friendly country retreat in West Plains and a resort-like California contemporary design in southeast Springfield. Take a glimpse to learn about all the swoon-worthy possibilities, then start planning your own dream backyard retreat.—J.A.




Rather than stamped concrete or cement, the Landrum's pool deck and other outdoor areas are covered with oversized, skid-resistant porcelain tile. The interior of the pool is equally impressive, with imported Italian glass tile around its perimeter and plenty of built-in seating. “Seating inside of the pool is something we picked up from resorts,” Stacey says. A walkway of stone and oversized tile and a mixture of tropical plants help complete the space’s resort-like vibes.

Tropical Escape

Inspired by trips to Mexico and other tropical locations, the Landrums created a resort-like escape in their own backyard.

When it’s time for vacation, Scott and Stacey Landrum pack up the family and head south. “We like to go on tropical vacations,” Stacey says. But since the couple owns W3 Salon and Scott is the owner, designer and builder of Lifestyle Builders and Design, the
Landrums ordinarily stay pretty busy, and they don’t always have time to get away. That’s why they did the very next best thing: They created their very own tropical paradise in their backyard. 

Behind their custom-built home in Highland Springs, the Landrums’ outdoor space sparkles with a zero-entry pool with custom LED lighting, luxurious lounge areas and a custom covered kitchen and living room. “A lot of the ideas for our outdoor space came from things we’ve seen at resorts and other properties on vacations,” Scott says. And other elements came from first-hand research that Scott has gathered over his years working as a designer and builder. “Working with customers and vendors, I get to see a lot of great homes and designs,” Scott says. “This house is everything that we’ve ever seen that we wanted in a home.” 

While Scott and Stacey use the outdoor space for everything from relaxing to entertaining, it’s also a favorite spot of the couple’s children—6-year-old Brooklyn and 12-year-old Devin. “The kids are in the pool every day when it’s warm outside,” Stacey says. “They love having their friends over to hang out.” With a spot to swim, a spot to cook and plenty of areas to sit and unwind, the space really is everything the family has ever dreamed of. “We all love it,” Stacey says. “It really is like our very own little resort in our own backyard.”

Perfect Scenery

While people often choose to face their furniture away from their homes, Scott was happy to do the opposite in one of the seating areas. The house itself provides great scenery, with its brick and stone construction and stucco accents providing a nice neutral background to the brightly colored 


Sit and Unwind

Lounge chairs situated all around the pool provide plenty of space for relaxing when the family hosts summertime parties.  


Rooms With a View

Scott and Stacey’s master bedroom opens onto an outdoor patio that leads to the pool. “All of the major rooms in the house have a pool view,” Stacey says. There’s also a place to hang a projector screen along with wiring outside, providing the opportunity for outdoor movies.


Outdoor Living

A covered outdoor area complete with an outdoor kitchen and living room sits between the house and the pool. “This is the second most used room in the house, after the kitchen,” Stacey says. A fireplace in the corner of the space (above) provides warmth long after summer is gone, and the dining table (below) provides a great spot to share a family meal. 

Meet the Owner

Q & A with Scott Landrum


417 Home: What’s your favorite memory in this outdoor space? 

Scott Landrum: Spending time with family and friends and enjoying outdoor activities. This includes cooking, swimming, making s’mores, listening to music and watching movies while we are in the pool.


417 Home: If you could invent a new product to use outside, what would it be?

S.L.: Robot landscaping to take on the daily upkeep.


417 Home: What’s your favorite season?

S.L.: It’s not exactly one, but late spring through mid-summer, and then again in the fall when it’s not too hot or not too cold. 


417 Home: If you had an unlimited budget, what would you have included in your space?

S.L.: Encapsulate the whole backyard and pool in climate control for year round enjoyment.


417 Home: What’s your favorite outdoor chore?

S.L.: Buying and setting up fresh flowers and plants around the house, on the porches and in the pool area. It makes it feel more tropical and resort like, which is always a good feeling. 


417 Home: If someone is looking to improve their own outdoor space, what’s the most crucial element to invest in?

S.L.: Landscaping and the architectural elements around it can dramatically change even the most simple spaces. 


417 Home: What’s your family’s favorite outdoor activity?

S.L.: Anything related to water.


417 Home: What’s your favorite flower?

S.L.: All tropical flowers. 


417 Home: What’s your go-to appetizer for outdoor entertaining?

S.L.: Anything wrapped in bacon. My most favorite is bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapeños.


417 Home: What’s your absolute favorite feature about your space?

S.L.: The fact that it has a resort-like feel and it is right in our own backyard.


417 Home: What celebrity would you invite to your next outdoor bash?

S.L.: Adam Sandler. Humor and constant entertainment.


Resource Listing


Scott Landrum

Lifestyle Builders & Design LLC, Springfield




Rite-Way Concrete Products

2562 W. Kearney St., Springfield




Pat Murphy

Clark & Sons Pools

4319 S. National Ave. #115, Springfield




Robert Bailey

Bailey’s Custom Tile






1715 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield


Nebraska Furniture Mart



Southwest Audio-Visual

3058 E. Cairo St., Springfield




Overlooking the property’s 5-acre lake, these lounge chairs are the ideal spot to catch some shade or unwind at the end of a tiresome day. Homeowners Stan and Jodi Watson like to curl up between two massive crepe myrtles and watch the sunset and sometimes even see Canada geese landing on the water. The Watsons’ daughters, ages 12, 14, 16 and 18, and their guy friends like to fish there, too. “I don’t know if it’s the lake or the four daughters, but we’re attracting boys,” Watson says.

Family-Inspired Design

A saltwater pool, multiple seating areas, a warm fire pit and a nearby lake create a welcoming environment for the Watson family’s loved ones and friends.

Jodi Watson and her husband, Stan, had always dreamed of raising kids in the country. When they found a lot in West Plains for the right price, they started construction as soon as the papers were signed. Little did they know, their family would grow to from four to six over the coming years with the birth of two more daughters, and they’d want to do everything they could to keep their girls close to home, including designing an outdoor space that meets their needs as teenagers.

“We wanted our home to be the fun house for our kids and their friends, so hopefully they would all want to come to our house and hang out,” says Jodi. As their daughters got older, the couple decided to revamp the empty backyard to be more inviting on those gorgeous summer days when the girls could go outside to text, tan and Instagram. And when friends weren’t around, the family could participate in outdoor activities together. 

The project was completed in phases, beginning with expanding the home itself to accommodate a growing brood. The addition included a downstairs kitchen and pool room, accessible from the outside through large sliding-glass doors, giving life to an under-utilized basement and creating a more practical layout for indoor-outdoor entertaining. Simultaneously, the pool was installed, followed by landscaping with full irrigation and a tasteful selection of furniture. The outdoor environment the Watsons envisioned has come to pass with plenty of space to enjoy the sunshine and each other’s company. 

“We really look forward to every spring when they come open the pool,” Jodi says. “Everybody gets very excited. Somebody’s out there daily when the weather’s nice.

Take a Dip
When it came to choosing a pool, the Watsons didn’t envision a particular shape; they just wanted one that was easy to maintain, so they chose a saltwater, fiberglass option. “It was brought in on a truck from Texas and installed in one day,” Jodi says. “It was really something to see.” They also had a diving board installed for flips, cannonballs and diving competitions. 


Sit and unwind
When the girls and their friends get tired, they can stay in the water and kick back on one of the built-in seats in any of the pool’s four corners. At nighttime, the nearby firepit is a great place to gather and enjoy company.


Plants With Purpose
The pool is surrounded by plants, including this pompous grass sprouting from a small waterfall, but the feature wasn’t included in the original design. “You see all these pretty photos in magazines and never hear about things that went wrong,” Watson says. “We initially thought about plumbing it for a slide, but then we had a leak on the jet and had to cut into the concrete to fix it.” The family has come to appreciate the water’s peaceful sound. Natural rock surrounds the water feature and can be seen in corresponding landscaping around the back of the house. 


Have a Seat
Because of the sloping elevation of the Watsons’ yard in relation to where they wanted the pool to be, some of their land had to be flattened. A brick wall now acts as a retainer for excavated soil and a backdrop for a comfortable lounge area. The extra seating is nice for people who don’t want to swim, while ambient lighting instantly illuminates and makes nighttime conversation possible.


Porch Perfect
The Watsons transformed their back porch into a larger screened-in porch during the remodel. The space overlooks the 5-acre lake, has easy access to the pool area and offers a great spot to enjoy dining outside. It features a tile floor, which spreads to the lower level’s bathroom, pool room and kitchen. “We wanted a floor that would work with the pool and be pretty much maintenance-free,” Jodi says.


Entertaining at its Best

Every aspect of the Watsons’ home is user-friendly, including their outdoor space. “We aren’t nice on our furnishings,” Watson says. “We live on a farm, so we feed the cows and come in.” The outdoor table fits their lifestyle perfectly. The faux-wood top enhances the rustic feel of being surrounded by country landscape and is waterproof for when the kids are too hungry to dry off before digging into a plate of their favorite summertime meal—bacon-wrapped chicken grilled by Jodi. Likewise, the chairs are metal, so it’s safe to jump right out of the pool and have lunch. Identical faux-wood finish is repeated on two small umbrella tables used to serve up quick snacks and provide respite from the glaring sun.

Meet the Owner

Q & A with Jodi Watson


417 Home: What’s your favorite memory in this outdoor space?

Jodi Watson: Watching our girls grow up. It isn’t visible from the photos, but we had their footsteps stamped into the concrete when it was poured. We didn’t do the usual one-foot stamp. We had the youngest start walking at the edge of the concrete, then after several steps, the footsteps progressively change until the oldest and biggest footstep appears to step up onto the diving board. These are sweet, exciting, yet sad memories that life passes too quickly. We’re anxious to see what our daughters’ futures hold, but we wish they could stay young forever.


417 Home: If you could invent a new product to use outside, what would it be?

J.W.: An automatic weed puller that worked overnight, like a Roomba. You could wake up in the morning and all of the landscaping would look pristine.


417 Home: What’s your favorite season?

J.W.: Spring because we’ve been cooped up in the house all winter long, and we’re ready to get back outside and enjoy the fresh air.


417 Home: If you had an unlimited budget, what would you have included in your space that you did not?

J.W.: A complete outdoor kitchen and entertainment center. Then the only thing we’d have to go inside for would be to shower and sleep.


417 Home: What celebrity would you invite to your next outdoor bash?

J.W.: Will Ferrell. There’s nothing this family likes to do more than laugh. He seems like he’d be so incredibly fun to hang out with. I can just imagine him doing tricks off of the diving board, and I start to giggle. 


417 Home: What’s your family’s favorite outdoor activity? 

J.W.: We enjoy swimming with each other the most. Whether we’re splashing and playing or just floating on rafts and relaxing, spending time together in the pool is great family bonding.


417 Home: What’s your favorite flower?

J.W.: Petunias. They come in so many varieties, and they bloom throughout the entire summer and even into the early fall. 


417 Home: If someone is looking to improve their own outdoor space, what’s the most crucial element to invest in?

J.W.: Yard and landscaping. It doesn’t matter how beautiful or custom built your home is, if the yard and landscaping are not complete, it’s like wearing tennis shoes with a tuxedo.


417 Home: What’s your go-to appetizer for outdoor entertaining?

J.W.: Watermelon.


417 Home: What’s your favorite feature about your outdoor space?

J.W.: The view of the lake from the pool.


417 Home: What’s your favorite outdoor chore?

J.W.: Stan mowing. The fresh-cut grass turns a brighter shade of green and really makes the house pop.


Resource Listings


Beverly Moore 

Interiors by Design




Pruett’s Pool and Spa

1718 U.S. Hwy. 63, West Plains




Rusty Pilgrim Contracting

West Plains




By Design Outdoor Creations

970 Preacher Roe Blvd., West Plains




By Design Outdoor Creations

970 Preacher Roe Blvd., West Plains




By Design Outdoor Creations

970 Preacher Roe Blvd., West Plains





Pool School

Before you take the plunge and spend your hard-earned dollars on a pool, make sure you know what you’re getting into. With so many options, Fishel Pools (417-886-6699, and Doug’s Pool & Spa (417-882-7665,  help us break down the four most popular types of pools installed locally.

Ready to Buy?

Not sure if being a pool owner is right for you? Experts from both Fishel Pools and Doug's Pool & Spa suggest talking to a professional. Most pool stores have sample products on hand and offer one-on-one instruction that can guide you in making your decision. You can also ask for a booklet that explains different chemical treatments to give you a better understanding of the upkeep required.


Luxe Setting: The Johnsons put a lot of forethought into designing their outdoor space, even considering what it would look like under the stars. “When we have parties, we go through the house and turn all the lights on,” Patti says. “At night, it’s so pretty because you can look inside.” The home’s reflection in the pool’s quiet water is a beautiful bonus.


Posh & Practical

Former owner of London Crest Interiors and current proprietor of 5908 Interiors, Patti Johnson designed her and husband Mark’s outdoor space for relaxing by day and luxurious entertaining by night. 

Professional designer Patti Johnson has decorated her fair share of homes, inside and out. She’s made a career of getting to know her clients, finding exquisite furnishings that match their tastes and turning the finished projects over. This time around, the house key belongs to her, and she indulged in a space all her own, including an outdoor oasis for relaxing and entertaining. The idea was part of a plan to build a new home with her husband, Mark, after their previous residence sold unexpectedly. “We had talked about selling and always wanted to build a house together,” Johnson says. They found a lot just a few miles down the road.

Two years later, the outside of the
Johnsons’ home is just as magnificent as the inside, which is really where the vision began. “We literally got paper and started sketching, defining the space,” Patti says. “We saw a pool looking through from the front entry, so the back doors are glass, and the living room is floor-to-ceiling glass.” From inside, the vanishing-edge pool is indeed a focal point, but once on the terrace, the fire pit–hot tub–fountain sequence leading down to it commands equal attention. Other non-negotiable items on Patti’s wish list included extra space for mingling, a lounge area and a pool house to provide relief from the sun.

Patti’s inspiration came from magazines and her travels, but she also relied heavily on nearly 20 years experience in the industry to turn her sketches into the California contemporary, resort-feel style she’d become fond of during visits to The Golden State. She’s in love with the finished product, but won’t promise it’s the last she’ll own. “Designing from start to finish is exhausting, but I think I have one more house in me,” she says.

Open Air Dining

With five grandkids, having an outdoor eating area was a top priority. To stay consistent in design, Patti wanted a contemporary table and chairs, so they opted for this teak and stainless steel set from Kingsley–Bate. “It requires more maintenance because you have to clean it, but there’s a stainless steel kitchen in the pool house, so it goes really well,” Patti says. “We wanted to have that cohesiveness.”


Relaxation Station

Chaise lounges on an adjacent patio are perfect for stretching out with a good book, drying off after a dip in the pool or napping under the sun. Guests can set their lemonades or cocktails on silver faux tree-stump tables, painted to accent the stainless steel furniture. A small flower bed made with the same stack stone used on an indoor fireplace contains brightly colored boxwoods for a pop of color.  


In the Front

Patti’s passion for symmetry and repetition is evident in the front of the home. Two multi-level planters welcome guests up the driveway to a covered front entry. Identical windows balanced on either side of glass front doors are inlaid with matching circles. The circle motif repeats in custom-built spherical fountains and a detail on top of the house, breaking up the rigidity of so many straight lines, including those found in the stainless steel and concrete walking paths.


Shady Escape

During those summer days when the sun is relentless, shade is always welcome. That’s why Patti wanted a seamless transition from pool deck to pool house, which she accomplished with a design that utilizes woven retractable shades instead of traditional doors and windows. Other features of the living space include a full stainless steel kitchen, a flat-screen television, a gas fireplace and matching rattan furniture.


Custom Garage

Mark, owner of TEAM Motorsports of Missouri, is a car enthusiast. This three-car garage was built with glass doors to show off his favorites. “He has a wash bay in there, too, but he’s never washed a car in there yet,” Patti jokes. “It’s also heated and cooled, so he can work out there all seasons after he retires.”


Meet the Owner

Q & A with Patti Johnson


417 Home: What’s your favorite memory in this outdoor space?

Patti Johnson: Sunsets.


417 Home: If you could invent a new product to use outside, what would it be?

P.J.: Real grass that is always green and never needs to be mowed.


417 Home: What’s your favorite season?

P.J.: Summer, of course.


417 Home: If you had an unlimited budget, what else would you have included in your outdoor space?

P.J.: A steam shower or sauna and a massage room.


417 Home: What celebrity would you invite to your next outdoor bash?

P.J.: The hosts from The Voice. They would be a blast. 


417 Home: What’s your family’s favorite outdoor activity? 

P.J.: Swimming and soccer for the grandkids.


417 Home: What’s your favorite flower?

P.J.: I love many, but hydrangea for its beautiful colors.


417 Home: If someone is looking to improve their own outdoor space, what’s the most crucial element to invest in?

P.J.: An in-ground concrete pool, not vinyl.


417 Home: What’s your go-to appetizer for outdoor entertaining?

P.J.: Chips, salsa, margaritas.


417 Home: What’s your favorite feature about your space?

P.J.: The hot tub.


417 Home: What’s your favorite outdoor chore?

P.J.: I love to be outside washing the patio.


Resource Listing


Springfield Pool & Spa

3117 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield




Springfield Pool & Spa

3117 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield




Tidwell Concrete Construction Inc.

4451 W. University St., Springfield




The Bailey Company

4940 S. Farm Road 189, Ste. 100, Rogersville




Nature’s Image

1027 U.S. Hwy. 160, Nixa




Nature’s Image

1027 U.S. Hwy. 160, Nixa




Nature’s Image

1027 U.S. Hwy. 160, Nixa





7200 Gateway Court, Manassas, Virginia




On Trend

Have you been looking for a way to revitalize your pool, deck or patio before heading outside this summer? Here’s what the pros say are the top must-haves in
exterior excellence. 

Tremendous Timbers
If you’re considering building a covered pavilion or a screened-in porch or even changing the look of your front entry, go big with timber framing. Sam Butler, owner of ButlerBuilt Construction, says using large cedar beams and posts or wrapping existing cedar beams and posts is the perfect way to add grandeur to your outdoor space, as well as complement natural stone, which remains a top design choice.


Lighting with Longevity
Whether you’re planning to mount a fixture to the wall or brighten a walking path, LED lighting is an energy-efficient option that will illuminate just the right spots. It’s also a longer-lasting option than traditional incandescent or halogen bulbs, and there are numerous benefits. “We can have color, tuck them into inconspicuous places and really change the overall aesthetic,” says Adrian Rhoads, owner of Rhoads Design & Construction. “They also don’t produce as much heat when they’re on.” 


Fancy Fireplaces
To make the most out of dining al fresco, Alonso Guzman, owner of Trademark Construction & Landscaping, recommends installing a Bristol Series triple-stack fireplace made of natural stone. The series is assembled as a three-piece set, with a fireplace flanking two outer units, both fully customizable to your needs. Popular options include a pizza oven, wood storage, grill and kitchen sink with countertop. This showstopper runs $4,000 and up.


Durable Decks
Composite decking has been around for years, but more and more homeowners are requesting it, says designer Susie Edie with Rock Solid Renovations. “It’s low maintenance,” she says. “You have to clean it, but you don’t have to worry about staining or painting, and it weathers well.” Boards are made from wood and plastic and manufactured to look like wood. Pigment is added to create different colors, like black, white, gray and brown. A composite deck is approximately $50 per square foot and up.


A Kitchen you will love
With every passing year, more and more people are investing in their outdoor spaces and, within those spaces, top-notch outdoor kitchens. That’s why Chad Holgerson of Keystone Building & Design says it’s important to make it a functional place you’ll love.  While Big Green Eggs remain popular choices for the spaces, Holgerson says people are going even bigger with things like integrated refrigeration systems, sinks and pizza ovens. The versatility of the space maximizes the use and enjoyment.