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Outdoor Spaces

This Sun-Drenched Terrace is Perfect for Relaxing and Entertaining

Designer Susie Wieland helped these homeowners create the backyard of their dreams. From a pool with a vanishing waterfall to a covered patio perfect for entertaining, this outdoor space is a stunning example of design meets function.

By Tessa Cooper

Mar 2021

Backyard pool with vanishing waterfall Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsRather than opting for one large concrete patio, the couple chose slabs with turf between. According to Wieland, real grass on this site would get too hot and dry up. Plus, the turf is low maintenance. “It really makes the whole space feel so much cooler, because you get that illusion of soft grass between the concrete slabs,” she says. “I thought it was a really great design choice to add that feature.” Purchase Photo

Friends don’t let friends make bad design choices. And lucky for the owners of this poolside sanctuary, their close friend Susie Wieland also happens to be a custom home designer with a penchant for outdoor spaces. Wieland took on the task of creating the plans for the entire home, backyard included. Overall, the back terrace was a collaborative process between the three. 

Wieland handled the logistics and drew the plans for the backyard’s layout while the homeowners sourced many of the project materials, chose all the decor and spearheaded the landscaping plans. 

The pool serves as one of the main outdoor focal points, and the home’s L-shape also makes it possible to access the pool from every wing. The homeowners knew they wanted a pool with a vanishing waterfall edge and small fire bowls and also hoped the pool could sit at the same height as the floor’s main level. But due to the site’s steep slope, this original plan would have required a large, costly retaining wall.

Backyard pool with vanishing waterfall Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon AlmsThe homeowners sourced SENAT chairs from Design Within Reach, modeled off of the ones found in Paris’s Luxembourg Gardens. Little touches like the paisley tablecloth and pineapple-shaped candles add some whimsy. Purchase Photo
Backyard pool with vanishing waterfall Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon AlmsThe pool serves as one of the main outdoor focal points, and the home’s L-shape also makes it possible to access the pool from every wing. Purchase Photo
Backyard pool with vanishing waterfall Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon AlmsWhen the homeowners saw a photo in a magazine of the same black sheep next to a swimming pool, they immediately fell in love and tracked it down. It is made of acrylic and resin, so it’s lightweight and movable. In the winter, the sheep stays warm next to the indoor fireplace and dons a scarf. Purchase Photo
Backyard pool with vanishing waterfall Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon AlmsThe homeowners knew they wanted to design a pool with a vanishing waterfall edge and small fire bowls. Purchase Photo
Backyard pool with vanishing waterfall and fire bowls Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon AlmsThese small fire bowls encased in Phenix marble light up the pool at night. The home’s interior also features the same marble, creating a small sense of cohesion between indoor and outdoor. Purchase Photo
Backyard pool with vanishing waterfall Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon Alms Purchase Photo
Backyard entertaining area Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon AlmsThis covered patio, complete with a TV and fireplace, functions as a second living room, especially between dips in the pool. As a bonus perk, it offers a lovely view from the interior breakfast nook window. Overall, the function of the space allows for comfortable outdoor living in multiple seasons. Purchase Photo
Backyard entertaining area Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon AlmsThis outdoor space designed by Susie Wieland features great gathering spaces for entertaining and a modern sense of style. Purchase Photo
Backyard entertaining area Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon AlmsThe outdoor space and its many areas function as a primary entertaining hub for the family, and the couple is looking forward putting their bar cart to good use and hosting more parties safely here in the future. Purchase Photo

“There was a lot to work though when placing the pool deck at the correct elevation so it still felt like it was easy to get to from the main room to the house, but worked with the grade,” Wieland says. “So we split the grade in half. Now they have just a couple steps outside their door.” According to Wieland, this work-around also gave them the added benefit of removing the pool from the indoor view, letting the trees take center stage.




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