Outstanding Outdoor Living 5

The president of a landscaping company overhauls his yard to create a luxurious yet relaxed outdoor lounge for family & friends.

What happens when the president of a landscaping company decides it’s time to redesign his own yard? Well, he pulls out all the stops, of course! President and owner of Elite Landscape & Outdoor Living Peter Van went all out with his whole yard makeover.

His sister (and Director of Business & Finance) Mary Van explains, “The home was a new build so Peter had a blank canvas to work with. His goal was to create an outdoor space that would make you feel as if you’re on a vacation when you step out back. Peter has a big family and they all usually come over throughout the week, so he wanted everyone to gather at a place that is both fun for the kids as well as the adults. “

Using Peter’s own design, the Elite team generated a complete renovation of the front, back and side yards. The three-month outdoor overhaul of the Highlands Ranch home, located in the Backcountry community, entailed a custom linear fire pit and new flagstone front entryway and porch. Various trees, shrubs and perennials were planted, along with raised garden planter boxes using cultured stones, custom iron rod gates around each side yard, a new driveway and more.

Around the back, an outdoor kitchen and grilling area with veneer stone were added, including a natural gas fireplace with a sheer descent waterfall on each side. Peter also designed a custom roof as a permanent extension of the original roof of the home—including engineered exposed timber trusses, LED lighting and fan as well as T&G decking with an undercover system to keep the space dry from all weather conditions.

But Peter didn’t stop there. He created a custom heated pool with four cascade water falls, a 60” natural gas fire pit on a paver patio sitting area with a pergola, a raised spa and plenty of trees and shrubs to add privacy.

Van explains, “Peter’s biggest challenge was space. He had so many different ideas that he wanted to incorporate but did not want to overcrowd the space he had to work with. He wanted the outdoor living space to step down naturally into the pool and spa deck, and have enough sitting areas to entertain. He definitely overcame that challenge, as the project as a whole blends together so naturally without feeling there is too much going on.”

Quick tips for a sizzling outdoor living space:

– Create areas of shade. During sweltering afternoon hours the summer sun can make you shy away from the outdoors. Beat the Colorado heat with a pergola, sunshade or strategically placed trees.

– Add pops of color. Don’t be afraid to include bursts of color in a garden, potted plants or shrubbery. If you weren’t born with a natural green thumb, consider installing strands of tinted light bulbs to cast a colorful glow at night.

– Separate the space. Establish different areas of the yard to serve individual purposes—dining, play and lounging are three easy ones to begin with.
Pool Perfection
Possibly Peter’s favorite spot in the yard, “He truly made this pool a custom design,” Van explains. “It comes with what Peter likes to call ‘dancing lights’-  the pool changes colors and can be set on different modes to set different tones of lights.”

Welcoming Lounge
This fire pit and seating area with a custom pergola cover offers an intimate evening space in which to lounge. The columns and step have built-in lights to illuminate their unique features.

Outdoor Living Space
“Another favorite aspect of Peter’s would be the covered outdoor living space,” Van says. “This covered space makes the outdoor kitchen, fire place, and entertaining space usable year round. It is really neat at night, especially; Peter has LED lights hanging from the beams, giving it a ‘downtown Larimer Street’ look.”