Designing Fun and Activity Into a Residential Space

There are many ways to introduce some fun outdoor fun onto your property, besides installing a swimming pool and spa. Over the years, we’ve been able to work with some clients who wanted to step away from the typical back yard configuration and implement some dedicated play and activity spaces onto their properties.

Sometimes we are able to easily and temporarily transform an underutlized area like a driveway into a mini golf green or practice putting green. This is often easily done, simply section a space of the backyard for your own personal mini-putt lawn. It remains a multi-purpose space and can serve as more space to entertain and lounge when needed, or as an area to do other lawn sports.

Depending on needs the space available, we can also design a dedicated sports court. The surface can be customized with asphalt or play safe rubberized surface, and the court can be installed with nets and storage for equipment. Add a fence and errant pucks and balls are no longer an issue.

Lawn Sports Yard Mini Putt golf green backyard
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Check out the following renderings that we made for a more current project that we are designing. The property is large with interesting terrain, allowing us to play with the idea of placing a pool and large sports space in the open-use areas, and a small built-in natural playground under an existing canopy of mature trees.

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Japanese Influenced Garden Creates Front Yard Oasis in Bathurst Manor

Having great clients really makes our work more enjoyable and rewarding.

Even better is if they have an eye for detail and know what they want and they are not afraid to push us to deliver the best results possible.

These kinds of projects are a bit unusal these days when everyone seems to want a contemporary or modern landscape to grace their property.

Tasked to create a Japanese influenced garden for the front of this modern, boxy home the end result ended up to be exactly what they were looking for with the traditional elements and planting schemes commonly found in a Japanese garden.

A small curved bridge, oversized stones, moss, Koi fish, statuesque evergreens and beautiful ornamental Maples were all used in this front yard gaden. Lighting highlights this garden at night and adds winter interest when just the branches and stems remain.

The arrangement of these landscape elements and plantings demonstrate the Japenese Zen garden design technique of framing views.

The arrangement of these landscape elements and plantings demonstrate the Japenese Zen garden design technique of framing views.

This space may be located at the front of the property, but we’ve effectively created an attractive and enclosed space at the entrance to this beautiful home.

This space may be located at the front of the property, but we’ve effectively created an attractive and enclosed space at the entrance to this beautiful home.

Upon walking futher into the space, you’ll find a small and peaceful oasis that is protected from the business of the road. The soothing sounds of trickling water adds to the experience of the space, thanks to the simple water feature detail.

Upon walking futher into the space, you’ll find a small and peaceful oasis that is protected from the business of the road. The soothing sounds of trickling water adds to the experience of the space, thanks to the simple water feature detail.

From overhead, it can be seen how the form of the space influences the design.

From overhead, it can be seen how the form of the space influences the design.

This small bridge is a great stylistic detail that completes the Japanese garden look, and also leads to back yard access.

This small bridge is a great stylistic detail that completes the Japanese garden look, and also leads to back yard access.

The wood viewing deck allows for views into and out of the home.

The wood viewing deck allows for views into and out of the home.

From Design to Construction: Work Underway on King Street West

A new front entrance makeover is now in progress for this boutique loft building on King West.

The old canvas awning is being replaced with a new steel I-Beam entrance awning with an architectural mesh ceiling and concealed LED lighting.

The existing pavers will be replaced with a rectangular black granite flagstone and the traditional metal fence will also be replaced with a much more custom fence effort.

More to come as this project progresses.

 

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Custom Metal Work as a Design Feature in the Garden

Metal and stainless steel can be wonderful elements in the modern garden due to the strength and beauty of steel as well as the unrivalled flexibility this material offers during fabrication. Steel can be elegant and delicate, sleek and shiny or rough, weathered and robust. Given our harsh climate here in Toronto, a material like steel that holds up well for years and decades even is most welcome.

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Complete Facade Makeover with a Corten Steel Wall and new front Porch

A tired old traditional front porch and house facade were transformed by adding some sleek utility in the form of a new Corten steel retaining wall and steps along with a new porch and cloakroom enclosure.

The house brick was stained a uniform cool grey and the roof, soffit and fascia were all updated withnew Cedar siding and a porch roof warming up the entire front of the home.

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Before and After: Creating a private refuge in Rosedale with a modern deck pergola

The existing deck was a large park of this compact Rosedale yard, but it required more shade and privacy to be a comfortable lounge space. A modern cedar pergola created a warm, room-like space, and defined the edges of the deck, providing a sense of separation from the adjacent yards. 

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Before and After: A slim contemporary deck opens up a small backyard in Hillcrest

As you can see in these before and after shots, a narrow deck and railing cut this Hillcrest home off from the existing pool and lounge space. A minimal deck, without a railing, connected the two spaces, while a new cabana cleanly added storage space and concealed the air conditioning unit.

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