Build Vertically to Gain Outdoor Living Space | Autumn Leaf
Our ComprehensiveDesign & Build Process

Build Vertically to Gain Outdoor Living Space

Huntington, Long Island

Consultation and Design

A thorough discussion creates effective design objectives

The property had an old wood retaining wall and rotting deck that was an eyesore nobody wanted to use. A new design and layout was needed to create a larger, more inviting living space. Sloped properties need retaining walls to be in place before the living space can be developed. The deck behind the house was limited, so our solution was a long lasting stone retaining wall and patio to create a larger outdoor space for dining, relaxing and cooking.

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The Big Picture

This backyard is consistent from arrival to departure

To increase patio space, the grade was manipulated so a gentle curved wall could be built. The subtle grade change from patio to the lawn area allowed us to add a sunken fire pit patio while maintaining some lawn space. Starting from the driveway, grand stairs lead you up to the main patio.

To take advantage of the severe grade change, we added a beautiful natural stone waterfall to the center of the patio which echos throughout the yard and can be seen from inside the home. Although two completely different materials are used, careful craftsmanship created a comfortable transition.

Where needed a second wall was added to retain the higher slope while the main wall continues with the gentle slope until it reaches a small storage shed.

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Add Ambiance with a Fire Pit

Offering more outdoor activities with the warm glow of a fire pit

We designed the retaining wall and patio stairs to create a great area for a fire pit. The fire pit unified the retaining wall's curve and patio lines.

To delineate the space and soften the hardscape, we added a raised plant bed and some greenery. We made the plant bed so it continues around the fire pit, mimicking the retaining wall.

Nicolock manufactured stone product was used to give the aesthetics of natural stone with rustic texture.

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A Water Feature Creates Sound and Motion

The soothing sound of falling water is calming and therapeutic

A grand waterfall was added to bring the wonderful sounds and movement of flowing water to the patio. This water feature was built from natural stone and boulders which provide a complementing contrast to the long segmental retaining wall in which it's nestled.

As the landscape plants grow, they'll fill in the spaces and the materials will be more seamless. The flexibility of the materials we used creates continuity and a sense of adherence to a natural hillside feeling.

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Adaptable Landscape Materials

The right hardscape surfaces make unifying the project easier

Flexibility is important when designing and building any landscape project. Material characteristics can often help with unifying a design during construction.

The paving slabs used in this landscape project look like natural stone. They have small ridges on their surface that recreate the desired qualities in natural stone patios. This texture smoothened the transition to the waterfall.

The segmented wall stone used to create the wall has a uniquely coarse texture that creates a great effect when lit at night.

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Accentuate your Landscape's Unique Features

Add depth with LED landscape lighting

As the sun sets, your surroundings start to fade and appear to vanish. Sensibly placed landscape lighting fixtures keep this landscape from fading at nightfall. Large swaths of negative space often make open back yards feel too empty. Lighting specific ornamental elements can add structure back into the landscape.

On this project, having both a retaining wall and open landscape with which to work was a benefit. LED landscape lighting was spaced in the retaining wall's plant bed and setup to light up the wall and adjacent plants. Low profile LED wall fixtures were placed to bounce light back to the patio. Two landscape fixtures where placed along each side of the waterfall to illuminate it entirely.

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Bringing Everything Together

See this project in its entirety

Our goal is to provide you with a complete outdoor living experience. We focus on the big picture and your long-term plans in order to tailor your backyard living space.

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We lead the industry in landscape design technology, build quality and style. We know how important it is to get it right, right from the beginning. That's why we make sure you love your design before we build, everything from our curb appeal options to a swimming pool's shape and size, to the patios materials, to the perfect water feature to the coolest lighting. And we build the project using everything we've learned over our many years of designing and building residential landscapes.

Thank you for your interest in what we do. Give us a few details about what you have in mind through this form and we'll be in touch to discuss it in more detail.


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