Photography by Craig Shaffer
The Smith Mountain Lake region offers not only the natural beauty and recreational opportunities of the lake, but also stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you have invested in a lakeside home, you, of course, want to maximize those inspirational views, but may meet some challenges in your landscape design. Many lakeside properties face issues like steeply sloped yards, a need for access paths from the home to the lake, or simply the desire for beautiful yet functional ways to expand living and entertaining areas. Here we feature five lakeside properties to inspire you with ways to make the most of your outdoor living space.
The natural terrain of a lakeside property often offers spectacular views from the home but presents a slope challenge when accessing the lake. This homeowner added a retaining wall to separate the yard space from an installed asphalt cart path, as well as installed boulder walls at the cart path retention area and at the dock steps. The asphalt path leads to a cobblestone-patterned paver path that continues to the dock. Easy-tomaintain landscape plantings were installed with irrigation, as well as landscape lighting for safety and a gorgeous nighttime glow.
THE NATURAL TERRAIN OF A LAKESIDE PROPERTY OFTEN OFFERS SPECTACULAR VIEWS FROM THE HOME BUT PRESENTS A SLOPE CHALLENGE WHEN ACCESSING THE LAKE.
EXTENDING LIVING SPACE
Seamless transitions from interiors to exteriors can make a home feel more spacious and the outdoor living space feel more accessible and functional. This homeowner began with a backyard blank slate and created a relaxing oasis. This was attained by terracing the yard with retaining walls, installing a new Trex deck, large patio, spa, fire pit, fire torches, and an outdoor kitchen. Custom-designed metal palm trees were installed for a year-round tropical vibe. This design creates a gentle flow to various activity areas that all maximize that gorgeous sunset view.
SEAMLESS TRANSITIONS FROM INTERIORS TO EXTERIORS CAN MAKE A HOME FEEL MORE SPACIOUS AND THE OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE FEEL MORE ACCESSIBLE AND FUNCTIONAL.
Is there anything more cozy than a group of family or friends gathered around a fire? Building a fire pit is a great way to easily add instant outdoor living space that provides function and a beautiful aesthetic. This homeowner created a gathering spot by installing a retaining wall, a dry stack boulder wall, a paver patio and a fire pit. Along this area, they also installed a terraced paver walkway with boulder accents, and a decorative river stone bed.
OUTDOOR FIREPLACE AND EXPANDING UNDERUSED SPACES
Why not turn the unused areas under your deck into a beautiful space for relaxation? This homeowner transformed an often-overlooked space into a lakeside screened porch with an outdoor mosaic stone gas fireplace. With the addition of outdoor furniture, their living and dining areas are expanded, providing year-round comfort. An added benefit is the enjoyment of a gorgeous lakeside view without pesky bugs invading the space.
Spending time outdoors is much more enjoyable when you have a safe and welcoming space to entertain family and friends. Because wood ages rapidly when exposed to the elements, many decks quickly become tired-looking, splinter, crack, or need a more secure foundation. Expanding a deck is often an affordable way to gain outdoor living space compared to other landscaping options. This homeowner completed a deck renovation by removing the existing decking, installing Trex decking, and adding lighting. Additionally, they expanded beyond the deck with a lakeside paver patio seating area and an elegantly curved pathway to the dock. The look is made complete with landscape lighting, easy-tomaintain landscaping, and boulder accents. ✦