Where: Walnut Creek, California
In his own words: “Often homeowners are looking to convert their outdated backyard to one with added features so it feels like an extension of their home’s interior.”Californians are fortunate to have a climate that allows them to be outdoors most of the year. “Most homeowners want to take advantage of that and enjoy it; it continues a casual lifestyle outside,” says Don Vivatson, the owner of Alder Group Pool & Landscape, a design-build firm in Walnut Creek. He works with his clients to create outdoor spaces that help them do just that.
Designing dreams. “I love knowing and understanding the art of landscaping,” Vivatson says. “It’s my craft. I’m always inspired by a new project, working through all of its challenges and knowing that my team and I have the experience to bring a concept from a dream to reality.”
Ready to bring your dream backyard to life? Vivatson’s tips will help you get started.
1. Define Your Spaces
As you do with the interior of your home, Vivatson suggests creating distinct areas for outdoor living. “An outdoor kitchen or barbecue will be the heart of your space,” he says. “You’ll also need a dining space for informal meals and a shaded seating area with comfortable outdoor furniture for relaxing. I also recommend adding a fire pit or fireplace, or a pool.”
The pool in the Alamo backyard seen here acts as the hub of the space and interacts with the other areas. “When we started this project, the space had just a patio and a pool,” Vivatson says. “We transformed the yard to include an outdoor kitchen with seating, a dining area, two outdoor living spaces and a pool and hot tub. It created a space to live, not just exist, and it’s all centered around the pool.”
2. Keep Your Materials Cohesive
Use a consistent theme to bring together the space’s colors, materials and style. “Decorate the outdoors like you do the indoors,” Vivatson says. “Everything should should flow together. A shade structure can be an earth tone or match the color of the house. Coordinate outdoor carpets with the patio’s stone for a warm finish. Cushions or accessories can add pops of color.”
In the Lafayette yard seen here, Vivatson incorporated a Mediterranean feel throughout the hardscape and the furniture. “The warm granite and stone around the fire feature and on the outdoor kitchen coordinate with the arbor and outdoor accessories,” he says. “It takes a space to the next level when you really design for the outdoors.”
3. Bring Everything Together
Blend the plantings, lawn and pool into the outdoor living areas. “Bring the garden into the outdoor living areas with potted plants on the patio,” Vivatson says. “Tree roses add nice color and height to patios, and a lawn acts as a unifying element.”
The owners of the San Ramon property seen here wanted a backyard that resembled a vineyard in Napa. “A series of patios and stone steps within a private vineyard lead to a pergola accented with outdoor lighting,” Vivatson says. “The patios, stone and pergola work together to create a space right out of Napa Valley.”
More: For more information on Don Vivatson and examples of his work, visit Alder Group Pool & Landscape’s Houzz profile.
This story was written by the Houzz Sponsored Content team.