The Farmyard Oasis outdoor living space was a project conceived of and designed for customers Vel and Jack.
I was given an area off the back of their home to work within that was approximately 75 feet across and 50 feet out with the objective to create a unique living space amidst a vast orange grove. Although we had an overall concept for the entire outdoor living space, we proceeded in a continuous but consecutive set of phases.
We started with a 5,000-gallon koi pond and waterfall, and a unique, multi-level custom deck. The custom deck contained three organic curved edges, one bordering the stepdown from the upper custom deck to the lower custom deck, the second intersecting the fire pit, and the third overlapping and contouring the koi pond.The deck also has two privacy pergolas. The first is a small pergola built mainly for function, to cover the farm’s well pumps and water softener. The roof was constructed with wood and plexi-glass and the walls were constructed 1” x 2” slats to form a tightly patterned horizontal, handmade wood lattice. This structure is wrapped with custom wood benches and planters that contain confederate jasmine that would eventually grow and weave its way throughout the structure.
The second pergola is quite a bit more intricate. The overall canopy is a standard shade structure with the exception of a curved pattern to emulate the curve of the deck and plexi-glass roof for protection from rain and sun. The interesting part was in the process of designing and constructing the walls of the custom pergola, Vel relayed her interest in stained glass and showed me one piece in particular she was hoping could be incorporated into the design. In addition, she conveyed her concern for the amount of sunlight that comes through the back side of the property from the west in the late evening. On a road trip to Orlando the following weekend to purchase materials, a concept same to mind for an intricately designed 2’ x 4’ wall built around the large pane of stained glass. I was also intrigued by the effect sunlight refracting through the stained glass would have on the rest of the project. I shopped around South Tampa and found two additional smaller stained glass pieces that matched the original, and they were incorporated into the railings on either side of the stained glass pergola.
The deck also has an outdoor kitchen with a cooking area where custom cabinetry and a bluestone countertop were built around an existing grill.
A stone fire pit intersects the custom deck in such a way that 180 degrees of the fire pit’s surrounding space is custom wood deck and 180 degrees is bluestone patio. The fire pit is built with Pennsylvania antique fieldstone that matches the stone used in the koi pond and waterfall.
A second water feature was conceived of and built during the span of constructing this outdoor living space. We also built a series of wood planters, some of which were used as planters and some were lined with pond liner and converted into a multi-tiered water feature.
This outdoor living space also has Pennsylvania bluestone walkways throughout, is fully landscaped, and has a complete outdoor lighting system. It was a project that I was part of and present for most of the construction, therefore, as an artist, the vision and designed of the project grew and evolved as the process continued.
The outdoor living space was entirely constructed in-house by myself and a crew of four Exterior Concepts team members. My thanks to William, Lee, Marian and Anthony for their hard work and effort. Mostly my thanks to Vel and Jack for the opportunity to work for them and the freedom to develop and create my art in their backyard.