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Contemporary Backyard and Fire Pit - Oconomowoc, WI

Our clients' contemporary lake home was missing one key element when we were hired -- an entertainment space level with the rest of the backyard. Below the existing deck was a marginal patch of lawn that was not a welcoming entry point into the lower level of the home. This area was also somewhat of a high traffic location, as a changing room and shower had recently been added in the home for family and friends to use after spending the day in the water. Our clients specified that they wanted a paved area and fire pit, with their original plan to have it close to their beach. Setback regulations did not allow for paving within 75' of the lake's edge, so we had to be creative in locating the fire pit to make it aesthetically pleasing while still meeting all code requirements.

The fire pit placement was dictated by two visual axes; the centerline of the gabled section of the home, as well as the centerline of the new stepper path and steps. The steppers and steps were part of our design as a path was needed to connect front and backyards. The lilac colored bluestone was chosen to coordinate with the unique, existing stone that made up the low walls around the home. The angled wall visible in some photos was an existing wall that was failing, so it was rebuilt and extended further from the house.

This same stone clads the masonry fire pit, although it is not readily visible under the oversized coping stone. The 4' wide inner diameter is larger than average so that our clients can have bonfire-sized flames. The paved surface of the circular patio is irregular lilac bluestone to coordinate with the house walls and steppers.

The finishing touch to the new landscape was the addition of a blend of sun and shade perennials. Lake and home are now connected by a fire-lit gathering space for family and friends.

Contemporary Backyard and Fire Pit - Oconomowoc