Backyard Escape

Backyard Escape

This recent pool patio design is located in North Barrington, IL. We were approached by the homeowner to fix and improve their backyard landscaping. After purchasing the home, the homeowners realized additional landscaping was required. The end result was a stunning natural stone retaining wall which edged the new pool patio and entertaining area.

Pool Patio Landscape Design Goals
  • Replace the existing brick pavers. Due to improper installation and poor maintenance, the existing pavers had weathered, faded, shifted and moved significantly.
  • Replace the existing block retaining wall. The wall had not built with proper geo-grid support or sufficient granular base and backfill. Therefore, Hydrostatic pressure had pushed the wall out which then in turn pushed the pool three inches off center, leading to significant leakage.
  • Despite over 1200 square footage of paver space, the patio design lacked a significant entertaining area. We wanted to improve the design to meet the needs of their active, outdoor entertaining lifestyle.
  • Replace and install the pool fencing with plantings and fencing which consequently provide views of the entire backyard
  • Add planting beds and perennial for year round texture and color
  • Create a vegetable garden.
  • Design and install a natural stone fire pit.

Pool Patio Design Solution

Entertaining Spaces

The Barn design team created a patio space that minimized walkways around the pool and increased the size of the two main pool patio areas.  This re-organization of the total square footage provided the client two large entertaining spaces. This was done without increasing the foot print of the existing patio.

Pool Deck

The pool deck was poured in with fiberglass reinforcement to minimize movement and shifting.  The client was presented with a variety of recommended stone and chose Unilock Yorkstone for the pool patio, set in epoxy mortar.  Our experienced landscape crew worked with full range, natural cleft bluestone to create the patio.  The radius coping was set in tumbled bluestone pavers.

Retaining Wall

We replaced the failing retaining wall with a blend of door county weather edge and dark gray outcropping stones.  Each stone piece weighed around 1-2 tons and were set on a 3″ limestone base which will support the pool patio for a lifetime.

Pool Fence

A new pool fence was installed 2 ½ feet lower than the pool deck in order to allow views of the natural setting of the backyard.  Our design team planted every landscape bed in full color perennials. Each plant was chosen for their long bloom time including Coneflowers, Russian Sage and Knockout Roses.


To break the eight-foot transition from the pool deck to the lower yard, a firepit terrace was added, downwind from the pool. It was built out of matching house brick veneer and lined with firebrick.  The irregular bluestone patio loosens the transition into the wooded backyard. Six feet of wide natural outcropping steps complete the transition between the upper pool and the backyard.

Planting Beds and Perennial Design

Planting Beds

Our landscape design team planted Little Lime Hydrangea, Boxwood, Pachysandra and Incrediball Hydrangeas around the pool patio since the customer wanted to enjoy blooms throughout the seasons.

Vegetable Garden

A small garden space located inside the pool fence allows the homeowner, an Italian chef, to grow her own vegetables and herbs with protection from wild animals.  The garden is conveniently located close to the home. As a result, the homeowners vegetables are safe and easily accessible all season long.

The Barn team partnered with Anchor Pool and Spa to revitalize the pool. The pool installation team installed a new liner, high efficiency heaters. The team also added an improved skimming system to keep the pool clean and warm. Consequently, this new system lowered total costs.

Our clients have told us, “We never want to leave our house. It’s just so much fun and so beautiful, it is really hard to leave”. We couldn’t ask for a better testimonial.

If you are interested in a learning how we can help you design a family-friendly pool patio click below to contact us.

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