Open-Air Entertaining

Outdoor retreat keeps formality in balance with festivity

Outdoor living is taken to a new level by Bexley residents, Ron Negron and Mike Gritzmacher, who transformed their back yard from an empty expanse of lawn into a unique en plein air retreat.

Describing their home as a blend of French Eclectic and Colonial Revival, Ron notes that they wanted to create three separate exterior areas, each defined by its unique function, but blended with the home’s distinctive style.

“We were attracted to designs with a formal feel that would be in keeping with the classic symmetry of our home, but at the same time would reflect the freedom of its eclecticism, too,” notes Ron. “Above all, we wanted to have designated spaces for living, playing and relaxing,” he adds.

A flow to the fountain

The centerpiece of the design is a formal allée that extends from the couple’s off-the-kitchen patio to the rear of the property. A blue flagstone stepper walkway, flanked on either side by a row of cumulus serviceberry, interspersed with Annabelle hydrangea shrubs, creates a relaxing vista. The eye is led to the focal point of the area—a decorative metal fountain, graced by a trio of flowering Winter King Hawthorns.

The formality of the allée is balanced on either side by more playful areas. A swimming pool and deck extends from the patio to the north side, while an open lawn to the south gives their young daughter, Reagan, plenty of space to romp with the family’s two dogs.

David Peabody, president of Peabody Landscape Group, who turned Ron and Mike’s preliminary design ideas into a site layout with drawings and specifications, as well as planting and hardscape plans, supervised installation of the overall project. “More than 150 trees and shrubs, including dozens of nearly 10-foot-high arborvitae that soften the fenced perimeter of the property, create a private, serene retreat,” notes Peabody.

“Mike and I enjoy entertaining family and friends,” says Ron, in explaining why it was important to have several seating areas, in addition to the dining table on the patio. “Mike’s extraordinary eye for detail in planting and placing pots of colorful annuals and selecting festive tableware, really adds an element of fun to the restful green and white backdrop we’ve created,” Ron adds.

Served with a dip

Guests particularly enjoy the heated, salt-water pool, which is enclosed by a decorative wrought-iron fence that provides interest, as well as safety for their daughter and the children of their visitors. Canvas table umbrellas, as well as a four-pillar pergola, which matches an additional pergola on the adjacent patio, provide poolside shade.

Mike says that the three outdoor spaces allow the family to host multi-generational gatherings, where adults of all ages—and their children—can pursue a variety of activities while enjoying being together.

Add your comment:

 

Archive »Landscape & Garden Articles

Farmhouse Chic

Farmhouse Chic

Oldsmar home features a country aesthetic with a modern vibe

Modern Aura

Modern Aura

Cozy home combines Frank Lloyd Wright design elements with coastal sensibilities

Private Oasis

Private Oasis

Housetrends uncovers some of the Miami Valley’s most impressive hidden retreats

All Decked Out

All Decked Out

Family gets a second chance to have the deck of their dreams

Fresh Air Entertaining

Fresh Air Entertaining

Five-year plan results in a perfectly picturesque outdoor living space

Relaxing Locale

Relaxing Locale

Dade City family creates the ultimate backyard retreat

Outdoor Destination

Outdoor Destination

New Albany courtyard adds a touch of privacy

Rustic Backyard Retreat

Rustic Backyard Retreat

Granville home’s living space moves outdoors

Veranda Living

Veranda Living

Designing a Home from the Outside In

Patio is Picture Perfect

Patio is Picture Perfect

Outdoor entertaining area shines in Central Ohio

Bright Ideas

Bright Ideas

Enhance your landscape with outdoor lighting

Built Around Beauty

Built Around Beauty

Rural setting establishes a family-friendly retreat

Alfresco Entertaining

Alfresco Entertaining

Outdoor living space blends in with its natural surroundings

Splashes of Las Vegas

Splashes of Las Vegas

Outdoor living space inspired by the allure of Sin City

Nature Infused Modern Ranch

Nature Infused Modern Ranch

Batavia home’s design invites the outdoors in

Private Luxury

Private Luxury

Home remodel infused with new life

Designing a Lifestyle

Designing a Lifestyle

Tampa Bay builder incorporates amenities into every home

Under the Florida Sun

Under the Florida Sun

Family uses Tuscan vacation as inspiration in home design

Play. Swim. Stay.

Play. Swim. Stay.

Pickerington property gives family plenty of reasons to gather

Year-Round Retreat

Year-Round Retreat

New Albany outdoor entertainment hub designed for all seasons

}