Date: July 1, 2023 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Stephanie Maxwell Newton |
A Little Rock family turns to Better Lawns & Gardens to create an all-weather retreat
While the owners of this west Little Rock residence had spent years creating a home they love, their focus had always been on the interiors. Recently, they decided to turn their attention to the backyard. “Our yard was sloped and didn’t have a great flat area,” the owner recalls. “It was pretty but never really functional.” Additionally, as their two sons got older, they saw the boys wanted a bit more independence and separation, especially when friends visited. The pair began to dream about a backyard pavilion that could offer a solution in both cases.
When they met David Munsey, III, of Better Lawns & Gardens, that dream began to take shape. “We had multiple contractors look at our inspiration pictures and the concept, but David was the first who really saw what it needed to be and how we could achieve it,” the homeowner says. By flattening a portion of the yard, they were able to create a spacious retreat just steps from the kitchen and the existing brick patio. With a fireplace as well as built-in fans and heaters, it’s become a gathering place that is used 365 days a year. “Families always want their kids to hang out at home, so that was the real goal here: to create a place to do that,” David says. “I’ll pop in from time to time to check on things and it never fails, there’s always a kid or somebody hanging out back there.”
To make the structure extra teen-friendly, a mounted television and built-in Bluetooth speakers were added, along with a bar that includes refrigerated drawers for drinks. The owners note it has been fun to see how many kids come over just to hang out in their backyard, but it’s also a popular spot for adults. “Our neighbors pour into our backyard in the fall to watch football,” she says. “It’s really expanded the size of our home.”
“I’m very traditional,” the homeowner says. “We have a lot of blues, whites, and creams in our house, and I wanted to continue that visually outdoors.” The home’s painted brick was repeated on the base of the pavilion with limestone adding texture to the columns, fireplace, and bar, and Pennsylvania Bluestone on the floor for contrast.
Meant to be Blue
The ceiling was originally stained, but David felt it wasn’t quite right and convinced the owners to let him try a muted blue paint (“Blissful Blue” by Sherwin-Williams). Around the same time, one of the owner’s mothers passed away. “When we went to scatter her ashes at our old homeplace, my husband looked up at the porch ceiling and said, ‘That’s our blue!’” she recalls. The bar has refrigerated drawers for drinks and also houses the audiovisual equipment for the television and speakers. Porcelain countertops are a low-maintenance, all-weather material that also coordinates with the pavilion’s palette.
“When it’s just our family, we’ll end up sitting out there, swinging, and talking for hours.”
Contractor and landscape design Better Lawns & Gardens Accessories Box Turtle Appliances, brick, and limestone Antique Brick & Block Countertops Pinnacle Granite Co. Chimney cap Bray Sheet Metal Flooring Bennett Brothers Stone Millwork Creative Restoration and Design Paint Sherwin-Williams