Nestled deep in the beautiful hamlet of Sands Point, our client’s property was dominated by a huge slope that divided the available space in two. They dreamt of a backyard that would match their approach to modern living, and our design team was a perfect match. But how best to site the pool environment, fire lounge, cooking and dining areas?

The easy solution would have been to use the flatter area of the space to locate the pool, but that wouldn’t help to make the slope useful. When we proposed using the slope itself as the pool location—creating a raised pool oasis—everything clicked. Building the pool three feet above the rest of the yard meant that we could carefully manage the cut and fill of the slope for economy—no soil needed to be trucked off site. Another benefit is that during the fall and winter seasons the unsightly cover is out of sight. But when in use, the pool terrace is completely accessible and still engaged with the other new spaces we designed.

At the lower level (flush with the interior space), lounge seating surrounds the wood-burning fire pit and a beautiful hedge with perennial flowers separates the lounge area from the dining area. The fire itself is centrally located and can be enjoyed from all sides. Full-slab Pennsylvania bluestone steps with grass landings create a welcoming transition, and connect the pool to the fire and dining areas. Built from beautiful, natural Westchester granite, the textured surfaces of the outdoor kitchen, bar counter, and fire pit warm up the clean lines found elsewhere in the design.

Rectangular stepping stones made of silver travertine lead from the backyard gate to these functional areas. They seem to fade from view when seen from afar thanks to grass joints, so the natural beauty and simplicity of the property is not disrupted. Night lighting in the form of overhead moon lights, ground bollards, and multifunctional tiki torches extends the use of their new backyard well into the evening.