Luxury Patio

Photo tour of a luxury patio in San Diego. Beautiful outdoor room with dining nook, spa, fireplace and more.

Everything In This Slideshow

  • Tour of San Diego Outdoor Pavilion

    A gracious backyard introduces a California family to the joys of alfresco living. "It's like an old-fashioned summer house," says Angie Lanigan, describing her family's new outdoor pavilion. "Once we add a kitchen, we'll probably live out here most of the year."

  • Deluxe Outdoor Living Room

    The homeowners already use their outdoor pavilion year-round, thanks to its inviting design and San Diego's mild climate. Essentially a great-room for the great outdoors, the 22x28-foot pavilion features a dining nook, a sunken spa, and a seating area complete with a fireplace and a TV. The finishing touch, Angie says, will be a deluxe outdoor kitchen that they expect to add when their budget allows. "It'll even have a dishwasher," she says. Because the Lanigans requested a master plan before building the pavilion, all necessary outlets, gas hook-ups, and plumbing lines for the kitchen are in place and ready to go.

  • Planning the Landscape Design

    Planning is the key to maximizing a property's potential, says landscape architect David Reed. He not only designed the pavilion, but he also created a master plan for the entire yard. The landscape design plan, intended to be installed in phases, includes everything from a future fountain in the rose garden to a swimming pool. Understanding the big picture ensures that all pieces are ideally positioned and that a cohesive look will be the result. The Lanigans' detached garage, for instance, now wears a white trellis that complements the rose arbor, and a new white gate spanning the driveway repeats design elements from the pavilion's pergola and railing.

  • Entertaining Family and Friends

    Even "unfinished," the pavilion is an irresistible destination. Angie and her husband, Brian, often relax there with their daughters, Keeley (5) and Alexis (2). Several evenings a month, the family finds themselves building a fire and entertaining friends in their outdoor room. Brian, a dedicated surfer, soaks in the spa almost every night, and Angie often joins him. (The spa offers a view of the fire.) On Saturdays, Keeley and Alexis watch the outdoor TV with Brian while Angie, an avid gardener, tends flowers nearby. But when she looks up, it's rarely a cartoon on-screen. "The girls really like Brian's surfing videos," she says with a smile.

  • Basic to Beautiful

    A pavilion, being built in phases, with a spa and an entertainment center transforms a ho-hum backyard into an ideal living space.

    What It Took

    Building a 1-foot-high perimeter of concrete blocks and footings, filling it with compacted soil, and topping it with a concrete pad.

    Creating a recessed area, essentially a walled pit that has a concrete floor, to hold a portable spa.

    Installing gas, electrical, and plumbing hook-ups for a future outdoor kitchen.

    Constructing a wood-burning fireplace that includes a weatherproof cabinet for an outdoor TV.

    Adding bluestone paving, a railing, an arbor, and a gazebo.

  • Next Slideshow 15 Patio Design Tips

    15 Patio Design Tips

    A charming patio filled with amenities can be a warm weather getaway, right in your backyard. Create a patio you can enjoy with these tips.
    Begin Slideshow »
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