Warm, Coastal-Inspired Yard Draws Minnesota Family and Community Together

See how senior designer Heather Grossmann of Mom's Design Build uses coastal hues and versatile outdoor features to create a relaxing, family-oriented space for the Mpls. St. Paul Magazine's 2015 Showcase Home.

Pool and Outdoor Space with Lighting

Pool and Outdoor Space with Lighting

Lighting can make a huge difference to the look of an outside space. Bistro lights in the oak tree, illuminated containers and landscape lights help create a romantic and fun atmosphere. The pergola was designed to have decorative privacy screens in between the posts and is lit with decorative sconces.

Photo by: Steve Silverman Imaging

Steve Silverman Imaging

Selected to design the exterior spaces of the Mpls. St. Paul Magazine’s 2015 Showcase Home, Mom's Design Build senior designer Heather Grossmann drew on the homeowners’ strong sense of family and community to create a warm, coastal-inspired backyard. 

"The owners, Mark and Susan Lacek, are just amazing people," says Jim Sweeney, founder and senior designer of Mom’s Design Build. "They have two teenage daughters who are very active, so they wanted this to be a spot where they could spend time with the girls, as well as entertain."

Raised Lounging Deck and Tumbling Turf

Raised Lounging Deck and Tumbling Turf

Wooden deck overlooks synthetic turf.

Photo by: Steve Silverman Imaging

Steve Silverman Imaging

Wooden deck overlooks synthetic turf.

With just two months until the opening of the Showcase Home, Grossmann needed to quickly and efficiently transform the Laceks’ outdoor space into a retreat for family gatherings. Because the yard had been stripped bare from construction, she began by introducing synthetic turf to the setting.

Spanning between the pool and deck, the artificial grass revives the stark yard with vivid color and texture and serves as a drainage field and tumbling space for the Laceks’ gymnast daughters. When they're not practicing backflips on the in-ground trampoline, the girls have plenty of room to perfect their cartwheels on the turf.

"It's great for entertaining, too," Grossmann notes. "If you're throwing a party and your guests are wearing heels, they won’t sink into the dirt."

Coastal Pool Deck

Coastal Pool Deck

Deck features fire pit, sectional.

Photo by: Steve Silverman Imaging

Steve Silverman Imaging

Deck features fire pit, sectional.

Versatility was key in designing the deck as well. Where lounge chairs give the parents room to relax and supervise their girls, the fire pit and weatherproof sectional invite guests to sit and converse, even during the winter. 

Teal, coral and splashes of yellow pop on the furniture, which Grossmann used to enliven the backyard and achieve the warm, coastal-modern aesthetic the Laceks desired. 

"They wanted a beach house in the middle of the city," she explains. 

Resort-style Backyard and Pool

Resort-style Backyard and Pool

Pergola with view of deck, patio. 

Photo by: Steve Silverman Imaging

Steve Silverman Imaging

Pergola with view of deck, patio. 

Although the nearest beach is many miles outside of Minneapolis, those coastal hues evoke the relaxing nature of the ocean. That tranquil tone was especially important to Mark and Susan, who devote their time away from home to serving families through their nonprofit, Faith's Lodge.

Established in memory of the Laceks' first child, Faith's Lodge is a peaceful escape that gives parents a safe space to grieve and connect with couples in similar situations. With this cause close to their hearts, Mark and Susan needed their own space where they could rest and recharge.

Thus, Grossmann added an iron fence and a row of hedges behind the deck to provide some privacy without shutting out the neighbors.

Pool Area with Swing Bed, Pergola and Lighting

Pool Area with Swing Bed, Pergola and Lighting

Pegola includes swing bed, palm trees and gentle lighting. 

Photo by: Steve Silverman Imaging

Steve Silverman Imaging

Pegola includes swing bed, palm trees and gentle lighting. 

Tropical plants and a swinging bed enhance that calming environment. Anchored on either end of the pergola, two palm trees pair with the swing to create the Laceks' own private, poolside cabana. 

The designer notes that quality lighting is also essential to maintaining that alluring atmosphere.

"It's so important in Minnesota, especially in the winter, because the days are so much shorter and darker," she says. "I think having those lights really makes a backyard come to life."

The bistro lights strung across the oak tree and planters with LEDs turn the backyard into a stunning showcase, which the Laceks can enjoy from inside the home or from their back patio. 

Coastal-Inspired Outdoor Dining Table

Coastal-Inspired Outdoor Dining Table

Teak wood dining table with six sling chairs. 

Photo by: Steve Silverman Imaging

Steve Silverman Imaging

Teak wood dining table with six sling chairs. 

With limestone tile that connects from the indoor-outdoor kitchen and a teak table with six sling chairs, the patio becomes a natural extension of the home by making space for family-style dinners. Accents in coral and teal tie the yard together for a look that's coastal and cohesive.

While the designers agree that participating in the 2015 Showcase Home was an honor in and of itself, they insist that the most rewarding part of the project was getting to know the Laceks.  

"It was a privilege for us to work with them, to give them this incredible space that works so beautifully for their needs," says Sweeney. "It’s a special place for a special family."

Tour the Rest of the Backyard:

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Deck Features Wood Pergola

Positioned at the head of the pool, the swing bed allows for sweeping views of the entire backyard. A wooden pergola overhead provides some relief from the sun, while palm trees and annual flowers add natural greenery to the setting. 

In-Ground Trampoline

Behind the swing bed, an in-ground trampoline gives the owners' daughters room to practice new flips and other gymnastics tricks. Because the trampoline is lined with green trim, it blends in with the synthetic turf for a seamless visual effect.

Photo By: Steve Silverman Imaging

Synthetic Tumbling Turf

Because the yard is naturally flat, the designers used synthetic turf with crushed rocks underneath to assist with drainage. At the same time, the space is ideal for the owners' gymnast daughters, giving them room to tumble and practice cartwheels. 

Photo By: Steve Silverman Imaging

Coastal-Inspired Dining Table

Though the table appears to seat eight, it actually extends to accomodate additional guests. Starfish accents and a seahorse centerpiece further evoke thoughts of the beach, ensuring that the backyard feels truly tropical and inviting. 

Photo By: Steve Silverman Imaging

Raised Deck Includes Lounge, Fire Pit

Wanting to make the backyard feel like a natural extension of the home, the designers echoed specific tones from the interior and front yard. Thus, the raised deck includes wood paneling and white columns, as well as boasts a fire pit and lounge.

Private Pool and Water Features

Because the pool can be seen straight through the house, the designers added fountains to draw additional visual interest. On the opposite side of the water, planters with LEDs illuminate the space for playing late into the evening. 

Party-Perfect Backyard

Stepping into the backyard becomes an otherworldly experience as bistro lights, sconces and containers create a luminous atmosphere. With a pool, swing bed, raised deck and outdoor kitchen, this space is perfect for hosting a number of friends and family members.

Swing Bed With Luxe Touches

Though located in Minnesota, the home includes a number of warm coastal touches, like this textured swing bed. Here, throw pillows and a cushioned base lure the owners to recline while their kids swim and play. Palm trees on either side further the resort-style vibes. 

Photo By: Steve Silverman Imaging

Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Area

Entertaining is a breeze thanks to a fully-stocked outdoor kitchen and connecting dining area. Here, teal and coral plates and linens give the reclaimed wood table a coastal touch, while candles keep the setting intimate.

Photo By: Steve Silverman Imaging

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