Outdoor living and Texas are two things that tend to mix well together. With hot summers and mostly moderate winters, spending quality time outdoors is close to a no brainer for us Texans. From large grassy backyards, to refreshing swimming pools, to outdoor cooking equipment, or even just dedicated space to lounge around outside, there are a multitude of ways for homeowners to equip their house to enjoy the outdoors. The owners of this Dallas home decided to take advantage of several an maximize their home’s outdoor living capabilities. The project culminated in the remodel of the pool and backyard landscaping and the addition of a pool cabana that includes a fully equipped outdoor kitchen and ample entertainment space.
Before construction could begin, an old back house in the backyard needed to be removed. The enclosed back house was original to the property and featured a handful of rooms. But it was lacking in two ways. First, it did not match the main house and as such stuck out like an eyesore. The main house had been rebuilt several years prior and featured a sleek contemporary design. Compared to the main house, the old back house felt dated and shabby. Second, the enclosed nature of the back house meant that it wasn’t ideal for outdoor living purposes. With the back house taking up prime backyard location (right next to the pool, no less), it was decided that the best option was to tear down it and build the new pool cabana in its place.
The cabana and backyard concept was designed by Randy Angell (Randy Angell Designs) and reflects the contemporary design of the main house. It incorporates several elements that are common to contemporary design: clean lines, large and uncluttered open spaces, flat panel cabinetry, and minimalist décor with a few standout design features. Despite being built at separate times, it was important to the homeowners that the pool cabana felt like a natural inclusion and not a tacked-on afterthought. Great care was taken to match certain materials used on the cabana with the materials used to construct the main house. The brick and stone masonry used on the cabana are the same materials used on the main house and the colored concrete flooring is similar to rooms in the main house.
The outdoor kitchen area was designed to be a fully functioning unit. When in use, the homeowners did not want any back and forth between it and the main house. One way this goal is achieved is through the ample storage and countertop space that the kitchen provides. The cabinets and drawers were custom designed and offer enough storage space for essential kitchen items. Weatherstripping installed along the interior edges of the cabinets and drawers keep their contents safe from dust and dirt. The adjacent enclosed storage closet includes a pantry to store foods where they will be safe from environmental factors. The storage closet uses a mini-split unit for temperature regulation, a smart choice for smaller rooms that need temperature control but are not large enough to require a full HVAC unit. Cooking equipment in the kitchen include both a Big Green Egg and double side burner. The range hood has an extra-large depth to accommodate for the excessive amount of smoke that is generated by outdoor cooking appliances.
Adjacent to the kitchen area is a dining area with enough space to fit a large dining room table. The eclectic mixture of wood and metal for the table works well with the style of the cabana. There is enough space to comfortably fit ten of the bright green chairs, perfect for the homeowners to host large gatherings of family or friend. And if there still is not enough seating room then bar seating can be found along the half wall that frames a side of the kitchen. provides temperature control for the room.
To the other side of the kitchen is an entertainment and gathering area. It features ample space for several couches and lounge chairs and allows the homeowners plenty of room to lounge outside by themselves or comfortably host guests without feeling overcrowded in the space. The linear fireplace is the focal point of the room. The fireplace hearth extends past the pool. It both provides additional seating around the pool and helps to tie the two spaces together. A flatscreen television overhangs the fireplace and provides even more of an excuse to get outside. Who wouldn’t enjoy a watching your favorite sports team play during an at home barbeque cookout? Furthermore, the cabana is designed to be comfortably used throughout the year. Infratech ceiling heater and two outdoor Haiku fans help make the cabana more comfortable in colder or warmer temperatures respectively. A built-in mosquito spray system was also installed throughout the cabana and backyard to keep bugs at bay.
Completing the cabana is an enclosed full-sized bathroom which allows the homeowners to clean up from swimming before returning inside. The bathroom features a custom built floating vanity with a quartz countertop and vessel sink that complement the overall contemporary modern design of the structure. The large walk in shower features a built-in soap niche, handheld and rain shower heads, and pebble tile flooring. The room features uniquely shaped green tile on the walls which adds unique style to the room.
Next to the cabana’s entertainment area is the pool. The pool itself underwent a few cosmetic changes during the project but most of the changes were to the surrounding area. Originally the pool was a relatively boring part of the backyard that brought little cosmetic value. An architectural water fountain feature was added along the backside of the pool where the extended fireplace hearth ends. To the other side of the foundation are three oversized built in planter pots. Jason Osterberger with Jason Osterberger Designs reworked the landscaping behind the pool and created a unique look that fits perfectly with the contemporary design of the home. Additional concrete pavers were added around the pool while others elsewhere in the yard were removed allowing for more uninterrupted green space in the yard.