Story: Katie Cooper | Photography: Rett Peek |
Exterior designer Daniel Keeley creates a backyard retreat for a Fort Smith family that is equipped for any summertime occasion, from pool parties to weeknight barbecues
“I have known this family for several years and worked on other major projects at different residences,” Daniel Keeley of DK Design says of the friendship and history with his Fort Smith clients. After moving to this home, the owners had a desire to breathe new life into its exterior spaces. Read on to see how he, along with the home’s interior designer Chris Goddard of Goddard Design Group, created a backyard setting that’s perfect for a crowd or a quiet night at home.
Sitting on over two acres, the expansive greenspace was a perfect starting point for Keeley’s outdoor design. “The hardscaping was there, so the yard had great bones,” he says. Existing features, such as the double-sided outdoor fireplace, pool area, stone terraces, and brick work, ushered in an outdoor design primed for entertaining. A stone feature wall—one of the few newly added elements—accented with greenery and flowering bushes adds grandeur to the front elevation.
Mix and Match
When choosing outdoor furnishings, Keeley notes his fondness for an eclectic mix of textures and surfaces. “I didn’t want this to be too matchy,” he says. Throughout the different areas, Keeley blended hand-forged iron elements with classic wicker furniture. Metal chairs around a stone table create a dining space for eight, while groupings of wicker chairs surround glass-topped, iron tables to create intimate spaces for relaxation. A mix of patio flooring options, from stone to red brick pavers, adds to the design.
“The homeowner loves English design,” Keeley says. These touches are easily seen throughout the landscape with numerous topiaries, evergreen plantings and hedges, urns filled with colorful blooms, and classic garden ornaments. Keeley notes the same appreciation of English architecture is found in the home’s interior style.
“What the homeowners asked of Chris Goddard and me was to help update the home to its fullest potential, while tailoring the living spaces, indoors and out, to complement the family’s needs and style,” Keeley says. By creating separate zones for conversation, dining, grilling, and sunning, Keeley made cozy room-like spaces, each with a specific function. Taking cues from the interior floor plan, the outdoor rooms are positioned accordingly. For example, double doors from the home’s interior living room open up to the outdoor dining area. “We centered this grouping right off the living room doors in order for traffic to flow outside seamlessly.” The outdoor furnishings, upholstery pieces, and accessories also tie the outdoor spaces to the inside décor and overall style. “Chris and I picked out the seafoam accent color on the outdoor dining upholstery directly from the interior wall color,” Keeley says of the cohesive design and color palette. Through new landscaping and furnishings that add style and function, Keeley restored this outdoor retreat’s charm.
Contractor Tony Kimes Construction, Inc
Exterior design Daniel Keeley, DK Design
Interior design Chris Goddard, Goddard Design Group
Lighting, outdoor furniture, and plantings DK Design