Story: Paulette Pearson |
For Rebecca and Sam Tuck’s active family of six, spending time together often meant gathering in the backyard of their Jonesboro home. However, they were limited to eating meals on the patio and playing on a grassy lawn, and soon began considering ways to improve their time spent outdoors. Because their two young daughters enjoy swimming, and because they wanted to give their two older sons a place to hang out with their friends at home, they decided to install a pool, and the rest developed from there. “We’re not formal people,” Rebecca explains. “I wanted it to be a relaxing place for our family to play and also entertain.” Thanks to the collaborative help of several local professionals, what resulted is a natural, family-friendly oasis where the Tucks can both relax and welcome visitors all year long.
Making their backyard family and entertaining friendly first required adding functional spaces. They began with a new swimming area, featuring a heated pool with a waterfall, water slide and hot tub. “They can hop into the hot tub even when it’s freezing out,” says Marla Williams of Tallulah Pools Inc. in Jonesboro. “And we added ledges around the pool as a safety feature for the kids, so a shallow seat is always within reach.”
Situated in close proximity to the pool, the outdoor kitchen allows for easily preparing and serving food to guests, and was built to withstand the elements with stainless steel appliances, travertine stone and cedar cabinets. A bar area, flat screen television and stereo system make it a favorite place to congregate year round. “We cook and have people over almost every weekend during the summer,” Rebecca says. “We also enjoy it during football season.”
Along the way, the Tucks also took specific steps to give their new outdoor quarters a natural look. They chose a soft, organic shape for the pool, and then surrounded it with dark stamped concrete and natural stone planters filled with vegetation. They also called on designer MG Meyering of Interiors by Design to finish the space with a carefully edited blend of furniture, colors and fabrics. This includes sturdy brown patio furniture with deep red cushions and aqua, yellow and green accent pillows, as well as a blue-gray wash on the kitchen cabinets for a hand-made, rugged feel. “We wanted every element of the design to revolve around easy outdoor living,” notes Meyering.
From entertaining large groups of friends on a whim to watching her children play in the pool, Rebecca now relishes time spent in the outdoor space, and she hasn’t missed the old backyard in the slightest. “I just love it,” she says of her new paradise. “It’s one of the best things we’ve ever done.”
Architect Little & Associates Architects, Jonesboro
Builder, contractor, designer Tallulah Pools Inc., Jonesboro
Exterior design Interiors by Design, Jonesboro
Landscaping Bennett’s Nursery & Garden Center, Hughey Nursery & Landscaping, Jonesboro
Fabrics Sunbrella, Cobblestone & Vine, Ken Rash’s, Little Rock
Waterfall, masonry Stone World, Jonesboro