Date: February 18, 2020 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Lauren Cerrato |
Better Lawns & Gardens maximizes space in a Little Rock backyard to create an escape for the owners
When David Munsey, III, general manager of central Arkansas’s Better Lawns & Gardens, first saw Martha and Dr. Vent Murphy’s backyard it was nearly a blank slate. “When you walked out their back door, there was a patio and several flower beds, and that was basically it,” he recalls. The Murphys, who enjoy entertaining and spending time outdoors, wanted to open up the space and make it more usable. Working with David as well as Tobi Fairley of Tobi Fairley Interior Design (who also designed the interior of their home), they were able to create spaces for grilling, gathering, and downtime.
To create these areas, brick pavers were extended to connect the grill area to a dining space and provide room for a table. A cooking station, complete with a granite countertop and storage space under the stainless grill, gives the Murphys the opportunity to prepare and serve multiple dishes outdoors. Along the back hedge, David designed a curved fireplace and hearth area that fits neatly into a corner and offers a destination for relaxing by the fire or watching television. Traditional furnishings complement both the landscape as well as the home’s interior. “This was a fairly simple project, but it made a huge impact and allows them to really enjoy their outdoor space now,” David says.
Room to Relax
A custom fireplace gives a corner nook the feel of a living room, while the brick ties into the home’s exterior. The extended hearth provides extra seating as well as a space for plantings in beds built into the top. Above the fireplace, a recessed television allows the Murphys to watch the big game or golf tournament from the comfort of the sofa or swivel chairs surrounding the space.
Fresh-cut parrot tulips complement the cool blues and greens of the backyard design.
Boxwoods and pale pink vincas bring life to the hearth’s built-in planters.
Containers filled with pink Chinese evergreen, English ivy, and ‘Silk ‘N Satin’ pink petunias brighten the seating area.
A monkey-themed table brings whimsy to the space and holds extra essentials for entertaining.
A built-in Big Green Egg and a Twin Eagles grill allow the Murphys to smoke, sear, or slow roast at the outdoor cooking station.
This was a fairly simple project, but it made a huge impact and allows them to really enjoy their outdoor space now.” —David Munsey, III, outdoor living designer
Traditional blue-and-white plates bring a hint of the Murphys’ style to the outdoor table.
Outdoor living and landscape design and installation David Munsey, III, Better Lawns & Gardens Furniture and lighting Tobi Fairley Interior Design Plantings Better Lawns & Gardens