outdoor patio furniture set
Photo: Linda Oyama Bryan
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2.‚ÄČThink in Layers

The other must-have on George and Susan's list was a patio for outdoor dining just steps from the kitchen—easy on this site, where the yard sloped down and away from the house. The resulting dining patio of tumbled concrete pavers steps down via three wide stone slabs of limestone outcropping to a similar paver patio with seating that hugs the water's edge. Using different levels for the patios creates separate garden rooms; the step-down transition from one area to another helps make the small space feel more expansive. Additional features that George wanted were tucked in alongside the main elements: A putting green found a home between the pond and garage, a hot tub peeks out from under the branches of a tree adjacent to the upper patio, and a grill awaits steaks just outside the kitchen door.
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