A big backyard isn't necessarily a sociable one. Take the quarter-acre lot behind John and Linda Marshall's 1946 home, in Statesville, North Carolina. It had plenty of lawn and a little patio with next to no seating, plus eyesores, like sprawling shrubbery and a chain-link fence. The space was uninviting enough to keep the couple from enjoying it themselves, much less with friends.
A large deck with a covered outdoor room, complete with a stone hearth and a lace-top brick wall, makes a great place for get-togethers.
Bryan George, By George Inc.
, Statesville, NC; 704-437-0355Garden designer:
Jan Enright, Jan Enright Creations
, Mooresville, NC;704-663-050Furniture: BenchSmithPillows: Pottery Barn