You Voted, Now Meet Your Winning Picks From the HGTV Ultimate Outdoor Awards
HGTV fans cast thousands of votes and chose the following designers as the cream of the crop. Take a peek at their breathtaking photos and learn more about their award-winning designs.
Judges' Choice Overall Winner + People's Pick: Love at First Sight
David Young's breathtaking design topped all other contenders, in part thanks to his use of lush, native tropical plants and his skillful approach to enhancing the home's architecture with the surrounding landscape. David suggests, "For an outdoor space to be successful, consider the scale, micro-climate, functionality and use while providing good visual interest with easy or direct access from the interior spaces."
His design does all this and more, lending the property a resort-like feel that not only ties the home’s exterior spaces to the interiors but also highlights the oceanfront locale. He notes, "This design honors the site's beach-side setting with many native tropical species including seagrape, sea oats and Buccaneer and Sabal palms. Native tillandsia, or air plants, add life and soften the entry stairs while local limestone was mined and cut to specification for use in the motor court and entry walls."
People's Pick: Style + Structure
Sweeping the outdoor architecture category are Kenny Collins and J. Dabney Peoples with their storybook-style backyard pavilion that's perfectly in step with the lush garden surrounds. Designed to add outdoor entertaining space to a historic Southern home, the designers wisely chose materials that feel as if they’ve been there all along.
In their words, they "add to the property's timeless quality. Since [our] design was an addition to the existing property, we wanted to give the impression of an aged structure. Slate, granite, copper and hand-hewn timber all contribute to this effect." But, don’t let the pavilion’s fantasy look fool you; the structure is wired for the 21st century with bluetooth speakers, overhead fans and a refrigerated wine bar.
People's Pick: Water, Water Everywhere
It's no wonder that this resort-style backyard getaway by Ryan Hughes made a splash with HGTV fans. With a circular seating area and fire pit sunken within the pool, Ryan's design is certainly a showstopper. But what really sets it apart is how the design brings indoor comforts out. Wrapping around the pool are a series of shady rooms for dining, TV viewing or gaming and food prep.
Ryan says, "The dining and lounging areas include interior-style seating options with fabrics fit for an indoor kitchen. Even the hearth area includes a modern gas fireplace that would provide a cozy gathering spot within any interior family room.”
People's Pick: Gorgeous Gardens
Lush and lovely are how this cottage-style garden grows. Designer Andrew Grossman enhanced the property’s natural setting with densely planted beds and a pond that blends so seamlessly into the natural environment that it looks as if it's always been there.
"The effect is so convincing that visitors are surprised to discover that the pond is man-made," says Andrew. To maximize the garden’s cottage-style charm, Andrew went big with the beds. He suggests, "In general I find that beds, particularly those that frame a home's foundation, are too small in relation to the size of the house and surrounding lawn areas. For this property, I ensured that the proportion of the beds, walkways and lawn areas enhance the feeling of spaciousness. Although the property is only one acre, it feels like a much larger space."
People's Pick: Outdoor Oasis
Taking the win in the Outdoor Oasis category is designer Dan Ramos who turned a San Diego backyard into a luxurious, tropical hideaway complete with a stacked stone waterfall, swim-in cave and custom stone waterslide. But the real cherry on top is the thatch-roofed lumbung, constructed by Balinese craftsmen to Dan’s exacting specifications, the cabana features a Merbau wood frame and seems to float above the lagoon-like pool. Says Dan, “The lumbung makes a statement and takes the design to a whole new dimension.”
People's Pick: The WOW Factor
Landscape architect Nick Martin pulls out all the stops in this tropical getaway that features an infinty-edge pool accented by both fire bowls and a waterfall. A nearby fire pit offers a cozy spot to lounge on cool nights, while a 90-foot-long waterslide really takes this backyard design from a serene oasis to a fantasy playground.
Nick explains, "The biggest challenge was the waterslide which had to be fabricated in Tennessee then shipped to California for assembly. The process involved a structural engineering team to ensure the slide would be properly constructed on raised pier footings while still accommodating a lush tropical garden below." Overall, the design fits the homeowner's desire for an elegant entertaining space while still encouraging in Nick's words, "a sense of fun and adventure for all."