You Voted, Now Meet Your Winning Picks From the HGTV Ultimate Outdoor Awards

Hundreds of the nation's leading designers and architects submitted their best work for our first HGTV Ultimate Outdoor Awards. From gorgeous gardens to fabulously appointed front yards, our competition showcased the best of the best, all vying for your vote.

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

Front View of Home With Tropical Landscaping

Front View of Home With Tropical Landscaping

Large palms dominate the landscape of this home giving it the feeling of a tropical resort.

Photo by: Greg Wilson Photography

Greg Wilson Photography

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."

Across Pool View of Ocean and Pergola

Across Pool View of Ocean and Pergola

This outdoor space offers amazing views of the Gulf of Mexico. The long pool makes use of the narrow space, providing a water element as well as a place to cool off.

Photo by: Greg Wilson Photography

Greg Wilson Photography

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."

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Front View of Home With Tropical Landscaping

Large palms dominate the landscape of this home giving it the feeling of a tropical resort.

Photo By: Greg Wilson Photography

Walkway Under Elevated Pool Leading to Beach

This walkway features a breathtaking view of the home's elevated pool. The space's simple lines accentuate the warmth of the wood and stone, giving the walkway a welcoming feel.

Photo By: Greg Wilson Photography

Across Pool View of Ocean and Pergola

This outdoor space offers amazing views of the Gulf of Mexico. The long pool makes use of the narrow space, providing a water element as well as a place to cool off.

Photo By: Greg Wilson Photography

Multi-Level Terrace Enertaining Space with Pool, Pergola and Seating Areas

The multi-level terrace provides ample seating and lounge spaces surrounding a pool, spa and fountain with pergola, grill, lounge area, sleeping terrace, and seating areas.

Photo By: Greg Wilson Photography

Tropical Home Courtyard

The home's courtyard is composed of stones surrounded by low-growing ground cover for a low-maintenance space. The large palms and various tropical plants give the space a resort feel.

Photo By: Greg Wilson Photography

Overhead View of Courtyard and Deck to Sculling Launch

This tropical paradise is complete with a low-maintenance courtyard in easy walking distance to the property's private deck and boat launch.

Photo By: Greg Wilson Photography

People's Pick: Style + Structure

Brick Pavilion With Wisteria Framed Peaks, Garden and Weathered Gate

Brick Pavilion With Wisteria Framed Peaks, Garden and Weathered Gate

The weathered-finish gate serves both an aesthetic and functional purpose to the space. It creates a dramatic focal point as well as a practical entrance for staging of events. Wisteria frames the peaks of the pavilion, giving it a storybook quality that fits well with the beautiful flower garden and the structure's cottage feel. In an effort to maintain a seamless span, the wooden beams used in the timber frame we hollowed out and reinforced with steel.

Photo by: Kenny Collins, The Collins Group, Inc.

Kenny Collins, The Collins Group, Inc.

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.

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Brick Pavilion With Wisteria Framed Peaks, Garden and Weathered Gate

The weathered-finish gate serves both an aesthetic and functional purpose to the space. It creates a dramatic focal point as well as a practical entrance for staging of events. Wisteria frames the peaks of the pavilion, giving it a storybook quality that fits well with the beautiful flower garden and the structure's cottage feel. In an effort to maintain a seamless span, the wooden beams used in the timber frame we hollowed out and reinforced with steel.

Gorgeous Brick Pavilion and Water Feature in Sunny Garden With Wisteria and Iron Decor

A peaked pavilion roof lined with wisteria frames the water structure in the back of the garden for a beautiful tunnel view. Lanterns are mounted on the brick columns are practical and perfectly suited to the storybook look. Wrought iron furniture and a glass table offer a relaxing outdoor dining option.

Photo By: Kenny Collins, The Collins Group, Inc.

Wisteria Framed Garden Pavilion With Lantern Lights Mounted on Brick Columns and Wrought Iron Chairs

Wisteria travels up the brick columns and frames the roof peak of this garden pavilion giving a beautiful fairytale feel to the sunny space. Dark copper lanterns are mounted on the pavilion to provide nighttime lighting without breaking the image of the design. Wrought iron furniture creates a lovely outdoor sitting and dining space.

Photo By: Kenny Collins, The Collins Group, Inc.

Red Brick Pavilion With Slate Roof, Gravel Walkway and Wrought Iron Outdoor Furniture

Thin trees hug the red brick columns of this garden pavilion. A pointed roof shades the stone tile floor and black wrought iron furniture. A gravel walkway leading to the pavilion is framed with a brick border making a clean and organized line against the grass.

Whimsical Garden With Brick Water Fountain Structure, Gravel and Concrete Yard Frame and Black Wrought Iron Seating

Thick plant and tree life gives a lush surrounding to this peaceful garden. Brick structures add beautiful red tones against the natural plant colors. A large brick water features several spouts and a pool with concrete topped bench seating. Black wrought iron furniture creates an area to relax and enjoy the scene.

Photo By: Kenny Collins, The Collins Group, Inc.

Distressed Wooden Garden Gate on Decorative Red Brick Columns With Large Mounted Lanterns

This gorgeous gate is a perfect aesthetic fit to the surrounding cottage garden as well as a functional entrance for the outdoor space. The distressed finish works with the whimsical look. The green shade allows it to be a focal point while still blending with the general color scheme of the natural hues around it.

Photo By: Kenny Collins, The Collins Group, Inc.

People's Pick: Water, Water Everywhere

A Luxurious Outdoor Entertainment Paradise

A Luxurious Outdoor Entertainment Paradise

This South Florida home boasts multiple outdoor entertainment areas in one cohesive design. Neutral stone pavers cover patios and walls to create a harmonious feel throughout the three distinct spaces seen here. A sunken seating area in the pool is framed by the same stone material used in the coping around the pool's edge, helping to connect and define the spaces. Rough-hewn stone veneers are carried throughout the covered lounge and kitchen areas.

Photo by: Joe Traina

Joe Traina

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.”

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A Backyard Oasis Bursting with Elements for Entertaining

This South Florida home's outdoor space offers an abundance of luxurious features. Neutral stone pavers surround the coping around the edge of the pool as well as a pathway made of linear-cut ipe wood. A circular seating area in the middle of the pool includes a fire pit, making it a dramatic focal point.

A Serene Poolscape With Multiple Focal Points

This South Florida home's backyard poolscape features multiple entertainment areas defined by the use of varying hardscape materials. A feature wall with a gallery-like installation of fire sconces and water spouts is contrasted by the stone hearth and fireplace across the ipe wood patio to its right. The sunken seating area and fire pit within the swimming pool are unique features that emphasize the drama and luxury of this outdoor space.

A Tropical Pool Space With Unique Features For Entertaining

A geometric South Florida swimming pool includes a sunken circular seating area that's comfortably appointed with neutral pillows and cushions, providing ample area for relaxation around a central fire pit. Corners of the pool feature plants such as Mexican Fan palms that are set in dark, tumbled pebbles and framed by neutral stone pavers or dark ipe wood.

A Dramatic Sunken Fire Pit Area in the Middle of a Pool

This South Florida home boasts a unique outdoor entertaining space highlighted by a sunken circular fire pit in the swimming pool. The space features ample cushions for relaxing as well as a bespoke lighting arrangement in the seating area and swimming pool.

A Luxurious Outdoor Entertainment Paradise

This South Florida home boasts multiple outdoor entertainment areas in one cohesive design. Neutral stone pavers cover patios and walls to create a harmonious feel throughout the three distinct spaces seen here. A sunken seating area in the pool is framed by the same stone material used in the coping around the pool's edge, helping to connect and define the spaces. Rough-hewn stone veneers are carried throughout the covered lounge and kitchen areas.

A Corner Hot Tub Invites You to Relax

Set in the corner of this entertaining backyard oasis, the spa-like hot tub invites visitors to relax. Accessible via a stone walkway over the pool, or an elevated lounge area, the hot tub provides a view of the entire backyard and is framed by tall walls for privacy. A cut-out recessed wall behind the hot tub provides the perfect place to set candles or other decorative elements.

People's Pick: Gorgeous Gardens

Aquatic Plant Surround a Wetland-Like Pond

Aquatic Plant Surround a Wetland-Like Pond

Layers of aquatic plants surround a naturalistic wetland pond in this serene cottage garden.

Photo by: Andrew Grossman

Andrew Grossman

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."

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A Formal Cottage Garden with Gazebo

Climbing pink roses spill over a wood gazebo in this formal cottage garden, framing the entryway towards the shingled home. A simple rope fence intersects the garden and defines the entry garden from the large expanse of lawn framed by silvery lavender Russian sage.

Aquatic Plant Surround a Wetland-Like Pond

Layers of aquatic plants surround a naturalistic wetland pond in this serene cottage garden.

Photo By: Andrew Grossman

Cottage Garden Pond Framed by Lilacs

A naturalistic pond is planted with aquatic plants to give the property an authentic cottage garden feel

Formal Cottage Garden with Metal Gazebo

A vibrant purple-flowering vine spills over an antique metal gazebo nestled amongst the verdant plants of a formal cottage-style garden. Planting the garden up against the gazebo helps to soften the structure's edges and creates a cohesive design. The gazebo offers a comfortable vantage point from which to view the wetland-like pond and the rest of the lush cottage garden.

Photo By: Andrew Grossman

A Gravel Pathway Through a Formal Cottage Garden

A casual gravel pathway leads visitors to the home's front door, passing through layered plants in the cottage garden. The soft color palette creates a soothing garden and a welcome entry to the home.

Photo By: Andrew Grossman

A Formal Cottage Garden to Frame the Cape-Style House

The welcoming cottage garden in front of a cape-style home uses a successful mix of colorful plants in a variety of heights and textures. The homes edges are softened with the use of climbing plants, and weathered wood features are continued through the garden to continue the hardscape palette throughout and create a cohesive design.

Photo By: Andrew Grossman

People's Pick: Outdoor Oasis

A Tropical Backyard Poolscape With Luxurious Features

A Tropical Backyard Poolscape With Luxurious Features

The Balinese feel of this luxurious backyard is provided by the construction of a lagoon-like swimming pool surrounded by an array of tropical plants. A tan stone patio creates a neutral frame for the tropical elements to shine.

Photo by: Darren Edwards

Darren Edwards

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.” 

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A Tropical Backyard Poolscape With Luxurious Features

The Balinese feel of this luxurious backyard is provided by the construction of a lagoon-like swimming pool surrounded by an array of tropical plants. A tan stone patio creates a neutral frame for the tropical elements to shine.

An Outdoor tropical Balinese Cabana Floats Over a Lagoon-Like Swimming Pool

A traditional Balinese Lumbung is well-lit against a backdrop of tropical plants as it seems to float over the lagoon-like swimming pool. The design of the hut was specified by the clients who wanted to imbue a strong tropical vibe into their backyard poolscape.

A Balinese Lumbung Pool Shelter

An authentic Balinese Lumbung was created to provide an authentic feel to this tropical backyard poolscape, and a place to enjoy the view from. The simple design includes a thatched roof with arched wood supports in aheart shaped enclosure that points up towards the sky.

Outdoor Pillows Create the Prefect Outdoor Lounge Area

Striped and solid pillows create a harmonious design and add comfort to the tropical outdoor cabana. The deep red tone of the main cushion was used to compliment the reds of the Merbau wood frame, and the striped pillows with offset colors ties into the natural shades of the rocks, creating a perfect harmony of inviting colors.

An Inviting Tropical Stone Waterslide

The concrete boulders were constructed to take on a natural tropical feel in order to create this Balinese inspired pool. The massive waterslide is an exciting feature that connects to a swim-in cave and waterfall, and incorporates built-in speakers so visitors can listen to their favorite music.

A Backyard Tropical Pool Waterfall

Rough-hewn brown concrete boulders have been constructed together to create a magnificent spa waterfall. The feature was built to mask the unsightly pool equipment and service area, but adds a vibrant and engaging element to this tropical backyard.

People's Pick: The WOW Factor

Stone Tile Fire Pit Patio Above Luxurious Swimming Pool and Tropical Landscaped Yard

Stone Tile Fire Pit Patio Above Luxurious Swimming Pool and Tropical Landscaped Yard

A stone tile patio with fire pit features brown wicker chairs with bright blue cushions that complement the deep blue color of the pool. Palm trees and plants add natural color and give the yard a tropical feel.

Photo by: Nick Martin

Nick Martin

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."

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Luxurious Tropical Swimming Pool With In-Pool Tile, Water Features and Palm Trees

Pool and landscape lighting give a luxurious glow to this tropical swimming pool design. The deep blue of the pool pops against the neutral tones in the landscaping. Small tile structures in the pool support water features, giving the pool a feel of motion. Palm trees complete the oasis vibe and add color to the space.

Gorgeous View of Tropical Landscaping and Levels of Hardscaping in Luxury Backyard With Swimming Pool and Fire Pit

This lavish backyard features a swimming pool with built-in waterfall feature and a fire pit area. Stone tile flooring surrounds the pool for a spacious feel within the bordering palm trees and tropical plant life. Lounge chairs offer poolside seating, and wicker chairs are placed around the fire pit.

Stone Tile Fire Pit Patio Above Luxurious Swimming Pool and Tropical Landscaped Yard

A stone tile patio with fire pit features brown wicker chairs with bright blue cushions that complement the deep blue color of the pool. Palm trees and plants add natural color and give the yard a tropical feel.

Tropical Home Exterior WIth Textured Stone, Lavish Swimming Pool and Palm Trees

The walls surrounding the swimming pool feature a textured look, and neutral tones complement the stone exterior of the house. Raised water features within the pool add to the beautiful levels in the landscaping. Palm trees give the space the perfect tropical flavor.

Swimming Pool With Hardscape Levels, Waterfall Features and Striped Lounge Chairs

A large stone tile patio encircles this glamorous swimming pool with in-pool waterfall features. Striped lounge chairs create a space for relaxing, and the striped cushions complement the blue of the water and green of the palm trees. Small neutral tiles on the raised water features add a beautiful texture against the water.

Tropical Pool Deck With Stone Fire Pit, Unique Wicker Chairs With Blue Cushions and Scenic View

Stone tile flooring creates a cohesive design in this luxurious backyard landscaping. Raised and lowered sections create pleasing levels offering different heights to enjoy the view. Unique, tall wicker chairs with bright blue cushions surround the fire pit. Fire bowls at the poolside continue the warm glow throughout the space.

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