See Which Stunning Outdoor Spaces Wowed Our Pros

Dive into the award-winning spaces our editors loved from the 2017 Ultimate Outdoor Awards.

Hundreds of the nation's top pros entered their best outdoor designs, but only 36 made the cut. We then chose our favorites from each of the six categories. Learn more about the award-winning spaces that won over our editors from the 2017 Ultimate Outdoor Awards.

Editors' Pick and Overall Winner: Water + Design

Rustic Meets Contemporary Wyoming Home and Barn

Rustic Meets Contemporary Wyoming Home and Barn

The northwestern Wyoming home and barn is dominated by jurisdictional wetlands and natural water courses, so man-made water features are a natural enhancement to the landscape. In the front, the pond butts against the foundation of the barn and family room. The water exploits the glass chinking between the logs of the barn, providing a quietly dazzling mirror image of the barn.

Photo by: Rodger Wade Photography

Rodger Wade Photography

Both our panel of expert judges and team of editors fell in love with this waterfront home where nature and architecture are perfectly in balance. Architects Tom Ward and Mitch Blake took inspiration from the surrounding aspen grove and protected wetlands when designing the home and outdoor spaces that tie the contemporary indoors to the home's rugged environment.

Open, Welcoming Porch With Stunning Wyoming Views

Open, Welcoming Porch With Stunning Wyoming Views

Nestled in a grove of aspen trees, this Wyoming home incorporates seamlessly blends with its natural surroundings. The porch is even designed around some of the aspen trees, making them a welcomed part of outdoor dining spot.

Photo by: Rodger Wade Photography

Rodger Wade Photography

An ingenuous series of sluices move water through and around the home's many decks, porches and raised walkways, contributing the calming sound of running water. The property's native aspen trees not only form the scenic backdrop, the designers also incorporated them into the decking to create a living pergola and dramatic focal point.

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Wyoming Homestead

Nestled at the foot of the Teton Range near Jackson, Wyo., this property includes a main residence, barn, guest house and graceful waterways.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Mountain Meadow

Meadow grasses creep right up to the edge of the pond overlooked by the house and stands of aspen trees.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

First Encounter

A long, low pond borders the front of the main residence.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Western Architecture

The gambrel roof of the barn invokes traditional Western architecture. The building includes a game room and guest quarters and is connected to the main residence by a glass-clad walkway.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Spring-Fed Pond

The home sits a few feet above the property's water table. A spring was dug to feed the pond at the front of the property.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Guest House

A guest house sits just beyond the barn and is topped with a gambrel roof similar to the barn's.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Rustic Materials

Century-old reclaimed siding and weathered COR-TEN steel create a rustic appeal that reference traditional Wyoming architecture.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Waterways

Water from the pond at the front of the residence travels to a second pond behind the barn, which hugs the hot tub and firepit patio.

Photo By: Rodger Wade Photography

Sluiceways

Gravity continues to carry water through a sluiceway around the back of the main residence into a third pond. The movement of the water creates a soothing soundscape for the outdoor living areas.

Photo By: Rodger Wade Photography

A Nod to the Past

The sluiceways reference Wyoming's mining history, adding to the traditional Western appeal in an understated way.

Outdoor Living

An additional fire bowl is located on the deck near the home's living room.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Preserving Trees

Architect Tom Ward's clients requested that no aspen trees be removed during construction. The home site is positioned to fit within the trees and in some cases around them.

Photo By: Rodger Wade Photography

Distinctive Water Table

The home site was raised several feet so that the buildings would sit well above the water table which lies just below the ground.

Photo By: Rodger Wade Photography

Final Destination

The water that has traveled from the pond at the front of the home ultimately ends in a pool of water surrounding the living room. From there it may seep back into the water table.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Aspen Trees

The stand of Aspen trees reflect in the waters of the back pond and draw the eyes toward the backdrop of the Teton Range.

Master Deck

The master bedroom has a uniquely private feel with a deck that extends off the back of the room and views into the back pond and aspen trees.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Contemporary Lines

Though the materials used on the home's exterior have a traditional, rustic feel, the lines of the home are modern to give the western aesthetic an updated look.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Floating Walkway

From the gravel road and parking area, residents and guests cross a walkway that appears to float in the middle of the front pond.

Photo By: Rodger Wade Photography

Drawn Into the Home

A portico with a negatively sloping roof gently draws the guest in toward the home's front door.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Modern Foyer

The front door opens into the streamlined, elegant foyer with sculpture, stone floors and a vaulted wood ceiling.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Two-Sided Fireplace

The two-sided fireplace both welcomes a guest to the home and deliniates the foyer from the living room behind it. The modern structure also serves to hint at the views beyond it while saving them for a grander revealing.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Inviting Living Room

The living room livens its brown palette with layers of texture: glass, stone walls, leather furniture and a fireplace.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Stunning Views

Simple furnishings keep the attention on the stunning views of the pond, aspen trees and mountains.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Stargazing

At night, this living room reveals a surprise: fiber optic stars that twinkle from the ceiling. The pattern of the stars match the night sky of the location and date of the homeowner's birth.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Well-Crafted Kitchen

The well-appointed kitchen is ideal for the passionate home cook and provides a pefect viewpoint for the wildlife that visit the pond and adjacent meadows.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Contemporary Dining

A round table easily fits six in this cozy dining room that opens up to meadow vistas.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Linear Layout

The linear layout of the main residence allows the home to be spacious enough to accommodate guest while maintaining an intimate feel for the couple.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Master Bedroom

This master bedroom is as serene as can be with walls of windows and a glass door connecting the space to a scenic deck. Warm, light-colored wood paneling makes the space simple and cozy.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Guest Bedroom

This luxurious guest bedroom pampers occupants with views of mountains, a pond and aspen tree groves.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Inside the Barn

The main level of the barn features a decked-out game room. The chinking in the log walls is made from laminated glass rather than mortar, allowing light to seep into the space from all sides.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Extra Living Space

The second story of the barn offers a functional living space for visiting family and other guests.

Connecting Spaces

A beautiful walkway connects the barn and guest house, with graceful landscaping blending the path into its surroundings.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Architectural Relationships

The architecture of the guest house mimics that of the larger barn and garage structure.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Guest House Interior

The interior of the guest house is open with a vaulted ceiling that seems to reach sky high. Large windows let the space look out onto an aspen grove.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Kitchen and Dining Nook

The cozy kitchen connects to a colorful breakfast nook. Both spaces feature light-colored wood paneling and lots of natural light.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Sitting Area

Around the corner from the kitchen is a petite sitting area with a cozy leather sofa and views of the property's pond and main residence.

Look Up

Towards the back of the guest house, there's a bedroom and (calling all kids!) a ladder that leads up to a loft hideout.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Lofty Living

A small loft accommodates additional sleeping for kids or adventurous adults. Wooden railings fence in the opening for added safety.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Guest Bedroom

This guest bedroom is small, but stylish with plenty of windows and a ladder leading up to overhead storage.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Guest Bathroom

A glass door that slides open and closed allows for the luxury of a walk-in shower in this small bathroom, without needing any additional floor space.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

A Place to Chill

A firepit and hot tub offer a warm place to chill on cooler mountain nights. Reclaimed wood blocks make fun, sculptural seats.

Photo By: Roger Wade Photography

Surrounded by Nature

The surrounding ponds and aspen trees are easily enjoyed from the firepit and hot tub.

Lantern Effect

When illuminated from within at night, the glass chinking transforms the barn into a lantern against the landscape.

Reflections

The surrounding water reflects the home's interior lighting and night, creating the illusion of the structure rising from the land which inspired its design.

Photo By: Rodger Wade Photography

Editors' Pick: Gorgeous Gardens

Covered Outdoor Lounge With Red Cushioned Chairs

Covered Outdoor Lounge With Red Cushioned Chairs

The covered lounge area includes cove lighting so that the spot can be enjoyed well into the evening. Red cushioned chairs offer a comfortable place to rest and enjoy company.

Photo by: Stephen Govel Photography

Stephen Govel Photography

Lush and lovely is how this Pennsylvania backyard grows. Hess Landscape Architects set the scene with a backdrop of mature conifers and deciduous trees for privacy, while hydrangeas and other seasonal bloomers add colorful interest.

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Stepping Stone Pathway to Renovated Barn

A stepping stone walkway provides the path to the renovated barn's entry and splits off to lead the way to the backyard pool and covered lounge area.

Photo By: Stephen Govel Photography

Wrought Iron Entry to Pool

The bespoke wrought iron fence was designed to meet pool enclosure code requirements.

Photo By: Stephen Govel Photography

Renovated Barn With Pool, Red Chaise Lounges

The barn’s paint scheme is evocative of the materials and plantings selected for the landscape. The distinctive red chaise lounges offer eye-catching contrast against the greenery surrounding the spaces.

Photo By: Stephen Govel Photography

Covered Outdoor Lounge With Red Cushioned Chairs

The covered lounge area includes cove lighting so that the spot can be enjoyed well into the evening. Red cushioned chairs offer a comfortable place to rest and enjoy company.

Photo By: Stephen Govel Photography

Private Pool With Red Cushioned Lounge Chairs

Red cushioned lounge chairs next to the pool add a pop of bold color to the outdoor design. Lush vegetation surrounds the space to bring natural beauty and give the pool area some privacy.

Photo By: Stephen Govel Photography

Pool and Outdoor Lounge at Night

A key part of the landscape architect's effort was to marry the buildings with one congruent exterior space. Smaller footpaths flank the main terrace spaces, creating a hierarchy within the circulation network, and interconnecting the different structures around the site.

Photo By: Stephen Govel Photography

Editors' Pick: Outdoor Escape

Contemporary Meets Rustic Outdoor Living Space

Contemporary Meets Rustic Outdoor Living Space

This Tuscon, Ariz., backyard and sleek swimming pool has stunning views of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The outdoor dining and living areas sit under a redwood ramada, which creates an open, expansive environment while providing shade from the Arizona sun.

Photo by: Matt Vacca

Matt Vacca

This spacious backyard lounge, designed by Kathryn Prideaux, features multiple zones for entertaining family and friends. To take a break from the relentless Arizona sun, guests can shelter under the ramada, an open outdoor structure with a solid roof, or if they'd like to catch a few rays, dine under the adjacent pergola. The nearby pool beckons with a built-in hot tub and in-water lounge chairs.

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Contemporary Tucson Outdoor Space With Pool

The Tucson, Ariz., home has an amazing outdoor living space that combines the outdoor kitchen and dining room with a sleek, contemporary pool. Large square and rectangle pavers are surrounded by Bermuda grass. Bright red lounge chairs are submerged on the sundeck, creating the perfect spot to relax in the pool.

Relaxing Lounge Chairs in Southwest Pool

Ledge loungers sit in the lagoon area of the contemporary pool soaking in a view of the Santa Catalina Mountains.

Contemporary Swimming Pool in Tucson, Arizona

The contemporary swimming pool overlooks the Santa Catalina Mountains. Colorful tiles bring southwestern flair to the steps up to the hot tub, while the sundecks feature submerged red lounge chairs with black-and-white umbrellas.

Contemporary Meets Rustic Outdoor Dining Room

Etched finish pavers surrounded by a pebble border define each space, the living room and dining area. Weathered redwood slats are used to create an open ramada that provides shade from the hot Tucson sun during the day.

Open, Southwestern Outdoor Living Space

Black-and-white starburst tiles create a striking, graphic look to the outdoor fireplace. Above the chunky wood mantel, a flat-screen TV is concealed behind sliding rustic doors. A comfortable sofa with bright red cushions combines with an exposed wood coffee table and deep-seated armchairs.

Southwestern Outdoor Living Space With Fireplace

Black-and-white starburst tiles create a striking, graphic look to the outdoor fireplace. Above the chunky wood mantel, a flat-screen TV is concealed behind sliding rustic doors. A comfortable sofa with bright red cushions combines with an exposed wood coffee table.

Contemporary Meets Rustic Outdoor Living Space

This Tucson, Ariz., backyard and sleek swimming pool has stunning views of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The outdoor dining and living areas sit under a redwood ramada, which creates an open, expansive environment while providing shade from the Arizona sun.

Outdoor Dining Space Under Redwood Ramada

Bright turquoise chairs surround the wood-and-iron dining table to create a welcoming and open outdoor dining space. Etched-finish pavers are set in a grid and surrounded by a pebble border to define each space, while a redwood ramada provides shade overhead.

Editors' Pick: Curb Appeal

Boxwood Parterre Garden Adds Curb Appeal

Boxwood Parterre Garden Adds Curb Appeal

The foundation planting in front of the porch are gardenias which give a vibrant and fragrant show in the spring.

Photo by: Lazyeye Photography

Lazyeye Photography

Nestled in New Orleans' historic Garden District, this gem of a home is surrounded by perfectly manicured plantings. Reflecting the area's rich European influence, Mullin Landscape Associates gave the property massive curb appeal with a traditional parterre, or a formal garden consisting of symmetrical beds which are separated and connected by paths. Boxwoods create the framework, while showy annuals bring on the blooms.

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New Orleans Home With Curb Appeal

This residence is in the heart of the Garden District in New Orleans. This style is very characteristic of the city with additional design features added in for a hint of surprise. Walking down the street, this residence stands out with grandeur and beauty.

Photo By: Lazyeye Photography

Boxwood Parterre Garden Adds Curb Appeal

The foundation planting in front of the porch are gardenias which give a vibrant and fragrant show in the spring.

Photo By: Lazyeye Photography

Formal Boxwood Parterre Garden

The front yard boasts lovely curb appeal with a formal boxwood parterre garden filled with pink and white annuals. A small bird bath centers the garden design.

Photo By: Lazyeye Photography

Beautiful Boxwood Parterre Garden

This front yard features a formal boxwood parterre garden with pockets of annuals to brighten up the curb appeal of the home.

Photo By: Lazyeye Photography

Pebblestone Driveway

A traditional pebblestone driveway is the perfect complement to the landscape design of this New Orleans home.

Photo By: Lazyeye Photography

Brick Courtyard With Well-Manicured Lawn

Bushy green trees offer shade in this beautiful courtyard design, which includes a perfect green lawn lined with boxwoods and Japanese yew hedges.

Photo By: Lazyeye Photography

Courtyard Lined With Boxwoods

The lovely brick courtyard features a well-manicured lawn lined with boxwoods and evenly spaced evergreen holly trees.

Photo By: Lazyeye Photography

Editors' Pick: Outdoor Architecture

Chic Poolhouse for Entertaining

Chic Poolhouse for Entertaining

Inside, the poolhouse contains a studio apartment and bathroom/changing room.

Photo by: Westphalen Photography

Westphalen Photography

Constructed away from the main house, this rustic poolhouse and entertaining space was sited to make the most of the property's unobstructed mountain views. Landscape architects Keith Wagner and Jeffrey Hodgson kept the landscaping simple with symmetrical plantings of ornamental grasses. The low plantings not only mirror the poolhouse's streamlined aesthetic, they also don't detract from the surrounding mature trees and distant mountain views.

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View of Open Poolhouse and Swimming Pool

The pool and poolhouse is set away from the main house as a destination and its own outdoor room.

Photo By: Westphalen Photography

Poolhouse Displays Breathtaking View of Mountains

Designed by Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture, a wood-burning fireplace was cast in place of concrete with a board-form finish. Its covered position protects it from the summer winds in its Vermont setting.

Photo By: Westphalen Photography

Open Poolhouse With Mountain View

A large opening frames the view to the mountains from the arrival court at the main house. The poolhouse and pergola have one largely solid wall that lends privacy to the pool area with the exception of one large opening.

Photo By: Westphalen Photography

Contemporary Poolhouse

The poolhouse and pergola are integrated into one linear structure. Simple materials of copper siding, bluestone paving, cedar and board form concrete tie the design together.

Photo By: Westphalen Photography

Chic Poolhouse for Entertaining

Inside, the poolhouse contains a studio apartment and bathroom/changing room.

From: Wagner Hodgson and Wagner Hodgson

Photo By: Westphalen Photography

Entertainment Pergola

The large pergola provides plenty of room for entertaining. The fireplace takes the chill off of the cool summer evenings, while lighting adds drama to the space at night. The floor of the pergola is one step up from the pool deck to give it more prominence.

Photo By: Westphalen Photography

Editors' Pick: Art of Outdoor

Cozy Patio With Cushioned Seating, Fire Pit and Water Feature

Cozy Patio With Cushioned Seating, Fire Pit and Water Feature

A trio of cushioned armchairs with navy throw pillows offer a comfy place to sit by the fire pit. A stacked stone wall, lush plantings and Corten steel water feature next to the pool complete the outdoor design.

Photo by: George Dzahristos

George Dzahristos

Corten steel sculptures, that double as a water feature, add an artistic focal point to this serene outdoor lounge. Corten is a weathering steel that's corrosion-resistant and, when exposed to the elements, develops a deep rusty patina over time. So, these artful elements, designed by AguaFina Gardens International, will durably add both form and function to this backyard for many years to come.

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Cozy Patio With Cushioned Seating, Fire Pit and Water Feature

A trio of cushioned armchairs with navy throw pillows offer a comfy place to sit by the fire pit. A stacked stone wall, lush plantings and Corten steel water feature next to the pool complete the outdoor design.

Photo By: George Dzahristos

Flagstone Patio With Modern Water Feature and Pool

The existing flagstone patio receives a touch of modern design with the Corten steel water feature by the pool. A stacked stone wall with an antique gate provides entry to the stunning space.

Photo By: George Dzahristos

Corten Steel and Stone Water Feature

A beautiful corten steel water feature with geometric design flows over stone into the pool below.

Photo By: George Dzahristos

Rusted Steel Water Feature at Night

At night, landscape lighting illuminates the Corten steel water feature next to the pool.

Photo By: George Dzahristos

Corten Steel Water Feature Connected to Pool

No matter the time of the day, this stunning water feature made out of Corten steel is the focal point of this outdoor design.

Photo By: George Dzahristos

Modern Corten Steel Water Feature

Made of Corten steel, this gorgeous water feature fulfilled the client's wish to replace their leaking waterfall connected to the pool.

Photo By: George Dzahristos

Corten Steel Water Feature, Landscape Lighting

Next to the pool, a modern corten steel water features steals the show both day and night.

Photo By: George Dzahristos

Stacked Stone Wall With Antique Gate

Landscape lighting casts a dramatic shadow on the patio's gated entry at night.

Photo By: George Dzahristos

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