A backyard playground for the entire family

What’s THE ultimate backyard living amenity?  In my view, that distinction belongs to the custom fireplace and grill station.  Experience proves that no other luxury brings people together and inspires more memories than this.

This Villages of West Clay backyard handles both the large footprint of the home and the valued green space that weaves through the neighborhood and directly behind the home.  Completely custom, no pre-fabricated components are seen here; it boasts a Wisconsin cobble and mortar exterior that echoes a gorgeous interior fireplace.  Limestone counters are very appropriate for the tone of the space and were smartly sourced in Indiana, of course.

Ample counter space grows from each side of the fireplace and will easily accommodate several visitors, particularly coupled with the already gracious size patio.  The grill station counter proudly houses the “green egg” from Chef JJ in Broadripple, and it is easily the center of attention if you are a grilling dude.  What a treat!


Almost every outdoor project has some sort of shade management component and this was no exception.  In fact, a southwestern exposure prompted this space to completely bake and become off limits for much of the summer.  Strategically located, the new structure will protect the happy Carmel family in that challenging 5-8 p.m. timeframe when the sun manages to sneak below the pergola or porch roofline.  Midday protection is accomplished with the help of abbreviated pergolas over each counter as well as an edgy overhead shade sail.  Exterior grade blinds recessed between the pergola beams offer additional protection, help with privacy and magically behave as a screen on movie night.

Dedicated homeowners with these marvelous structures appreciate that outdoor living can extend almost uninterrupted through winter with the right planning.  We do have our limits though.   What’s yours?