Now This is How You Do a Backyard in Seattle

A remodel turns a backyard from lackluster into the life of the party.
Previously enclosed, the outside covered deck now blends seamlessly into the overall backyard design.

It’s been four years since artist Jolinda Linden and her family moved into their 1970s-era Clyde Hill home, but memories of the red-hued hot tub still make her cringe. “It was tragic,” says Linden. The garish hot tub sat oddly inside a large room in the house, with sliding doors opening to the outdoor swimming pool. 

Linden, who shares the 43-year-old home with her husband, Dean, and two kids, Parker, 12, and Van, 14, knew the hot tub room had potential as a summertime gathering spot. She envisioned a renovated space with the exterior walls removed and the floor height lowered to the same level as the pool deck. The result of the remodel is a transformed space with a covered deck that creates a cozy enclave for socializing and connects the formerly enclosed room to the outdoor dining area and pool—a magnet for their kids and friends.

Photographs by Alex Crook. A 30-foot hedge with hydrangeas offers privacy for poolside lounging; A full kitchen in the cabana, adjacent to the outdoor dining table, provides a place to prepare meals enjoyed in the backyard

Linden’s artwork features in the deck area and throughout the home. Best described as two-dimensional sculpture incorporating hundreds—and sometimes thousands—of ceramic pieces on a flat background, the monochromatic tones of her work complement the home’s strong lines and spare aesthetic.

The deck and pool are surrounded by a 30-foot-tall hedge, lending an air of privacy despite nearby neighbors. Linden added hydrangeas for a late-summer pop of color, while the rest of the plantings provide a backdrop in shades of green.

An existing stand-alone cabana contains a kitchen and a bathroom, giving the family little reason to ever leave their backyard on summer days. Groceries are often unloaded directly from the car to the cabana, with summer meals frequently enjoyed at the large dining table outside.

“This is our summer living space,” says Linden. What could be better than spending the season by the pool, soaking in the rays while they last? 

Photographs by Alex Crook. Large skylights in the cedar overhang add light to the deck; the L-shaped seating area was inspired by furniture designer, Adrian Pearsall; Linden’s porcelain Monumental Tibetan Mala, inspired by Buddhist prayer beads, hangs from the deck wall


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