Home & Design

California Style

Pristine Acres offsets a McLean home with a minimalist oasis

Spare architecture and sleek white loungers exude the relaxed luxury of a California spa in a backyard McLean retreat. The home was in the design phase when Pristine Acres joined architecture firm WCRA and builder TriCrest Homes on the project. The timing ensured that the landscape design, from materials to detailing, would harmonize the owners’ entire lived experience. This allowed key elements of house, pool, grill, terraces and pavilion to merge into a cohesive whole inspired by a uniform palette of white trim, black granite and wood accents.

“As we dive into this indoor/outdoor lifestyle, pulling the outdoors and the indoors together at an early stage is extremely helpful,” observes Pristine Acres’ Steve Waldron. 

Fence to fence, the site measures a fifth of an acre. Landscape architect Kevin Kurdziolek centered a 20-by-40-foot pool with two infinity edges in the backyard; on one side, water cascades over a 24-inch-high basalt wall. The pool meets grade with a sandblasted marble terrace topped by an engineered-wood deck, which extends into a pavilion; a shower of faux rain falls into the pool from its roof. Horizontal wooden slats define one pavilion wall; they crop up again on a pergola shading the black-granite grilling station off the kitchen. Minimal plantings and artificial turf over a stormwater retention system ensure low maintenance.  

“What we like about these compact backyards is that you can design the whole space, edge to edge,” says Kurdziolek. “Everything fits together like pieces of a puzzle.” 

Landscape Architecture & Contractor: Steve Waldron, president; Kevin Kurdziolek, PLA, ASLA, Pristine Acres, Great Falls, Virginia. Architecture: WCRA, Chantilly, Virginia. Builder: TriCrest Homes, McLean, Virginia. Photography: Pristine Acres.

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