More Than Outdoor Living

The pandemic forced all Americans to reassess how they wanted to live.



Story by Liesel Schmidt, Featuring Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes


With the onset of the pandemic, life changed a great deal over the past three years. People reassessed their lives, their work, where they want to live and how to spend their time. In 2020 and 2021, national parks saw a marked increase in activity, the running and cycling industries enjoyed landmark sales and outdoor living became a huge trend. Clearly, people are spending more time outside and families like the Foglias came to the realization that they wanted a home with more outdoor space to enjoy. What they found was a two-acre estate in Vienna, VA with a large home and massive potential for backyard expansion. “They actually bought this home before the pandemic just for the possibility of making the backyard their dream playground,” says Sonny Nazemian, Master Designer of Kitchen/Bath at Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes. “Since the pandemic hit, both the kids and the adults were cooped up at home, so the urgency of this outdoor living space was more imminent. The kids wanted a large pool, the dad wanted a large deck and gazebo and fireplace and the mom wanted her own jacuzzi and large patio.”



People are spending more time outdoors.


The challenge came in the fact that their land was full of trees and on hilly ground. Accomplishing their plans meant clearing the lot, relocating utility lines, substantial re-grading and creating some other substantial changes to the landscape. What followed is, of course, the show-stopping dream the family envisioned.



“A large, multi-level irregular flagstone patio is the main showcase of the backyard, leading you to [a] secluded octagonal gazebo in front of a stone fireplace and outdoor kitchenette with stone walls that wrap around for seating,” says Nazemian. The gazebo is covered with cypress ceiling panels and features a large ceiling fan, recessed lighting and infrared heating elements, all of which make this outdoor living space suitable for all-seasons use."



The lower patio features the perfect alcove for a jacuzzi, placed under the covered deck just above it for the perfect amount of shade and privacy. The staircase leads to an upper-level Trex decking area adjacent to the kitchen and family room of the house. “This deck space gives the family the opportunity to entertain off of the main level and overlook the beautiful backyard and pool,” says Nazemian.


"It's a stunning outdoor oasis that is especially breathtaking after sunset..." - Sonny Nazemian, Master Designer


Working in tandem with the pool company, the team at Michael Nash created a heated pool and graffiti waterfall rock behind it. The surrounding pool deck was created with flagstone and contrasting stone retaining walls. “All of it combined to make this backyard the most prestigious of all the homes in the neighborhood,” Nazemian notes. “The choice[s] of irregular flagstone, grey tigerwood decking with contrasting rails and trims, heated patio and gazebo space, outdoor jacuzzi, fireplace and kitchenette are incredible features in this backyard. It’s a stunning outdoor oasis that is especially breathtaking after sunset with all of the lights on. It couldn’t come at a better time for kids to enjoy the pool and have friends over, offering relief from the cabin fever that everyone has been experiencing. The family can’t get enough of this patio.”