Big Things in a Small Package

A Northfield Stapleton backyard is transformed into a beautiful, multi-use space


An adjustable fire pit. Courtesy Mile High Landscaping

“We all live in Colorado for a reason,” says Will Hyde of Mile High Landscaping. “We get 300 days of sun, and Colorado people are outdoor people. We create outdoor living, so clients can spend as much time outdoors as possible.” A perfect example is this 300-square-foot Northfield backyard, where Mile High created an entire extra living space that can be enjoyed three-quarters of the year (and, with the uplighting and built-in architectural features, provides great views even when it’s snowy). Here, a few of the highlights:

PATIO: Concrete steppers, surrounded by Mexican beach pebbles, lead past a faux-grass patch of lawn to a concrete patio “living room,” one of three seating areas in the yard (there’s also an elevated dining area and a smaller seating area adjacent to the house). The patio is separated into four quadrants by controlled joints, which help prevent cracking in Colorado’s climate.

FIRE FEATURE: The centerpiece of the living room is a fire feature stocked by Mile High that comes in three sizes and finishes. It’s fueled by 250,000 BTUs of natural gas, so the flame can go from 2 inches up to 2 to 3 feet adjusted by a key valve on the side. “If you have it all the way up,” Hyde says, “you can really feel it if it’s chilly outside.”


A modern water feature. Courtesy Mile High Landscaping

WATER FEATURE: A fabricated, powder- coated steel water feature contains a C channel that ties into the modern architecture of the house. The uplighting in the basin creates a “kaleidoscope of light,” Hyde says, “so you get this dancing effect of the light on the surface of the water and onto the cascade of water. It’s a beautiful, constantly moving feature.” Because it has a “clean pour,” he says, “it makes a crisp, clean sound, like Mother Nature’s light jazz station.”


An extra large planter. Courtesy Mile High Landscaping

PLANTER: To add interest to a blank garage wall, Mile High added a large planter filled with tree-form lilacs that “bloom like crazy and are so fragrant,” Hyde says. The adjacent gate leads out to the back driveway.

FENCE: An existing cedar fence, put in by the home builder, provides screening from a thoroughfare behind the house, but Mile High added uplighted aspens to create more interest. “We always say that lighting doubles the value of a project because you enjoy it not only during the day but at night, too,” Hyde says. “A space like this is gorgeous in the winter, as well, when you’re inside and the snow is falling.”

Mile High Landscaping
1101 Santa Fe Drive

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