It’s officially fall in Cobb County and the weather is perfect for al fresco living. Whether gathered around a fire pit roasting s’mores or entertaining friends and family around an open-air kitchen, there’s no better time of year to take the party into the great outdoors and spend some time communing with Mother Nature.
written by Meredith Pruden // photography by Erin Gray Cantrell
We found two Cobb families who planned ahead to ensure their outdoor entertaining spaces would be restful oases (and a hit with guests, too) this season.
When East Cobb homeowners Dustin and CJ Ridgway first bought their home, the backyard was a large, blank canvas. The couple created a lovely DIY fire pit and a handful of adorable river rock flower beds themselves to spruce up the space but also dreamed of having a hot tub.
After pulling the trigger on the concrete pad for the hot tub, the Ridgways realized they wanted more and called Lassiter High graduate Jeff Walker, home renovations contractor of Space Invaders, to help.
Walker does all kinds of home renovations and remodeling, but designed and built a privacy wall and floating deck based off the Ridgway’s feedback for this project.
“We have a neighbor pretty close,” Dustin said. “The sole purpose was to feel private while still being in suburbia. We love it and are out there nonstop.”
Marietta homeowners David and Tammi Kirk dreamed for months of maximizing the small, sloped backyard space of their newly-constructed home. The couple knew what elements they wanted and shopped around before circling back to their amenable first meeting with Ronald Skeean, Jr. of Casual Image in East Cobb.
Casual Image is an outdoor living specialist firm with a subsidiary called Outdoor Lifestyles. Together, the sister companies can concept, design, build and furnish everything from pools and hardscape to outdoor fireplaces and kitchens.
For the Kirks, that meant bringing a pool, patio and covered outdoor kitchen and fireplace, as well as all the seating and shade products, into what originally was a completely bare space with only a small concrete patio.
“It’s a sanctuary,” Tammi said. “There’s nothing better than lighting a fire and looking at the stars and the animals. “It’s been perfect. Everything Ron did has been above our expectations.”