Sept. 6, 2012 08:06

This outdoor space is absolute function - sophisticated for the grown-ups, friendly for the kids and low maintenance enough for a busy family.
By Amanda Bedgood

In Dr. Corwin and Catherine Thomas' backyard there is an outdoor oasis full of clean lines, simple sophistication. Just what you would expect from the likes of Sarah Moss and Vasavi Veerina of Moss & Veerina Interiors.

This outdoor space is absolute function - sophisticated for the grown-ups, friendly for the kids and low maintenance enough for a busy family.
By Amanda Bedgood

Dominic, Corwin, and Catherine Thomas

In Dr. Corwin and Catherine Thomas' backyard there is an outdoor oasis full of clean lines, simple sophistication. Just what you would expect from the likes of Sarah Moss and Vasavi Veerina of Moss & Veerina Interiors. The surprise of this project on Woods Crossing in River Ranch? The space was created with children in mind.

"We have a 9-year-old and we have a pool. So, we wanted to make sure we could all enjoy the space, including our son," Corwin says.

The "before" area in the backyard of the Lafayette cardiologist and his wife was an overgrown patch of land and an environment less than hospitable for warm Louisiana days.

"It was nothing," Catherine says. "No shade in the backyard."

What worked out so well for the Thomas family is a semi-enclosed 550-square-foot pergola with western red cedar columns and eco-friendly decking. Areas for cooking and dining were at the top of the list - both Corwin and Catherine enjoy cooking - and include a large grill, double-side burners, refrigerator and large sink nestled in custom cabinetry and a thick slab granite countertop.

Thomas residence in River Ranch

"We tended to hang out in the house a lot and wanted to hang in the backyard. But, it was too hot and there was nowhere to be comfortable - to watch the ball game. This is perfect to do all of that," Corwin says.

A 96-inch sofa offers plenty of seating along with a 72-inch love seat - both made of all-weather wicker and Sunbrella fabric - placed atop a large outdoor rug.

"One of the biggest concerns was maintenance," Moss says of planning the space. "We didn't want something that was going to look good for a couple of years and then be a nightmare. All materials were long-lasting."

Those materials include composite decking, cedar and granite.

"Things that will withstand humidity," Moss says. "Finer materials with the idea that it would get a lifetime of use."

In addition to durable pieces, the couple wanted the outside to reflect the inside of their home. "It's natural colors. Nothing flashy. It's an extension of their space," Veerina says.

Billowing sheer drapery softens the seating area, and the lines remain as modern outside as they are in the couple's interior. Moss and Veerina also worked around beautiful old plants on the property and repurposed pieces like the composite half-wall, topped with reclaimed aluminum fencing original to the space.

"They had these beautiful palm trees, and we wanted to work around what was existing and we succeeded," Veerina says.

Corwin and Catherine agree. Corwin watches games, works on charts and reads outside, enjoying the cross breeze. And Catherine points to their first Christmas with the new space, which they spent outside.

"It's perfect to do everything we want to do out there," she says.

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