We just moved into this our new home. We want to transform our backyard into a relaxing retreat with a small pool (24' x 12' max) , a covered seating area and a place to put a barbecue grill. I would love a fireplace. We want to maintain some grassy area and be able to put a temporary fence in place to keep our young daughter from falling in the pool. Last but not least I'd like a small space with a raised bed for my children to plant some veggies and herbs.
We have some serious limitations due to the power lines running behind our home. Care needs to taken to respect the utility easments. We have 3 children and a very large extended family. This needs to be a very family friendly space. Standing on the patio facing the fence is west. The sun sets in this direction and makes sitting outside in the afternoon very frustrating. We would like the shade structure and seating area to take this into account. The fence must stay in place. We would like the existing patio to stay in place and be stained to match the new addition. Trees and shrubs that are easy to maintain are important to us. We want to be able to use this space year round. In Houston we only have 3 months of poor weather.
The biggest priority for us is that this be a family space that is safe for our children to play. Budget is important so we need to be able to implement this design in an affordable manner. Here are some spaces I like: