How Gunite Stands Out Among Pool Construction Materials

When it comes to creating the perfect backyard oasis, choosing the right pool construction material is hands-down one of the most important decisions that you can make. Now, you have to keep in mind that a pool is a significant investment, and the material you select for your pool is going to have a pretty big impact on durability, aesthetic appeal, and overall enjoyment.

One major material that’s starting to stand out more and more would be Guite, but why would this pool construction material stand out from all the rest? Well, here’s exactly why Guite might be the best choice for your next pool project!

What is Gunite?

Gunite is a popular material in the pool construction industry, and it’s all thanks to its sheer strength and versatility. It’s a mixture of cement, sand, and water that is pneumatically applied onto a surface at high velocity. Shotcreting, as the process is known, allows for materials to be applied seamlessly to any shape or form.

So this makes it ideal for creating custom pool designs. If you have an elaborate design you want to do, then this pool material is probably the best option. Plus, Gunite pools are constructed by spraying this mixture over a framework of rebar, creating a solid and durable structure.

The Benefits of Gunite

There are significantly more benefits to using Gunite than there are to using any other type of pool material. But what exactly are the benefits that make this so special?

Durability and Longevity

The durability of gunite pools is simply incredible! Now, Gunite pools are known for their long lifespan, as they often last several decades with proper maintenance. The material’s strength ensures that the pool structure remains intact and resistant to damage from external forces, such as soil movement or extreme weather conditions. Your typical pools from other materials tend to not last nearly this long.

But also, Gunite pools require relatively low maintenance compared to other pool types! But how? Well, the sturdy construction reduces the likelihood of leaks and cracks, which are common issues with other materials. All you really need for maintenance is just a regular cleaning routine, and occasional resurfacing is usually sufficient to keep a Gunite pool in excellent condition for years.

Customization Possibilities

So, what’s their biggest advantage when it comes to gunite over other pool construction materials? Well, it’s all about flexibility in the design (like what was mentioned earlier). Unlike pre-fabricated pool shells, Gunite can be molded into virtually any shape, allowing homeowners to create a pool that perfectly fits their landscape and personal style. Whatever your dream pool is, you get to make it!

There are just not a lot of options out there for pools if someone wants to be creative, so this is the perfect option. On top of that, Gunite pools can be finished with a variety of materials, including plaster, tile, and pebble, providing endless customization options.


While gunite pools may have a higher initial cost compared to some other construction materials, they do offer significant long-term savings. The durability and low maintenance requirements of Gunite mean that homeowners will spend less on repairs and upkeep over the pool’s lifetime.

When comparing costs, it’s going to be best to consider not just the initial price but the overall value and lifespan of the pool. Gunite’s longevity and robust nature often result in lower total costs over time, making it a cost-effective choice in the long run.


Gunite is also an environmentally friendly option for pool construction, so if you want to focus on more eco-friendly landscaping then this is by far the best choice for pool construction materials.

The materials used in Gunite—cement, sand, and water—are naturally occurring and sustainable. But that’s not all either, the shotcrete application process minimizes waste, as the mixture is precisely applied to the desired areas, reducing excess and runoff.

The Expertise of Gunite Pool Builders

Building a Gunite pool requires specialized knowledge and expertise. The process involved intricate steps, from designing the rebar framework to applying the Gunite mixture and finishing the pool’s surface. Since it can be challenging, you want a team of experts who can create this for you- like the team here at State of the Art of Landscaping.

Our team at State of the Art Landscaping has extensive experience in creating custom Gunite pools that meet our client’s unique needs and preferences. We are dedicated to delivering high-quality craftsmanship and exceptional customer service, ensuring that your pool-building experience is smooth and enjoyable.

Gunite is the Best Choice for Creating Your Dream Pool

Gunite stands out from all the other pool construction materials thanks to its unmatched durability, the sheer number of customization possibilities, its cost-effectiveness, and its eco-friendliness. Its ability to be molded into any shape and the strength it provides are exactly what make it the ideal choice for homeowners looking to create a long-lasting and beautiful pool!

If you’re considering a pool, look no further than Gunite. When you choose State of the Art Landscaping for your project, you can rest assured that you’re working with a team of experts dedicated to bringing your dream pool to life. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and contact us today to start planning your pool build and transform your backyard into a stunning oasis!

Plunge Pool Ideas for Compact Yards

Many homeowners in Northern VA would love a swimming pool in their backyards. Like everyone else, they want a refreshing social space to enjoy sunny afternoons and weekends.

But, unfortunately, they don’t always have room. Conventional pools require a lot of space, and that’s not always available in many backyards.

Fortunately, there’s a solution: plunge pools. These are small enough to fit on compact plots but still offer the same fun and reinvigorating experience as conventional alternatives.

Are you considering getting a plunge pool for a compact yard? If so, this post can help you. It explores various tips for choosing a plunge pool and designs worth considering.

Tips for Choosing a Plunge Pool

Choosing a plunge pool isn’t always straightforward. So here we run through various factors you should think about before arranging an installation.

Factors to consider for compact yards:


First, you’ll want to consider the size of the plunge pool before you put any money down. Plunge pools usually range from 64-128 sq. ft. However, you can get larger versions up to 240 sq. ft. if you have the room.

Evidently, the larger the pool, the more versatile it is. Small plunge pools are great for relaxing with friends and enjoying drinks, while larger ones can be used for exercise.


You also want to consider the shape of your plunge pool to ensure you are utilizing small spaces effectively. Most plunge pools are rectangular, but they don’t have to be. Ultra-narrow pools can be a delightful addition to backyards with limited space, and you can get some special versions in C-shapes that can turn around tight corners.


Lastly, you’ll want to consider the location of the pool – where you place it on your plot. You might need it to hug the fence to create a space for a walkway between the installation and your patio or bring it close to your pergola for convenience. Ultimately, the best locations are the ones that will make you use your pool the most.

Types of plunge pools

You should also consider the type of plunge pool you want to install. There are two broad categories: built-in and above-ground:


Above-ground plunge pools stick out from the ground (a bit like raised flower beds). These are like giant baths made of fiberglass, wood, metal, or a combination of the three depending on the manufacturer.

People like above-ground pools because they are affordable and easy to install. Very little building work is required and they can look good if finished to a high standard.


Built-in plunge pools are made of similar materials, but set into the ground. As a premium option, they are more expensive than above-ground pools, but also more customizable.

Builders start by marking out the area where the pool will go. Then, they begin the excavation before installing the membrane, floor, sidewalls, and filter units.

As you might expect, built-in pools take longer to fit, but they also offer more customization options. You can style them however you want and dig them to match the shape of a small backyard.

Design Ideas for Plunge Pools in Compact Yards

Here are some ideas for plunge pools in compact yards:

Multi-level plunge pool

A multi-level is a type of plunge pool with sections of varying heights. These add to visual interest and give the installation a premium feel.

Homeowners can also use them to give their pool different zones. For example, you might have a shallow lounging area with a deeper section for swimming.

Corner plunge pool

A corner plunge pool is another option for space-constrained backyards. These fit around – you guessed it – a corner, and are visually interesting in their own right.

The main benefit of this option is the space it opens up for planting or reclining. However, corner shapes can limit the swimming area (or force you to make tight turns).

Narrow plunge pool

Narrow plunge pools are another elegant option for bijou spaces. These corridor-like installations help you squeeze as much as possible out of a tight space. These are suitable for lengths and plunging, but not ideal for parties and entertaining.

Plunge pool with a built-in spa

Lastly, you might consider installing a plunge pool with a built-in spa. These help to make the experience more relaxing and refreshing with additional features, like massage jets and water spouts. Once you’ve finished in the pool, you can recline and enjoy the surrounding decking.

Hire a Luxury Pool Design & Build Landscaper in Northern Virginia

So there you have it:– all the plunge pool ideas you need for compact yards. If you’d like to install one on your property, hire State of the Art Landscaping for professional results.

Outdoor Living Spaces: 3 Essentials Your Outdoor Needs – Kitchen, Fire Pit, The Pool

We can all agree that a winning backyard design can bring a whole new dimension to the home. Frankly, the importance of an inviting outdoor room is greater than ever in a post-Covid world as we have all become accustomed to spending more time at home.

While 71.5 million American households are blessed with gardens, though, very few fail to maximize the potential of their outdoor spaces. If you’re looking to transform your backyard design ahead of the summer season, there are three essential features you need to add: an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, and a pool.

Here’s how you can build a better garden for all the family.

The Outdoor Kitchen

The garden is a wonderful setting to entertain friends, enjoy time with family, or even relax alone. An outdoor patio living room creates a comfortable and functional outdoor space that includes features like seating areas, fire pits, and outdoor kitchens, enhancing the living room-like experience in an outdoor setting. While many households already support these functions with a garden patio, incorporating an outdoor kitchen will take outdoor living to the next level. A key component of this is outdoor dining, which can include features like outdoor pizza ovens, family-style dining areas, shaded dining spaces, and designated outdoor dining and grilling areas.

Demand for outdoor kitchens is growing at a rapid pace, which is underlined by the industry’s CAGR of 6.3%. Having a fully equipped kitchen that includes a grill, refrigerator, and seating area will deliver a whole host of benefits, such as;

  • A more social cooking and dining experience,
  • Luxury aesthetics and experiences,
  • Convenience when wanting to eat outside,
  • A chance to enjoy the summer sun,
  • Encourage healthy eating habits,
  • Increased property value.

An outdoor kitchen adds practicality, function, and style while also helping your home stand out from the crowd. Perfect.

Outdoor Fire Pit

Washington may be blessed with warmth throughout the summer season, but temperatures do drop in the evenings as well as in the winter months. Adding an outdoor fireplace or fire pit as a focal point will bring warmth to the outside spaces, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors late into the night.

The fire pit market size is growing by 5.8% annually while they are viewed as one of the most sought-after features in luxury garden designs. Built-in designs are particularly popular for homeowners seeking an iconic look. Here’s why they appeal;

  • Fire pits transform outside spaces by offering year-round enjoyment,
  • They create a romantic ambience for home date nights,
  • They also create a peaceful ambience for family or group entertainment,
  • Keeping the garden seating area warm is cheaper than heating the home,
  • A wide range of designs fit into any garden theme,
  • Bioethanol fire pits offer a more eco-friendly option.

Whether designing an entirely new outdoor setting or looking to revamp the existing garden atmosphere, this is an ideal solution.

The Pool

When thinking about luxury additions, incorporating swimming pool installations into your outdoor living area stands out as the obvious choice. It is a feature that has long been associated with luxury living and style, not least if you choose the right designs.

Only an estimated 8% of households boast a swimming pool, which means yours will stand out. The visual opportunities are endless thanks to a range of designs including lap pools, infinity pools, and natural pools. Other key features include;

  • Support a healthier lifestyle with more exercise,
  • Provide the perfect activity for family social gatherings,
  • Incorporate hot tubs for optimal relaxation,
  • Bring the garden design together,
  • Add significant value and appeal to the home,
  • Know that the feature can provide years of happiness.
  • Swimming pools add value to the home as well as your life while completely transforming outdoor spaces for the better. It is the #1 luxury upgrade for a reason.

Cultivating A Luxury Outdoor Living Space That Lasts

Knowing that you need a pool, fire pit, and outdoor kitchen is one thing but bringing it together for years of happiness is another. Incorporating outdoor furniture is crucial for creating a cohesive and stylish backyard design that offers the comfort and functionality of an indoor space. Explore various outdoor living room ideas to get inspiration and tips for creating stylish and functional outdoor living spaces. Focus on the features below and you won’t go wrong.

Integration & Cohesion

When creating your luxury backyard design, it’s not only important to focus on the look of individual features. Outdoor rugs can enhance the integration and cohesion of different areas, making the space more inviting for relaxation and dining al fresco. You will need a pool, fire pit, and outdoor kitchen that work in unison to achieve the desired ambiance. Furthermore, they should seamlessly integrate with existing landscaping and architecture. For example, trees can provide privacy for your pool area, but you must avoid positioning the structure too close to aggressive root systems.

Customization & Personalization

While inspiration may be taken from several sources, you should not ignore the fact that the key to success comes from building a backyard design that aligns with your needs. An interior designer can help in making personalized and sophisticated design choices for the outdoor space. Choices should reflect your personal tastes and lifestyle requirements. Some customization options include outdoor lighting, furniture, and intricate landscaping features. A tailored setting will provide a solid foundation to enjoy the outdoor spaces to the max.

Maintenance & Sustainability

Building a better garden design is one thing, but true success comes from maintaining it. Sustainable choices can enhance the comfort and functionality of an outdoor lounge area, making it a perfect spot for relaxation and dining al fresco. While professional maintenance services will help maintain the function and aesthetic, you can make life easier with smarter design choices. Eco-friendly, sustainable, and low-maintenance materials will all have a positive impact. Better still, the timeless trends are sure to keep a smile on your face for the long haul.

Investment & Value

The success of your backyard design upside can be defined in many ways. Adding specific features like a dining table can significantly enhance the value of your outdoor space. However, the financial returns should be considered a key factor. The outdoor kitchen, fire pit, and pool can become a fantastic long–term investment when you create well-designed spaces. Garden spaces are known to add value and appeal, but placing an added emphasis on the ROIs when researching design ideas will help you make calculated decisions.

Boost Your Backyard With A Luxury Design & Build Landscape Company In Northern, VA

When looking for ways to enhance your garden spaces for a better quality of life as well as increased property value, consider transforming your backyard into an outdoor living room. Outdoor kitchens, fire pits, and pools are certain to deliver functional rewards while also creating a better atmosphere.

To unlock the full potential of your garden by developing enjoyable outdoor living spaces, contact State of the Art Landscape today.

5 Elements of a High-End Pool

For those considering upgrading or adding a pool to their property, here are five of the most popular pool design features for high-end pools.

Give Your Family the Ultimate Gift – A Luxurious Pool Oasis!

A luxury pool is more than just a place to cool off from the summer heat. It’s also a smart investment, adding to the value of your home. The best modern designs embed pools into integrated outdoor entertainment and garden landscape areas, creating a haven of calm and relaxation. They’re a wonderful place to exercise and have fun while your family and guests escape the summer heat. So, give your family the ultimate gift – a luxurious pool oasis.

The First Step – Planning Your Design

Now that you’ve decided to proceed with a new pool, the fun and hard work now begin. Expect to make many decisions on budget, pool design, hardscaping, entertainment area details, landscaping, and finishing touches. If you’re looking for inspiration, an excellent place to start is through the completed projects portfolio of local pool design and build companies.

Before you settle on the design, materials, and other details of your pool build, you will need a reality check on the budget and the feasibility of your plans. Settle upon at least two or three pool designers, and don’t hesitate to ask for an on-site consultation.

Bringing the Design of Your Luxury Pool Oasis Together

By now, you should be starting to firm up on the primary goal of your design, the pool itself. What shape and size pool do you want? Will you opt for a classic kidney shape? Will the size of your backyard lend itself to a large rectangular or square shape? Will a customized pool design better suit the unique features of your home and landscape?

Pool Features

While you’re still at the design stage of your pool haven, this is the time to consider extending basic functionality. For example, adding a spa or hot tub section can extend the enjoyment of your pool area into the cooler months. Likewise, planning for lighting will let you party into the wee hours or enjoy a solo midnight swim.

Customized Pool Design and Aesthetic Choices

One of the most complex decisions in designing your luxury pool oasis is selecting the right mix of colors and materials. The wrong combination for your setting can create a jarring effect rather than a harmonious, relaxed, and sophisticated feel. Getting hold of color swatches and material samples will help tremendously in this area. Also, look at different combinations of pool tiles and hard surround materials, including concrete, pavers, and timber decking. A luxurious oasis effect is achieved by the careful design and crafting of all the pool components

However, if you’re unsure about your sense of color and style, asking for help from your pool designer is the way to go. In-depth knowledge of design aesthetics is the forte of experienced pool designers and builders. Selecting the exact materials, decorative elements, and finishing touches will be much easier with the aesthetic style for your pool and surrounds decided.

Safety and Pool Standards

Don’t forget about the safety aspects of your pool installation, and make sure your designer understands all relevant regulations and standards before the build begins.

Entertainment Areas and Landscaping

Artful landscaping and stylish outdoor furnishings and fittings will integrate your new customized pool design into its surrounds and give the impression of a seamless look and feel.

Plantings, whether into garden beds or pots situated at focal points around the pool and entertainment area, can set the overall theme of your oasis. Palms and leafy green heat-loving plants interspersed with clumps of flowers in bright hot colors provide a tropical feel. Hardy long-flowering herbs such as lavender, thyme, and rosemary can impart a Mediterranean atmosphere. Or geraniums, daisies, and roses can give a bright cottage air and lush feel.

Outdoor seating and carefully selected cushion colors that contrast or coordinate with the colors of the pool and surrounds provide additional decorative accents and focal points. Comfortable and smart-looking pool lounges and deck chairs complete the picture.

When you’ve finished, your family will revel in their lavish new surroundings and the vacation feel of the luxurious pool oasis.

Luxury Pool Design in Northern Virginia

If you’re considering a new pool installation in the Northern Virginia area, State of the Art Landscape can guide you through every step of the process. With 3D renderings of your design, you can be sure the result will match your expectations.

We can also help you with pool remodeling and repairs, transforming your existing pool and surrounds to a high-end level that will delight you.

Contact us to book an on-site appointment or discuss any aspect of your pool design requirements. 

How to Create the Perfect Entertaining Space in Your Own Backyard

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020, many people began flocking outdoors to enjoy themselves. Staying cooped up inside for a long period of time is challenging enough, so having the ability to entertain yourself outdoors is a great respite. 

Your backyard is the closest and most convenient way to benefit from all the outdoors has to offer. But how can you make your space a more entertaining space, whether it be personal or communal, like a family gathering?

If you’re wondering about how to improve your backyard space, here are 10 outdoor ideas to get you started. 

1. Patio or Deck

A patio is a perfect opportunity for backyard entertainment. Patios create endless choices for entertaining, no matter if it’s for a large or a small group. 

Your patio can be a flat pad, like stone or concrete, or a walk-out deck that connects to your house, allowing access to the interior of your home. Whatever you choose to decide, make sure you have a plan and a budget. 

2. Living and Dining Outdoors

One of the best ways to make a backyard entertaining is to provide a living room outdoors. Outdoor furniture like chairs, couches, swings, tables, and so forth can reflect the idea of having a living area outside. This is the perfect place for gathering, having drinks, hanging out, and just enjoying friends. 

If you love eating outdoors, consider investing in a large outdoor dining table. These tables are perfect for large gatherings and provide ample seating. Complete the indoor atmosphere with a TV and speakers!

3. Firepit

A firepit can be an amazing focal point of any backyard, and a source of entertainment! Not only can you roast s’mores and other foods, but cuddling up by the fire during the cooler months with friends and family makes many memories. 

You can purchase mobile firepits online, or you can have one built into your patio or backyard. Built-in fireplaces are typically permanent, so make sure you know exactly where you want them to go. 

4. Games

Do you love playing outdoor games like cornhole, ringtoss, or mini-golf? Why not have these available in your backyard for parties or get-togethers!

You can even create a game space in your backyard for all the outdoor games you love to enjoy. This makes it easy to use the games whenever you feel like it. 

5. Outdoor Kitchen

No doubt about it – having an outdoor kitchen is incredibly convenient, especially if you love entertaining outdoors with activities like grilling or making drinks. 

While many outdoor kitchens are impressive both in size and quality of materials, the truth is that you don’t need to spend a lot to have a functional outdoor kitchen. With a sink, grill, and a little extra countertop space, you’ll have a place to entertain and cook. 

6. Pool

While more on the costly side of backyard renovation, having a pool provides a wonderful opportunity to host parties or for relaxing. And with a variety of pool choices, ranging from inground to aboveground or even heating, you’ll find something that works for your family. 

Getting a pool can be a large investment because it requires labor, so make sure you’re staying within your budget. If you live in a warmer climate, it might be a great investment since you will get more use out of it. 

7. Garden Pathway

A garden pathway can be a tranquil space to visit and hang out. The best part of your garden landscaping is that you can fill it with anything you want: flowers, bushes, small trees, herbs, stones, sand, and anything you want. 

If you have the space, you may create a stone pathway to walk through and enjoy your garden. Vegetable gardens are particularly eye-catching and resourceful, though they do require upkeep. If you’re going to plant a vegetable garden make sure to plant vegetables that grow seasonally and in your climate. 

8. Hammock or Lounge Seating

Seating outdoors as a living room is nice when you have many people, but sometimes you may want a seat to yourself!

Hammocks or hanging chairs provide a calming space for reading, relaxing, or reflecting. Hammocks are fairly easy to install, especially if they’re mobile. Hanging chairs need an anchor from above, so they’re perfect for under a deck. 

9. Work Studio

Do you benefit from working outdoors? Setting up a workstation outside may not necessarily be thought of as entertainment, but if you have a hobby like painting or writing, it could be a place for inspiration. If you’re an artist, you could display some of your work outdoors to serve as decor for your space.

Your workspace should be covered in some capacity if you have tools or materials you use so they don’t get damaged by wind or rain. 

10. Movie Area

There’s no better way than enjoying a movie outdoors during the warm nights of summertime. Your movie area doesn’t even have to be anything fancy; a simple white sheet, along with a projector of sorts will provide everything you need to watch a movie under the stars. Pop some popcorn and cuddle up with a pillow to make it complete.  

Entertaining Space For You!

When you’re thinking about creating the ideal entertaining space, you have countless ideas and opportunities. The one thing to remember is to work the space so it’s convenient for both you and others. Your outdoor space will be a talking point for many years to come. 

Do you need assistance to create the best outdoor space? Our specialists are here to help! Contact us today to get started planning your outdoor entertaining oasis. 


Staycation Landscapes: Create a Resort-Style Backyard with Luxury Appeal

Rest and relaxation don’t always mean hopping on a plane and taking off. You can enjoy staycations any time, when you transform your backyard with resort-style features and ambiance. State of the Art Landscape specializes in backyard transformations with our comprehensive lineup of hardscape and softscape solutions. These include swimming pools, patios, outdoor kitchens, and more. In fact, you may love your backyard once we’ve transformed it but you might prefer to stay home more often. 

Swimming Pool

If you love your resort getaways, you can install a brand-new swimming pool into your yard, making it everyone in your household’s favorite palace to be. State of the Art Landscape installs custom swimming pools. We collaborate with our clients to achieve aesthetically pleasing designs that complement their property. Using 3D technology, we can map out each detail, ensuring that clients are able to bring their swimming pool vision to life. 

In addition to their swimming pool, our design-build team can install hardscaping around the pool or add decking and spa-like features to the design. We can create spa swimming pools that feature pool-hot tub combinations, plunge pools, and pools in virtually any shape. 

Outdoor Kitchen

If you love to entertain family and friends, an outdoor kitchen allows you to spend time with your guests while keeping cooking odors and messes outside. State of the Art Landscape designs and builds custom kitchen and dining spaces that are tailored to property owners’ needs. We can create spacious, open outdoor kitchens or outdoor roofed kitchen and dining spaces that offer protection from the sun. Tell us what outdoor kitchen features you want to include and we’ll create a functional and attractive design that suits your needs and budget.

Outdoor Bar

If you do a lot of backyard entertaining, an outdoor bar can become the focal point of your patio. State of the Art Landscape can help you design a bar and surrounding patio area that features a fun theme or complements the style of your home. After a long day at work, you can come home and relax in your backyard with drinks on your patio. We’ve constructed outdoor bars to fit both compact and open spaces. Like many outdoor features, an outdoor custom bar can enhance your home’s value. 

Outdoor Living Room

Why stay indoors when the weather’s so fair? Root for your favorite baseball team from the comfort of your outdoor living room, complete with sumptuous outdoor seating and a wall-mounted flat-screen TV. An outdoor living room is perfect for people who like to relax outdoors but still enjoy creature comforts like plush cushions and Netflix. These spaces are ideal for people of all ages. They make great entertainment spaces that are popular with adults, teens, and even young kids. 

Outdoor Fireplace

Ensure that you can enjoy your backyard oasis even when the weather is chilly with the addition of an outdoor fireplace. These features not only provide heat for chilly days but also light so you can gather in your outdoor living space in the evening. State of the Art Landscape features custom fireplace designs. We can build one that suits your patio or outdoor living room’s layout. We can also build custom fire pits in a multitude of styles to enhance your backyard living space.

Sports Courts

If your ideal vacation includes some fitness or sporting fun, you can add features to your backyard that allow you to enjoy many activities. If you have tweens and teens, they’ll love spending time at home and inviting their friends over to enjoy these sportive backyard features. Our design team can make the most of your backyard space by filling it in with the features you love best. 

Outdoor Structures

Add visual interest to your backyard with backyard structures that make use of the vertical space. Outdoor structures like pergolas and gazebos provide shade and focal point flair. Fortunately, there are many styles to choose from. We can add custom structures to your backyard setting that embody a certain architectural style. Whether your home is Mid-Century, traditional, modern, or cottage-inspired, we can design outdoor structures that blend seamlessly with your overall setting. 

Professional Landscaping

Resorts invest substantially in their landscaping to create the ambiance that vacationers are looking for. You can do the same with help from State of the Art Landscape. We landscape special features like swimming pools, patios, and pergolas, and can design an entire backyard landscape that suits your preferences. For instance, you can create a modern, upscale landscape with single-color plantings for a designer look. Or, you can create a relaxing Zen-inspired space, a hacienda-style garden, or a French-country-inspired setting completed with pots of lavender. 

We create highly personalized landscapes filled with plantings that complement your backyard and your aesthetic style. Our designers can incorporate shade features or privacy plantings that help divide the space. We can install water-savvy landscapes, low-maintenance landscapes, fragrant gardens, and more. 

Why Create a Luxury Getaway at Home?

Investing in your landscaping and exterior home features can actually add value to your home. In fact, did you know that a well-landscaped patio can actually boost your home’s value by 12 percent? Installing other features like an outdoor fireplace, pool, and outdoor kitchen can enhance property value even further. But value aside, how much enjoyment could you and your gain from a backyard that’s custom-designed with vacation-worthy features? When you partner with State of the Art Landscape, we can create a backyard home-resort that’s perfectly tailored to your perfect staycation! 

Contact State of the Art Landscape to discuss your backyard makeover plans. Please peruse our portfolio of completed projects. We create custom designs and feature a team of talented and experienced landscapers, masonry specialists, designers, and more. We can’t wait to help you transform your property into the backyard oasis you crave. 

How 3D Renderings Can Help Your Landscape Design Process

The landscape design process can be complicated, time-consuming, and exhausting. However, that doesn’t mean that the experience will be the same for homeowners and designers. While landscaping workers might have a tough time designing a backyard or patio space to fit the vision of a homeowner, it’s virtually a guarantee that the experience will be an exciting one for whoever owns the property being developed. That’s because, at the end of the ordeal, homeowners know that their backyard, outdoor kitchen, or whatever outdoor addition they’re making to their home is something that they’ve always wanted!

At State of the Art, it’s our aim to provide homeowners with a visualization of their dream landscaping outcome that’s as close-to-perfect as possible. We do this using 3D renderings, which will allow both homeowners and our own employees to see precise measurements and images of what we’re going for through our construction efforts. This is especially useful when building complex structures, adding onto existing construction pieces or removing/grading land for new projects. Below we’ll talk a little bit more about what we do and how we do it.

Designing & Building Dream Landscapes

Once scheduled for a consultation session, our experts will arrive to get a firsthand view of a homeowner’s property. This will allow us to fully map out an area, examine elevation changes, and take into account all areas that will be affected by construction. Once this information has been gathered, we’ll take it into account when designing homeowners their own unique 3D customized conceptual layout of what the area will look like after we’re all finished.

Not only does this give homeowners the ability to see their vision fully realized before construction even begins, but it gives us the opportunity to identify any possible issues with construction. Maybe the placement of a swimming pool isn’t ideal due to elevation, or an outdoor oven might be placed too close to neighboring property – whatever the problem, we’ll work to fix it so that homeowners are fully satisfied with whatever result occurs.

There are a number of issues that can arrive with different types of landscaping efforts. Below, we’ve listed the kinds of services we provide, along with some of the complications and workarounds that occur with them.

Hardscape Construction

Hardscaping refers to the practice of installing stonework into a natural landscape. This can be in the form of adding stone walls, stone patios, brick ovens, and staircases. Hardscaping can drastically raise the profile of your backyard or patio, but the downsides of it are that it is an expensive process, and it’s quite easy to blunder during installation. Shoddy masonry and unsafe builds are some of the main problems that occur during installation. However, both can usually be avoided by careful planning and the hiring of qualified professionals.

Swimming Pools

Swimming pools are often underestimated as simply being dug holes filled with water, but they’re quite a bit more work with that. The excavation and construction process is a detailed effort that requires intensive knowledge of the soil composition, location of pipes and power lines, proximity to the sewer and neighboring electric structures, and much more. Plus, once construction begins, expenses can quickly mount up depending on the chosen material to construct the surface and deck of the pool. Furthermore, if heating is required then that’s an entirely different issue that requires an electrical engineer, fuel supplier, and even more hands-on deck.


A quality deck can drastically elevate a landscape, and many modern homes are adding them into their landscaping plans. They can be constructed using a wide variety of materials, including elegant hardwoods, masonry, and brickwork. Their construction obviously needs to take into account the space they’re working with, along with safety as a priority. Load-bearing decks might need to be able to support 10-15 people at once, which is something that the design team will be inquiring about throughout the design and installation process.

Pavilions and Pergolas

What can be a whimsical and practical addition to any home can also be a tedious endeavor for designers and construction workers. Pavilions and pergolas can be an immersive way to enjoy the outdoors, providing only the barest shelter from the elements. These are usually quite simple to construct, but depending on homeowner specifications, can be made to be quite complicated and intricate structures.

Sport Courts

Homeowners looking to incorporate more exercise and team play into their lives may wish to install a sporting court for basketball, tennis, or shuffleboard. All of these courts can be constructed to match the exact regulatory standards of the sports themselves, and incorporated into the existing environment as naturally as possible.

Fire Pits

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a bonfire with friends and families once the weather starts getting a little bit chilly, or on summer nights once the day’s heat has passed. Fire pits can be constructed in a number of shapes, sizes, and materials, and designers at State of the Art will work with homeowners to identify their dream fire pits so as to make those dreams an exact reality.

Boulder Work

Pre-existing boulders on a home’s landscape can be viewed as both a blessing and a curse. Depending on perspective, homeowners might see them as a natural wonder or a random obstruction. At State of the Art, we incorporate boulders as naturally as possible into a landscaping vision if possible – otherwise, we’ll do our best to remove them from the picture entirely.


Whether it’s more room for the pets or kids to run around safely in or just more privacy overall, we can work with homeowners to address all fencing needs that might be required.

Outdoor Kitchens

Every dream outdoor setup as an outdoor kitchen, complete with a floor of stone or wood, a brick oven, roasting pit, etc. Whatever amenities you could want in your outdoor kitchen, at State of the Art we’ll work to make it happen.

10 Gorgeous Landscaping Ideas for Pool Areas

Why travel hundreds of miles to the nearest resort when you can turn your backyard into a beautiful oasis? Landscape architecture is a form of art that dates back to the ancient Egyptians

In ancient times, geometric patterns ruled landscape designs following strict plans to create more symmetry. But in modern landscapes, there are far more options to transform your backyard into a gorgeous work of art.

Consider These 10 Unforgettable Landscaping Ideas For Pool Areas For Your Next Outdoor Renovation 

1. Tranquil Rock Garden

Not every garden is green. Many homeowners contrast the backyard pool landscape with an alpine, or rock garden

Rock gardens are a great way to complement modern home styles especially in backyards where grass won’t grow. Opt for colorful succulents if you want to add visual interest to your rock garden.

Rock garden beds are made of gravel providing more texture to the landscape. The placement of the rocks is important in creating a well-designed landscape.

Many landscape designers start with large rocks and fill in spaces to create an attractive look. Plants, if used, are placed last to fill in spaces around the rock formation. 

2. Dining Alfresco

Dine al fresco with a manicured seating area next to your pool. Define your seating area with an open-air pergola that matches the style of your home.

An outdoor fireplace can serve as a ‘wall’ to section off the eating area outside. Use paved surfaces sparingly around the poolside seating area to give the feel of carpeting in the space.

Wood plank flooring makes the dining area more inviting when entertaining. Guests can relax on the wooden pool surround after a swim without fear of burning their feet as the pavement heats up in the sun.

Make sure there’s a solid surface path in place as an alternative to walking on the planks. During more formal occasions, you want an option for guests to enjoy a view of the pool while wearing heels.  

3. Lush English Garden

English gardens are somewhat of a rebellion of the symmetrical patterns loved by the ancient Greeks. The mix of shrubs and flowers brings texture to the area surrounding your pool. 

Mix a variety of pastel-colored flowers for an elegant touch. The key to creating an eye-catching English-style garden is layering.

You’ll want dense foliage that fills the space alongside your pool to create a picturesque backdrop while you swim.  

4. Lighted Stairwell

If you have stairs leading to your pool, it’s a prime opportunity to use accent lighting to create a chic look. Upgrade your stairs to double as stadium seating and planters surrounding your pool.

Both grass and gravel work well to fill rows of stairs on a hillside. Add succulents to gravel to give your accent lights more layers to work with. Solar-powered accent light creates an energy-efficient solution that won’t need complicated electrical wiring.

5. Minimalist Garden

Well-designed swimming pools should always be the star of the show. Keep your swimming pool the center of attention with a minimalist garden.

Symmetry is an important tool in minimalist designs. Repeat symmetrical patterns throughout the garden using dark-colored slate gravel or grass. 

Think straight lines, not curves when attempting a minimalist aesthetic next to your pool. 

6. Calming Fountains

Fountain statues are a regal touch to traditional-style homes. If you live in a Victorian or Tudor-style home, your architecture is perfect for a series of statues along the poolside. 

Choose statues that provide a calming trickle of water into the pool to create a serene escape. Majestic animal figures like lions make great options for concrete statues, especially when combined with colorful flowers. 

7. Grassy Nature Surround

Plant grass up to the edge of your pool surround. The grass reflects less heat during the summer while providing a soft place to lounge.

The unexpected foliage surrounding the pool makes it appear to happen naturally in your backyard. Add other features like boulders and dense groundcover that make your pool look like a pond in the middle of a park. 

8. Posh Pergola

Aside from being stunning in a landscape, pergolas also add the benefit of defining spaces in your yard. If you’re looking to create ‘rooms’ outdoors, the best way to do this is to add a pergola to various seating areas near the pool.

Pergolas are also great for providing partial shade. Think about hanging gardens when choosing ways to decorate your pergola. You can add lush plants and vines to your pergola to increase your sun protection and give the structure a posh look.  

9. Full Kitchen

Consider a full outdoor kitchen complete with a bar for entertaining. Full kitchens can be built on patios or detached from the main house. 

Think of fun upgrades the entire family can enjoy like installing a wood-fired pizza oven or a birthday party pavilion. A party pavilion is an open-air space with flexible seating to accommodate a variety of games and activities. 

Don’t give guests a reason to long for the indoors. Bring the living room outside by mounting TVs or installing a fireplace in your outdoor kitchen seating area.  

10. Majestic Topiary

Boxwood hedges are the best option for manicured topiary designs. Large plant sculptures make instant focal points for modest backyard pools.

Use tall boxwood hedges as a fence surrounding your pool with a custom topiary centerpiece in the center of your yard. White concrete planters provide contrast to the rich green of boxwoods. 

Stepping stones surrounded by bright green grass complements this formal garden style. Repeat the topiary pattern throughout your seating areas using ball topiaries in white concrete planters. 

Choose the Right Luxury Landscaper for Pool Areas in Northern Virginia

It’s natural to want to copy landscaping ideas for pool areas found on the internet. But not every landscape design works in every backyard.

Factors like the amount of sunlight in your area, soil drainage, and the size of your swimming pool influence what looks best in your yard. Consult with our experienced team of landscape designers to find the right fit for your property.

For more information and pool design tips, set up a consultation today. 

Inground Pool vs. Above Ground Pool

When you’re getting a new pool for your home, your most significant choice is whether you’ll get an inground or above ground pool. Whichever you choose, the look of your yard, and your experience in the pool, will be significantly different. You’ll also see differences in cost, lifespan, maintenance needs, and much more. It’s a big decision, so how do you choose?

First, you need to understand the full differences between these two types of pools. An inground pool is just as it sounds, a pool that is installed in the ground, so it’s flush with your yard. It can be made from a wider range of materials than an above ground pool, but it also is more expensive and not suitable for all climates.

An above ground pool is installed above, so it may stand four or more feet off the ground. To make up for the height of an above-ground pool, many people install tall decks around them so that they can be level with the pool. Those in colder climates and with tighter budgets tend to prefer above ground pools. However, that’s not all you need to know to choose between these two types. Here is a comparison of the features and benefits of inground pools vs above ground pools.


Of course, the first thing you likely want to know about your new pool is how much it will end up costing. While you can get fairly inexpensive inground pools, especially if you choose basic materials and basic shapes, they do tend to cost more. The reason is simple, if you’re getting an inground pool you’ll need to have a significant portion of your yard excavated to fit it. This costs in equipment and time during the install.

Above ground pools tend to be cheaper but be careful not to opt for an above ground pool that’s too cheap. The materials in an above ground pool still matter, and if you opt for something that won’t last for too long, you may end up spending more than you want to replacing the liner, or even the shell. Still, no above ground pool is going to be expensive as the best, most unique inground pool.


Thinking of getting a unique design for your pool? Or, is your backyard in a unique shape? Then an inground pool might be your best bet. You can get many more shapes, designs, and sizes in a custom inground pool than are typically available in above ground models. It is easier to incorporate water features, unique coping, and elegant decks with inground pools.

That said, you may be able to find the design you’re looking for in above ground pools. If the cost savings are worth it to you, you might try looking into what designs are available before you choose a custom inground pool.


The installation process for each type of pool is different. Inground pools take longer to install and add more disruption to your life, with more equipment. There is some preparation work that needs to be done before an above ground pool installation too, just not as much as for an inground pool.


While installation is a temporary concern, maintenance is a long-term issue, so you’ll probably place more importance on this issue. Typically, inground pools and above ground pools require about the same amount of maintenance, assuming that they are the same size. Although, it’s possible that an above ground pool may scratch more easily, which might mean it requires more maintenance.

ROI & Lifespan

It’s also wise to consider your pool as an investment in the value of your home. If you decide to sell your home, inground pools are generally more appreciated than above ground pools (although it may depend on your market). Inground pools also have a longer lifespan, assuming you’ve invested in the right materials and kept up with maintenance. So, you can also expect to get more longevity out of an inground pool, which may be important for you if you intend to be in your home for a long time. If longevity is a big concern for you, you can get inground pools made of the best materials to get the longest lifespan from your pool.

Energy Use

The amount of energy that your pool uses is mostly dependent on your climate. However, there are a few things to consider about your specific energy usage. Above ground pools may be easier to heat if they will be in direct sun and not covered by a deck, but only on days when the sun is out.

Need some expert advice about whether an in ground or above ground pool works best for you? Reach out to us at State of the Art Landscape.