Rocky Mountain High on Long Island

Designscapes creates rustic dream backyard

David and Donna, a couple from Melville, Long Island, were referred to Designscapes carrying with them the hope that Designscapes would create an outdoor fantasy for their backyard retreat.

When the clients met with Daniel Steigerwald, president and lead designer of Designscapes, they made it clear that they wanted a unique “out of the ordinary” look featuring the natural beauty of Long Island. 

Their dream backyard did not include the typical pool and patio look as they prefer to swim in the ocean and waterways that surround our beautiful island.

David and Donna also expressed an interest in having an outdoor skating rink but they did not want the problems inherent in refrigerating a rink year round. This presented Designscapes with a challenging project indeed.

This problem was solved, however, when David and Donna saw an interesting product online called Ezglide350. Ezglide350 is a synthetic surface cut into panels that are assembled on a flat surface permitting year round skating without the problems the ­homeowers were concerned about. Ezglide350 allowed Designscapes to design a free form concrete slab base in the shape of a pond reminiscent of a Rocky Mountain lake with features that would make it look comfortable and relaxing as well as breathtakingly beautiful. The skating surface is large enough to skate laps comfortably for casual skating as well as skating activities like ice hockey.

Steigerwald and architect Robert Miller of RCM Architectual Design Studios then set out to design a chalet style cabana featuring a two-sided gas fireplace. This allows for the ability to skate up to the fireplace from the outside or go inside to enjoy a hot chocolate on the couch by a full service bar area in a living room surrounded by glass to enjoy the view of the beautiful surroundings.

Two log style benches in between the chalet's stone columns were created as well as two natural boulder areas to sit on for an even more rustic appeal. This area was also outfitted with a gas burning fire pit to sit and relax, warm up and roast marshmallows. Skaters don't even have to take off their skates to walk between the fire pit and the skating rink as the areas outside the rink were treated with a poured in-place rubberized flooring that looks like mulch!

As you can skate both in the winter and in the summer on this ice-less rink, a beautiful rocky mountain style waterfall was designed for a relaxing effect in the summertime. This area is seamed together with a large scale mahogany deck and a gazebo that works as a fantastic platform with a view looking over both the skating rink and the chalet.

In addition to David and Donna's true year-round adventure, a hot tub was built in a private garden space off the back of the house. This is covered by a beautiful pergola and surrounded by a natural stone patio. Bench areas around the hot tub can be accessed conveniently from the 
skating rink as well as from the house for a quick dip.

All in all, this unique setting beckons family and friends from near and far and has brought David and Donna's backyard dream retreat to life.