There are those who like to entertain and those who live and breathe it. The couple who own this Buckhead retreat don’t bat an eye at throwing a party—be it an intimate dinner for 10 or an engagement bash for 200—thanks to an outdoor pavilion they added three years ago.
“It’s everything I’ve ever loved about indoor-outdoor living. It’s very California,” says the homeowner who, along with her husband, lives part time on the West Coast.
The duo has always loved to entertain outdoors. But when their parties outgrew the patio, they opted to replace it with a larger, covered space that could accommodate a variety of crowd sizes. They also wanted the addition to encourage a smooth flow of traffic indoors and out from the family room and kitchen.
Those goals were what sold architect Kenneth Lynch on tackling the project. “The structure has it all,” he says. “It has access and visibility from inside the house for extending their lifestyle outdoors, and that works delightfully well for them.”
Before the addition, the owners had always enjoyed hanging out on the crab orchard–stone decking that surrounds their swimming pool and Jacuzzi. At one end of the pool, a gushing waterfall not only forms a focal point but also screens a small putting green, designed by professional golf course architect Mike Riley. During big parties, the secluded spot is also the perfect place for tenting DJs and bands.
Lynch designed the pavilion as a natural extension of the house. Its metal roof is a similar color to the house’s gray shingles. Supporting the open-gabled hip roof are thick posts of white pine that rest on stone pillars.
Underneath, the space has limestone floors and a soaring exposed beam ceiling. Defined lounging, dining, and grilling areas are accessible to the house by three glass doors. In the middle, seating is arranged around a dramatic limestone fireplace with a wide flat-screen TV above the mantel.
“One of the most interesting features is the space’s dramatic lighting,” Lynch says. “The whole interior is lit from concealed sources, plus you have the large rustic chandelier and sconces. At night it glows like a jewel.”
Interior designer Kelly Anthony used a soft earthy color palette of taupe and cream throughout the pavilion. She surrounded a long stone dining table with 10 chairs, slipcovered for easy maintenance.
“When they have family over, it’s cozy enough for small groups,” Lynch says, “and when they want to have sit-down dinners, there’s plenty of room for entertaining on a much larger scale.”
That versatility is what this host and hostess treasure most. “This project really turned an ordinary house into an extraordinary one,” says the latter. “When I come out here, I always feel like I’m on vacation.”
This article originally appeared in our Summer 2017 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.