2007 Southern Home Awards: Best Outdoor Space

With plenty of room to entertain in the pavilion or around the pool, this backyard gathering spot feels inviting in any season.
Amy Bickers Mercer

During the best soirees, music, guests, and fun naturally spill into the backyard. After more than a decade of entertaining friends and family in their 1920s Baton Rouge, Louisiana, home, John Turner and Jerry Fischer wanted more room for their frequent get-togethers. So they turned to architects Ursula Emery McClure and Michael McClure to expand their existing garage and design a stunning outdoor retreat.

Masterful Mix
A new room at the end of the garage serves as a pool house and dining area. A traditional cooking fireplace lends timeless style. It is set at an angle so its inviting presence can be seen from the house and the pool.

Cypress plywood on the walls has traditional appeal but pairs beautifully with the sleek glass-and-steel doors. A blending of classic design and modern sensibility ensures a structure that stands the test of time. "Most people think they need to choose between contemporary and traditional," Michael says. "We're just not willing to make that choice."

A walkway covered by a trellis connects the pool house to the main house. It also separates the driveway from the backyard, but the wide, open doorways allow the driveway and garage to be used for large parties.

Despite all the entertaining that goes on, one of Jerry's favorite things about the new room involves peace and quiet. "I like sitting in there, reading a book," he says. "I open the doors and enjoy the cross breezes.

"2007 Southern Home Awards: Best Before & After" is from the October 2007 issue of Southern Living.