A beautifully tiled swimming pool sparkling in the sunshine of a warm afternoon beckons guests to sit down, slip off their shoes and dangle their toes in cool, blue water. Blooming flowers, stirred by a light breeze, dance in the garden and shadows lengthen beneath towering trees and pines as the sun shifts in its field of blue.

This oasis of calm is just the welcoming backyard the homeowners intended to reflect their al fresco lifestyle. It’s also a social space that invites family and friends to settle in and relax.

When their in-ground swimming pool began having issues, the homeowners considered two options: fill it in, or renovate. “We decided, ‘Let’s leave the pool intact. Let’s make it work,’” she says.

Like many large-scale reno projects, it took on a life of its own. The homeowners decided to tick off their bucket list the ideas that had been percolating since they purchased the three-acre property in 2002.

Beyond pool repairs and new decking, she wanted an area to garden in the rural setting that would be impervious to marauding deer. That meant installing tall, secure and attractive fencing to protect landscaping plants, lush flower and vegetable gardens, as well as pear and apple espaliered trees.

The couple also entertained, hosting numerous large gatherings and fundraisers, so several lounging, seating and dining areas were requisites. Retaining walls define spaces, while a pergola cloaked in fragrant purple wisteria introduces an element of romance.

The project was collaboration between the homeowners, Matthias Landscaping and Deckworks, says the homeowner. “We joke about vacationing here. It’s a restful, happy place, and we love it,” she adds.