Austin Outdoor Living Tour - 6.22.19

A Tour of Outdoor Spaces Designed for Summer Fun!

Photo: Ryann Ford

Tour the Places Where Summer Happens!

Meet the Landscape Designers!


Summertime is when fun happens, at these special homes the vacation never ends

The Austin Outdoor Living Tour is your chance to visit 10 fantastic outdoor spaces, meet the builders and designers that made it happen -and maybe even ask a question or two about your own dream backyard project!

How it Works

It’s as easy as:

1) Click here to get your tickets (You can preview the map and homes below!)

2) About 24 hours before Tour day begins, check your email for our printable map and any last minute instructions

3) Starting at 11AM on Tour day, visit the homes in any order you wish and at your own pace.  Meet the designers, chat with the homeowners, and find inspiration for your own sumertime “staycation” resort!

Photo: ecotopes

The 2019 Austin Outdoor Living Tour Spaces

Barley|Pfeiffer Architecture

Barley|Pfeiffer Architecture

Details & Gallery


Open Envelope Studio, LLC

Open Envelope Studio, LLC

Details & Gallery

B. Jane Gardens

B. Jane Gardens

Details & Gallery

Jeff Neal Design

Jeff Neal Design

Details & Gallery


Austin Outdoor Design

Austin Outdoor Design

Details & Gallery

Mark Odom Studio

Mark Odom Studio

Details & Gallery

Native Edge Landscape

Native Edge Landscape

Details & Gallery

Native Edge Landscape

Native Edge Landscape

Details & Gallery

River Road

Presented by: Barley l Pfeiffer Architecture
Contractor: Oliver Homes
Landscape: Austin Outdoor Design
Photographer: Roe Osborn

The Pfeiffer home, completed in 2002 remodeled in 2014, has wonderful outdoor spaces to compliment a homeowner’s love of the outdoors and outdoor activities.

The crown jewel of the outdoor spaces is the screened in porch. The goal of the porch was to provide a space where more casual conversations occur outside rather than inside the house. It is completely an outdoor living room, with a fireplace and other amenities typically found inside the home – not outside on the porch.

The porch is placed on the south side of this residence very purposely. In this way, it catches the prevailing southeasterly breezes that waft up from the green belt below and vent out though smaller shaded openings on the west side – or through the stair tower within the main house, taking advantage of a “thermal siphoning” effect. By nature of its placement with the main body of the house behind it, the porch is naturally shielded from the cold winter winds – making it an enjoyable place of retreat on most winter days and evenings.

The premium material chosen enhances the feeling of casual luxury – smooth cut limestone flooring, “boxcar” style recycled Redwood wooden, neatly detailed screens with easy to maintain screening, whitewashed Cedar accent ceiling that incorporates a hidden light trough.

Mesa Drive

Presented by: ecotopes
Photography: Courtesy of ecotopes

The tour will take place within the confines of the wooded residential lot that surrounds the home + studio of award-winning ECOTOPES design principal, Steve Shelton. A trail that wraps around the property with a varied array of art objects, hand-made metal works, fountains, dry garden exhibits, unexpected seating arrangements, and alternative dining settings, all being partially entangled by our favorite combinations of native plantings.

Steve’s work as a designer takes place in a small outdoor studio, filled with a personal collection of landscape + ecological science books, in addition to wild menagerie of prototypes + object experiments. Visitors will be treated to quite a wide variety of objects that make up the designer’s creative garden precinct. The ECOTOPES crew of artisans will be on hand for the event to demonstrate technique, philosophy + craft.

Many modern garden fixtures are sited in their authentic garden context, pieces that have been in place for years being partially engulfed by natural processes, and then also some new items exhibited along the circuit just for the tour.

Rollingwood Drive

Presented by: Open Envelope Studio, LLC
Photography: Angelica Norton (OES)

Oh the heels on a beautiful Stuart Sampley remodel, we were brought in for a full property design and installation, including the 29’ x 15’ pool and raised 6’ x 8’ hot tub. The existing trees on the property drove the design by constraining the buildable areas and dictating the vegetated beds.

In the back yard, a triangular ipe deck off the master serves the hot tub. Steppingstones emerge from the pool along the beautifully tiled water feature, allowing passage from one ipe deck to another, ultimately terminating at a Texas basalt gravel patio with a gas fire feature. The pool is surrounded by a grid of charcoal lueder pavers that match the pool coping and the patio under the covered porch. Nestled between the covered porch and master deck, there is a small lounge area for sunbathing. The grassy area in the back is artificial turf to stand up to heavy play and low light conditions. The entire backyard interspersed with Riverstone planting beds and flanked by clumping bamboo for privacy screening.

The front yard utilizes a pair of level zoysia grass terraces. Steel tree wells allow us to the raise the grade without jeopardizing the health of the existing live oak trees. We softened the entry sequence by removing existing hardscape and installing plants, gravel, and poured-in-place concrete pavers. New and reworked beds and planters add color and texture that are better suited for the shade and require minimal water.

Romeria Drive

Presented by: B. Jane Gardens
Photography: Ryann Ford

A hidden oasis in central Austin, this property includes extensive screening vegetation to provide complete privacy to both a large pool/entertaining space as well as a separate private master patio with built-in spa and outdoor shower. The unique pool features a whimsical tile layout and Brazilian hardwood sun deck, while the sport lawn includes an extended seating wall and fire pit for outdoor events. None of which may be spied from the street or surrounding homes.

Matthews Drive

Presented by: Jeff Neal Design
Photography: courtesy of Jeff Neal

On this challenging corner lot in Tarrytown, the owners were interested in adding a water feature and some privacy to their front yard where they had recently lost a large shade tree. With limited space in the back yard, we were able to situate a small pool in the front yard and enclose the area, transforming it into a private oasis for relaxing and entertaining. The fence was designed and built for privacy but also as an art piece, with lighting built into it on the inside and outside.

Clifford Drive

Presented by: Moontower
Photography: Daniel Cavazos

At Clifford, we’re showcasing a new, more-thoughtful direction for what was a production builder home reliant on maximizing the floor area ratios with little concern for outdoor living.

How did we inherit this building responsibly with more respect for its inhabitants, the neighborhood and the landscape? We designed holistic improvements inside and out to move the needle on this home from anonymous to special.


  • We re-organized public spaces on the first floor and modified windows to better control privacy and views while filling the dark interior with much needed natural light.
  • We added 2-story cedar screen to provide shade from the Western sun without closing views.
    • The screen also allowed for two different types of uses on both floors that would otherwise be redundant. It also broke up the symmetry of the building, further distinguishing the home from 3 nearly identical neighbors.
  • Look up! We added an outdoor soaking tub (due to limited interior space this takes advantage of covered deck off the master suite)


  • We fully programmed the front for everyday lounge, occasional grilling and dining space, while using the more private back for a (future) narrow pool, outdoor shower, and detached office to make better use of the two small yards. This expanded overall use and functionality of property by moving programs that would otherwise take place indoors outside!
  • We added tall vine covered screens at the front to create controlled views while adding privacy without isolating neighbors/surrounding neighborhood.
  • We used plantings to direct traffic paths, create privacy, and direct use of space (this invites interaction as opposed to restricting it – something very important in a dense neighborhood with a strong sense of community).
  • We extended the front deck (in order to create an approach that reaches out to meet you).
  • We created an indirect front path to offset direct view from front door to neighbors’ front door, eliminating need for a gate
  • Finally, we used plantings and grading to help with the management of water moving across the property.

Clearview Drive

Presented by: Austin Outdoor Design
Photography: MA+DS Media/ Jamie Leasure

This backyard oasis is a shining example of Austin’s continuous love of outdoor living. An Ipe deck extends the indoor kitchen to the outdoor kitchen, while providing cover for inclement weather with a standing seam metal roof pergola. The pergola is accented with garapa purlins which provide beautiful support.

The outdoor kitchen is outfitted with a 34″ grill, refrigerator, sink and 2 tap kegerator. Bright custom steel cabinets are durable, beautiful and provide ample storage for outdoor kitchen needs as well as outdoor activity storage. The kitchen is topped with a gray Leuders limestone countertop which wraps around into bar seating, creating an excellent space for al fresco dining and home happy hours.

The deck stairs lead down to a custom pool and hot tub with a serene water feature pouring from under the deck. Adjacent to the hot tub is a lounge space, complete with a fire pit and built-in benches for warming up on cooler nights. The Lueders limestone benches, patio and pool coping all help to tie materiality to the upper deck.

A small green artificial turf lawn is a perfect space to rest in the sun on lounge chairs after a dip in the pool. Custom lighting in the trees, deck, pergola and pool create an ambient mood in the evening.

Saratoga Drive

Presented by: Mark Odom Studio
Photography: Andrea Calo

Create a flexible addition and garage for an existing residence that could be utilized efficiently by all generations of the family for a wide range of purposes.

We began with a support structure and garage that worked in unison with the circulation of the landscape and did not overpower the main house. Similar exterior materials and color palettes were used to visually connect the addition to the existing residence, but the unique form diverged, responding more directly to its function and site. The pool was designed as an extension of the interior of the studio, positioned directly adjacent for easy access.

Payne Avenue

Presented by: Native Edge Landscape
Photography: Caleb Kerr Photography

This project is an example of how to maximize small spaces. This customer’s small Brentwood yard was centered around their new plunge pool. However, the existing pavers and layout left much to be desired. We reworked the pavers to create usable spaces and clean lines. We also added vines and lighting work with a custom pergola to increase the privacy and encourage the intimate feel of the space. Two cedar screens block the pool equipment and AC compressor from sight. This reduces the visual weight of these areas and allows the eye to focus on the crown jewel of the space… the pool.

Euclid Avenue

Presented by: Native Edge Landscape
Photography: Caleb Kerr Photography

Wanting to mimic some of their favorite downtown bars and patios, this customer opted to remove their huge obtrusive pergola that was already in disrepair. In its place, we designed three separate spaces that overflow into one another, divided and softened by borderless plantings and low raised planters and ornamental trees. To address major drainage issues, we utilized rain barrels to ease and redirect water captured from the gutters.

2019 Austin Outdoor Living Tour Map


Most frequent questions and answers

It’s easy!   Just buy your tickets, then about 48 house before the Tour you’ll receive an email with links to your Tour map.  Then, on Tour day, start at any house and proceed in any order at your own pace to the homes that interest you the most – or to all of them!

Although homes may be open if the homeowner wishes, this is a Tour of the OUTDOOR LIVING AREAS ONLY, and associated pool or guest areas as incorporated.  Please do not attend expecting to tour the insides of the homes, but we promise that you’ll see some great examples of how Austin’s best landscape designers work their magic in these excellent private yard and entertainment areas! (And of course, the designers will be on hand to answer your questions!)

Unfortunately due to repeated issues, we must request that no children under 10 attend the Tour.  We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.  However, we do realize that some of our best guests are aspiring architects and designers and we therefore invite kids 10 and up to learn about the fun world of landscape design!  (As always, infants that will be carried are invited to attend free of charge)

Giving back to the communities and homeowners that so generously welcome us every year is one of the most important things we do.  That’s why we partner with a housing or education organization in every Tour city, and why we are working to establish a scholarship fund for aspiring architects and designers.


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