Ames homeowners add Asian flavors to customized decks and patios

We originally met these Ames, Iowa clients eight years ago when we remodeled their kitchen. Then they reconnected with us a couple of years ago for a few small interior remodeling projects. One thing led to another and soon they asked Silent Rivers to come back and create a comfortable, Asian-styled outdoor experience. This included enlarging the home’s front porch, providing a design to establish a better connection between the back deck and the yard, and creating more peace and privacy. As a bonus, views from the inside of the home were also vastly improved with these changes.


Privacy and relaxation on a front patio

Asian style pergola and slat fence on Ames patio with Asian adirondack chairs designed by Silent Rivers of Des Moines

The louvered pergola keeps the space cool while still allowing light in.

First on the client list: enlarging the front porch and patio to create more enjoyment of the front yard. In addition to this, we looked at ways to create privacy from the street and add shade from afternoon sun. Using an existing backyard arbor design as inspiration, we designed new pergola elements in the front with an Asian influence – a style our clients have grown to appreciate from their world travels.

By conducting computerized solar studies, we determined where shade would fall at different times of the year. The pergola’s overheard louvers were then adjusted to provide optimum shade to the porch and patio areas.

Taking the louver idea as a cue, we also created a partial screen wall (pictured above) between the patio and the street. This provides needed privacy and blocks car headlights from shining into a bedroom window, but allows views toward the driveway.


Fencing and awnings customized for style

Our clients desired more backyard privacy, but didn’t want a full-on fence. The solution is fence that mimics the front patio screen wall creating a soft barrier from neighbors and from a bike trail near the back property line. This approach not only provides more airflow and openness, but it’s attractive from both sides of the fence and carries the Asian style.

Asian style slat fence for airflow and privacy in Ames exterior remodel by Silent Rivers Des Moines

This custom fence creates privacy while still allowing air to flow through.

By replacing two living room windows with a larger ‘picture’ configuration, our clients have a better view of their beautifully landscaped yard. At the same time, they wanted to minimize the amount of sun that flooded into the windows in the midday and afternoon hours. To solve that problem, we built ‘awnings’ designed to match the front pergola. These four awnings on the south and west sides of the home add detail to the home and make the deck feel cozier.

Asian style wood window awning on Ames home exterior remodel by Silent Rivers of Des Moines

Asian inspired awnings with slats perfectly positioned to shield the indoors from summer sun.


Asian style deck and patio with wood awnings and Asian Adirondack custom chairs by Silent Rivers Des Moines

Adding a stair and reducing the rail allows the homeowner’s to easily access all areas of their back yard.

Finally, to create a better connection from the existing deck to the yard, we removed some of the deck railing and built a large step off the low deck. This allows the homeowners a better view of the landscape and more access options.


All this and custom furniture too!

Asian style custom Adirondack chairs for Asian deck and patio with wood awnings at Ames home exterior remodel by Silent Rivers

The whimsical chairs we built for these homeowners pair well with the Asian-inspired aesthetic.

Pulling everything together, Silent Rivers’ artisans custom built six new cedar chairs for the homeowners to disperse throughout the yard, providing seating in their favorite spots. With a combination of hardy cedar and redwood-made pieces, these outdoor structures will stand up to the elements for years to come.

Our clients couldn’t be happier with their completely transformed Asian-inspired landscape.

For more beautiful outdoor transformations like this one, visit the Landscape Projects and Decks and Patios sections of our Project Gallery.


Top 6 considerations for successful landscape & outdoor design

Top 6 considerations for successful landscape & outdoor design


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