The Vision For a Perfect Backyard

With nothing more than a blank canvas of overgrown grass and some trees in the backyard, a Livingston, New Jersey homeowner contacted CLC Landscape Design to bring the vision for a perfect backyard.

Rich Cording, Sr., LLA, ASLA, CNLP, a licensed landscape architect who founded CLC Landscape Design over 40 years ago, took on the challenge of designing a backyard with multiple spaces in order to facilitate the client’s needs of allowing their young family to relax and play, but also having the facilities to cater to family and friends.

The composite deck off the back of the house was the first piece to be designed, featuring an outdoor gas fire pit as well as a built-in outdoor BBQ. As you work your way from the deck onto the patio, it’s easy to take notice of its sparkling Techo-Bloc Blu 60 Smooth shale gray design. Next, you’ll spot a hot tub by the pool.

“We designed the composite deck to blend with the house in a nice, warm gray,” Rich Sr. said. “We used an outdoor tile in a similar color scheme on the outdoor kitchen, on the fire pit, and on the bar, so that it blended with the deck.”

Next, the crew designed a rectangular vinyl-liner swimming pool with a pavilion aligned to the central axis of the swimming pool. This deluxe hang-out locale features ceiling lights, a ceiling fan, an outdoor television, and a bar. The pavilion is large enough for outdoor sofas, multiple chairs, and a small table.

“We repeated this nice, warm gray throughout all of the architectural elements,” Rich Sr. said. “This was a great design that we came up with while bouncing ideas off each other.”

“One of the detailed elements we love about the finished product is how the gray umbrellas pick up on the landscape materials,” Rich Sr. said. “A lot of times people walk into a landscape and say, ‘oh this is beautiful, it looks great,’ but they don’t realize how many detailed decisions it takes to go from a blank canvas to what you’re looking at now.”

Beyond the pool area, you’ll find a lawn tucked away behind and next to it. The homeowner’s children were built a play set close enough to the pool area that the parents can watch their children, but also a far enough distance away so the adults can relax without worry.

Once CLC Landscape Design had a projected budget and design for the Livingston home, the company utilized 3D rendering technology to help articulate the final design to the client before anything was finalized.

“I find that the 3D Rendering has revolutionized our industry,” Rich Sr. said. “It communicates the final product to the client so powerfully. “

Rich Cording, Jr., MLD, served as a US Navy officer on board the USS JOHN S. McCAIN (DDG-56) stationed in Tokyo, Japan. Soon after, he earned a Master of Landscape Design at Columbia University in New York City. Rich Jr. has taken on a strong leadership role within his father’s company and was the main driving force behind the completion of this project.

“[Our clients say] he’s so on top of things, so creative, and he does what he says he’ll do,” Rich Sr. said. “I think all of that comes from ethos of being a Navy officer. He’s very nice, but he’s also a no-nonsense detail-oriented person who takes charge.”

Rich Jr. helped transition the company to a focus on high-end, residential designs with an incredibly important attention to detail. Now, over 40 employees strong, CLC Landscape Design has glowing reviews from all over the Garden State.

“I think the thing that I’m most proud of [with the Livingston home] is that their initial site was so difficult, and we were able to achieve everything on their wish list,” Rich Sr. said.