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Secluded escape
Nashotah property serves as the ultimate backyard paradise

Photos by Doug Edmunds

May 2016


The pool, complete with water features and decorative light, serves as the crown jewel of the resort-like backyard.

When homeowners Dawn and Cameron Knuth bought their property in Nashotah, the couple instantly knew the nearly 1-acre lot adjacent to a bounty of woods and wildlife would make the ultimate backyard paradise.

Three years later, the Knuths’ backyard is a perfect escape and a favorite gathering spot for family and friends. The outdoor oasis includes a 20- by 40-foot in-ground pool and a cabana with grilling and entertainment areas. For cooler nights, there’s a covered patio with a double-sided fireplace.


Comfortable patio seating around the outdoor fireplace creates a welcome three-season respite.

The cabana, designed in the same European lodge style as the Knuth home, sits on the west side of the pool. It houses an outdoor kitchen complete with a commercial-grade grill, sink, refrigerator and beer tap for easy poolside entertaining. A counter that runs the length of one side of the cabana is an inviting spot to enjoy a poolside beverage.

Bill Koehnlein of Collaborative Design in Waukesha says retractable storm shutters hidden in the header of the cabana are a practical and aesthetic feature that call to mind a Florida vacation home or island retreat.

"The homeowners just hit a button at bedtime, and the shutters roll down to keep out critters, dust and dirt," he says.


With poolside seating and a commercial-grade grill, the cabana is an entertainment hub for family and friends.

On the opposite end of the pool, a casual seating area is laid out in a semicircle. A pair of curved sofas adorned by an oversized hanging umbrella encourages friendly conversation.

Along with the seating area, the bluestone patio has a dedicated eating area and a row of chaise lounges for relaxing by the pool. Koehnlein and Dawn decided on patio furniture in a natural woven material topped with neutral-colored cushions.

"That way the homeowners won’t tire of the color or pattern, and they can change out accessories over time," says Koehnlein.

The covered patio area — accessible from both the hearth room and the great room — is a natural extension of the home. Light fixtures that resemble candle torchères bring the home’s interior outside. And a double-sided fireplace flanked by patio doors on either side makes the outdoor living space functional in all kinds of weather.

The pool itself is a conversation piece with its water features, decorative lighting and built-in seating in the shallow end.

Thanks to Dawn’s green thumb, an abundance of plants in beds and containers laid out on multiple levels helps define the patio space.

"It was all Dawn’s vision," says Koehnlein of the secluded, resort-like backyard. M



This story ran in the May 2016 issue of: