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Burke Case Study

A Deck, Outdoor Kitchen & Entertaining Area with Walkways, Landscaping & Lighting Project

LOCATION: Nazareth, Pennsylvania


The Burkes had recently moved into their new home and wanted a backyard design to fit their style and entertaining needs. The existing backyard had nothing but simple wooden steps from the house to the yard. The space had a slight downward pitch towards the end of the yard, the utilities provided boundary restrictions and the sand mound for the septic system sits about 30′ from the house.


When we met with the Burke’s at their home, we began by evaluating the property. We chatted with them about what they wanted in an outdoor living area and how they would use it. The elements they asked us to incorporate into the space included: an outdoor kitchen and an entertaining area that allowed for dining, lounging and a fire pit.


At our site evaluation, we discovered there were minimal obstacles in the space. And because the Burke’s gave us a free hand in the design, it was a great opportunity for us to let our creativity shine.

The outdoor living design we created started at the backdoor and included a composite deck which stepped down into a multi-level entertaining space broken into four distinct outdoor rooms – the kitchen, the dining area, a fire pit and a lounging/living room area – all created from stamped concrete.

We strongly believe that outdoor designs work best when they make sense. We formulated a design concept that put all of the elements they wanted into logical locations that had a natural flow to them.

We began with a custom-built deck that that would allow for a grand entrance from three different angles – one directly to the walkway, one into to a kitchen/bar area, and one into an entertaining area. We used 45 degree angle lines from the house to maximize space around the existing sand mound and stay within the utility boundaries.

We echoed the angles in the multi-level stamped concrete patio which we sectioned into four rooms – an outdoor kitchen, a lounging space, a dining space and a fire pit area. The center room was an 8’x8′ L-shaped outdoor kitchen on the top tier. The existing slight elevation change in the Burke’s yard allowed us to create two tiers that added dimension to the patio. The kitchen divides the two tiers and is the closest to the home’s back door. The top tier is used as a transition area from the deck to the lower patio tier.

Using pillars, we balanced the height of the kitchen, defined the elevation change and enclosed access to the lower tier. To enhance social connectivity with guests sitting in one of the lower rooms – the dining area, lounge area or fire pit space – we located the bar area on the lower tier. We created additional seating – and privacy around the fire pit with a seating wall.


We completed the design using outdoor lighting and landscaping as the finishing touches. The plants we selected for the Burke’s outdoor space provide year-round interest with roses, perennials, deciduous shrubs and trees displaying colorful blooms and interesting fall colors throughout the warmer months while evergreens and dogwoods provide winter interest. We used three trees for balance – two being evergreens.

Designing the hardscape lighting plan ensures safety and a warm glow in the outdoor living area. We installed step lighting and wall lighting and landscape lighting to provide night time interest and add to the Burke’s security and safety.

THE STAMPED CONCRETE PATTERN: Top tier was done using a seamless textured stamp.   The bottom tier was done using a large slate.

THE STAMPED CONCRETE COLOR COMBINATION: Beige creme color hardenr and integral color with walnut antiquing.


“We are very happy with the way our project turned out. Eissa and Robert were a pleasure to deal with – always quick to return phone calls and answer questions. Everyone who comes over loves how it turned out. My co-worker had Signature do his backyard after seeing our project completed. The crew was always on time, cleaned up after themselves, and did a great job.

Everything from the initial phone call, to getting the measurements, plan, and installation was excellent. We are very happy with how our project turned out and with how quickly it was completed.

Continue to do business as you are and you will continue to be successful. We couldn’t be happier.”

– The Burkes
Nazareth, PA

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