Swimming in Style

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A smaller backyard is making a grand impact with a new inground pool and eye-catching amenities

Story by Ann Butenas       |       Photography by Matt Kocourek

When you have a backyard pool, especially one designed with great intention and a keen eye for detail, it is almost as if you can walk out your backdoor directly into a luxurious resort. This inviting backyard showcase is no exception. What was formerly a multi-terraced yard without much of a signature style is now a homeowner’s dream.

When Jane and Matt Buss decided it was time to give their backyard a major upgrade, they turned to Brian Faust, owner of Faust Construction. They knew they wanted to do something different to their backyard, but they were uncertain as to how that would exactly take shape. Their yard, with its multi-terraced topography, as well as its somewhat angular shape amidst a small footprint required a bit of creativity in this regard.

“We wanted to keep the style of our outdoor area similar in style to our home,” expressed Jane. “We wanted simple and clean lines and also wanted to take advantage of the available space in the yard.”

Besides the uniqueness of the yard itself, the home is also a strong talking point in this equation. Built in 1957 and located in a quiet Overland Park neighborhood, it is one of noted builder Donald Drummond’s designs. Between 1946 and 1964, Drummond built this style of home, usually in small groups, throughout the metro area. Characterized by mid-century modern design, a Drummond home has a flat or sloping roof, an open floor plan (ranch or split-level), and large glass windows. 

What a Drummond home doesn’t have, however, is a basement and copious amounts of storage. Therefore, when it came to creating a functional and stylish outdoor living space, Jane and Matt had a clear vision for its overall presentation: it had to complement the beauty of their home as well as become a place that afforded them a bit more storage capacity.

When it came time to dig in and set the pool, Faust removed the biggest terrace and carved in a spot to put the pool.

“We wanted to maximize a small space,” Faust indicated, who clearly made excellent use of every square inch of the yard, with the salt water gunite pool taking center stage. This 20’ x 40’ pool also has a turbine swimming system, which generates a current that allows one to swim in place. This is an ideal amenity for Jane.

“I love to swim and try to do it daily,” she said.

Other outstanding amenities include a concrete pool deck accompanied by concrete pavers accented with lava rock that lead to a gas firepit, made of a stylish and rustic material.

“This is Corten steel, which has surface rust on it,” noted Faust.  “It turns a cool color, and the rust protects the steel. The fabricator added a patina and then put a finish on it.”

The retaining wall is made of Semco split-faced stone and Melville tandem wall pavers. The horizontally designed fencing is all cedar.

“We installed two fences, each with a different design, to match the corresponding neighbors’ fences,” indicated Faust.

The adjoining cabana is the ideal place to enjoy a beverage, a few snacks, and watch the big game with friends and family. Its sleek and stylish design was inspired by the home and enjoys a variety of noteworthy appointments. The wood on the bar and on the ceiling is a vertical grain fir. The accompanying charcoal color painted rough fir matches the darker lines on the house. The bar is topped with an absolute black honed granite counter.

“Behind the wall with the television is a 12’ x 12’ storage room, meeting the owners’ need for additional storage space,” said Faust.

Additionally, instead of adding a drab and ordinary downspout to the cabana, Faust installed a stylish rain chain, which hangs off one side of the structure. This allows excess water to flow down the chain. This keeps the water flowing away from the foundation and allows it to be collected in a basin, bowl, or other water feature.

Faust’s crew also installed the best Kansas City landscaping appointments and accent lighting to add additional ambiance and personality to the space.

“The landscape partner put in a few pom pom trees for style and some arborvitae trees for privacy,” said Faust, who also worked in collaboration with Don Sherwood Construction, who completed the grading for the yard, constructed the fence, and incorporated some of the landscaping elements.

The homeowners are thrilled with the end result.

“We used to have a place at Table Rock, but we now enjoy just being able to step outside the house and into this beautiful backyard,” smiled Jane. “Brian was amazing to work with and we really appreciated his keen eye and attention to detail. We were fortunate to have him work on our project. He oversaw every aspect of it and made sure things were done the right way.”


  • Contractor: Faust Construction
  • Landscaping, Fencing, Irrigation, Sod: Don Sherwood Construction
  • Architect: Perspective Architecture + Design
  • Furniture: CB2, Vintage Homecrest Patio Furniture
  • Retaining Wall: Semco split-faced stone, Belgard Melville Tanden Wall 

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