Love At First Site

What was once a rustic cabin with undeveloped acreage is now a breathtaking oasis in the heart of Missouri. Legacy Springs, formerly known as Second Creek, was purchased by husband and wife Bob and Cynthia Chapman as a Midwestern getaway in 2015. They chose to go with a Columbia landscaping firm for the renovation, Rost Landscaping. While the actual cabin on the property had previously been renovated, the acreage needed a major facelift. The Chapman’s main goal was to create a rustic and natural space that brought a western lodge feeling to mind.

“This was somewhat of a no-brainer, given the existing cabin and rustic rural setting,” Jake Frink, design sales manager of Rost Landscaping, says. “The property is a showcase for what an entire renovation can be. What was once a simple bed and breakfast cabin on rustic acreage is now an entirely resort-worthy site.”

The original property had two small farm ponds and mostly undeveloped acreage. The renovation included transforming the two ponds into a substantial 4-acre lake, stocked with trophy fish species such as bass, hybrids and even a few trout. The lake also hosts an island, and is complete with a white oak timber framed pavilion, stone patios, kitchen, fireplace, TVs and restrooms. The kitchen was created with Brentwood stone countertops and barn wood finishes, giving it a rustic, lake-side feel.

Another feature of the lake is the dock space. The main dock, constructed of synthetic material is half-piered into concrete and half floating. Extending nearly 75 feet into the water, it enables guests to rest peacefully on the water while sitting directly across from the lake’s secondary waterfalls. A boat slip and lift allows watercraft to be stored under the roof of the pavilion. Across the pavilion from the dock is a sand swim beach. A level area was cut into the slope with natural stone boulders creating more than 100 feet of sand beach between the water’s edge and stone outcrops.

The lake is sourced from a well station and water features flow lake water through more than 600 feet of waterfalls and streams. The falls begin behind the cabin, run through the back patios and along the hot tub, around to the front of the house, down to the road over a low water crossing, below a stone bridge and back into the lake. All of the stream, patio and walls were built using natural limestone and sandstone boulders. Among all of the water features, patios and walls, more than 800 tons of stone was used, most hand-tagged by the design team to ensure proper fit-ting. The entire renovation from start to finish was completed in a little over a year.

“Like many projects, the water features and natural materials really make this site the experience that it is,” Frink says. “Upon cresting the hill and arriving at Legacy Springs, visitors have immediate views of the lake and water features and get to interact with them repeatedly whether driving over them, crossing them on paths, sitting alongside them or even jumping off them and swimming in the lake.”

The land immediately surrounding the cabin itself was transformed into a series of inviting stone patios, complete with waterfalls cutting through them and a hot tub. The patios are surrounded by intricate weathered fieldstone walls.

This Columbia home’s backyard was transformed from a concrete slab into a custom porcelain tile deck, complete with a dual-purpose fireplace and 360 views of the lake.

The owners, Pat and Yeong Cooney, wanted to create a family-oriented out-door space and chose to go with Lanier Landscaping. After seeing a 3-D rendering of the proposed project, construction began in fall of 2018 and was completed in spring 2019.

The renovation included tearing out a concrete slab and installing a porcelain tile deck in conjunction with another contractor. “We then installed 2,000 square feet of hand-cut custom porcelain tiles,” Lance Lanier, owner of Lanier Landscaping, says. “An 8-foot-tall wood-burning fireplace was added at the edge of the patio and to finalize the project, outdoor lighting went around the sitting area for aesthetics and safety.” The fireplace has both an internal flu and gas lines, so it can be either a natural gas or wood-burning fireplace. The addition of the porcelain tiles helps to keep the patio cooler than traditional concrete would. More soft landscaping, including trees and shrubbery, will be installed this year.

When designing the project, Lanier says, they had to make sure the lake was visible from all angles. This involved custom cutting all of the tiles into curves, but the result is well worth it.

In terms of what’s trendy in landscaping, Lanier says that many things are popular not just because of the entertaining space they create, but also because they increase a home’s value. “Most homes have a 12’x12’ piece of concrete for a patio, and we are here to change the standard of home out-door living spaces to be much more comfortable and enjoyable,” he says. The most common renovations for patios that Lanier sees are either tearing out the traditional patio or building on top of it.

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