Open Air Living at Lake Hills

June 2023

article by maria weidich | photos by nathan satran

Gone are the days when backyards were just a place to store the grill and stow a few lawn chairs. Now more than ever, homeowners have a greater appreciation for outdoor living spaces and are utilizing their backyards as an extension of their homes, often including luxuries that rival their indoor counterparts. 

Longtime builder Jerry Capp of Capp Construction and local design company Beyond the Box achieved this show-stopping look when designing a home featured in last year’s Billings Parade of Homes. Their approach to making the outside space just as functional as the inside space dazzled Parade-goers and earned the team the Parade’s Best Outdoor Space award. 

Consultant Turned Client 

Kristy Ferguson not only owns and operates Beyond the Box, but she also owns the Lake Hills Parade home. So when it came time to design everything, from the pillow furnishings to the outdoor patio, she sought the expertise of her own team of skilled designers. “We used this project to dip our toe in the water of full-scope interior designing,” Kristy said. “It was fun to be in the industry, know all the options, and stretch the budget as much as possible.” 

Ragan Yetley, the lead Beyond the Box designer on the project, was honored to design a home for her boss.  “We are very close,” Ragan said. “So, it was easy to be direct, get exact answers, and deliver exactly what she wanted.” 

First Impressions 

The home’s attractive and inviting front entrance was designed with just as much purpose and thoughtfulness as the backyard space. “It’s quite striking,” Jerry said of the extra-large entryway. The colorful flower beds and added water feature cultivate a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere before entering the home.  

When Inside and Outside Collide 

Upon entering the home, it’s impossible to miss the eight-foot-wide sliding glass door that leads to the backyard. “That sliding door was on my vision board my whole life,” Kristy laughed. As the pocket window slides into the wall, the visual and physical boundaries to the outdoors vanish, blurring the lines between the inside and outside. “We really wanted the outdoor space to flow and feel like a part of the home,” Ragan said.  “It’s definitely one of the home’s more outstanding features,” Jerry echoed. 

Twice As Nice

As if the home’s indoor kitchen wasn’t stunning enough, the outdoor kitchen provides everything a home chef could want. The large grill, double-sided gas range burner, mini fridge, countertops designed to hold up to the elements, and ample drawers and cabinet space make outdoor cooking and entertaining a breeze.    

Dine Alfresco 

There’s nothing better than enjoying the summer weather while dining outside. The patio offers ample room for a full-size dining set perfect for cookouts and dinner parties all summer long. Add some flowers, candles, and pretty dinnerware for a finishing touch to an already elegant space. 

Open-Air Living Room 

When the time comes to relax and unwind, look no further than the home’s outdoor gas fireplace and spacious seating area. With the TV above the fireplace and outdoor speakers throughout, take in a movie or watch the big game in your outdoor living room. As an added accommodation, homeowners and guests alike can use a bathroom accessible only from the patio. 

Above Par 

Located on Lake Hills Golf Course in Billings Heights, the home’s beautifully manicured backdrop is attractive to golfers and non-golfers alike. The small pond that graces the property adds to the tranquil landscape, and the large sandstone boulders and 12-foot-wide steps down to the grass are notable features. “It makes the patio feel that much grander,” Kristy said.  “All of a sudden, you feel like you’re less in town.” 

Adding Fun to Functional 

At Beyond the Box, their mission doesn’t stop at creating amazing spaces and building great relationships. They are committed to having fun in the process, which also comes out in their designs. From the stand-out yellow faucet in the outdoor bathroom to the asymmetrical floating vanities in the master, the home is full of fun finishes. “It’s colorful, eclectic, and high functioning,” Kristy said.  Ragan agreed, “It definitely has a lot of high-end finishes, but it’s still a realistic home for most people.”   

“You don’t typically see a house with a small footprint and an outdoor space with such luxury,” Kristy said of the 1700-square-foot home. “I can’t speak highly enough of the Capp Construction and Beyond the Box team. This home showcases that we can do big projects and we can do small projects. It’s a small footprint, but one that was done really well.”   

Originally printed in the June 2023 issue of Simply Local Magazine

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