Dream Backyard with Incredible Koi Pond

July 16, 2018, 0 Comments

This Chicago homeowner found Reflections through a local koi pond club during their annual tour of homes with koi ponds. He came to us starry eyed, with a lifelong dream of having a koi pond in his backyard. Reflections had the exciting task of starting with a blank slate, since the homeowner’s double lot was totally empty. The homeowner already had a backyard pond design from another architect, but he was unhappy with the look and feel of that design. He wanted an architect he could put his full trust in to make his dream a reality.

The homeowners checklist:

  • Patio space with a seating area
  • No snow on the patio
  • The main priority should be the koi fish
  • Visually pleasing
  • Natural looking
  • An invisible filtration system


The two garages on the property with eight feet of clearance between them made bringing the materials and equipment in through a small alley difficult. In addition to the spatial limitations, the homeowners extensive checklist made this project quite the challenge- but we love a challenge!

As a lover of koi, the homeowner wanted the pond to be 100% about the fish while still being aesthetically pleasing and natural looking. This meant making sure the filtration system was not visible. We decided to build the filtration system in one of the garages. In order to accomplish this, we drilled holes into the garage wall as a place for the pipes to go in and out of the garage.

One of our unique touches was the multi stream waterfall that doubles as a constructed wetland filter. This is the perfect feature for this homeowner, because it is a filter that you cannot see. The water starts at the highest point as a trickle down waterfall. The wetland filter is placed a foot below that waterfall, which is another stream that goes through a large area with stones. Below that is where the main waterfall begins- so it looks like two smaller waterfalls pouring over a large waterfall. It is absolutely stunning and the homeowner was very please with the visual impact it made on the pond! To give the homeowner all his wishes, we built heated walkways and patios to keep the snow away from those spaces. We utilized Missouri weathered limestone and built the back patio and bridge out of cedar and reclaimed barnwood to give it an aged, natural look. After that we added naturalistic plants that blended in with the landscape and transformed the city lot into a combination of meadow and wetland. In the end, the homeowner wanted a space filled with beautiful koi where he could also relax and entertain guests- and he was very happy with what Reflections designed and built for him.


  • Gorgeous koi pond
  • Pond lined and filled with Missouri weathered limestone
  • Natural bridge made of cedar and reclaimed barnwood
  • Heated walkways
  • Heated patio with seating area
  • A hidden filtration system
  • Beautiful multi stream waterfall that doubles as a constructed wetland filter
  • Natural plants to mimic a wetland and meadow

Whether you’re interested in adding energy or tranquility to your backyard, we will bring your vision to life. Reflections will work side by side with you so that your backyard water feature will be personalized to your specific needs and tastes. Click here to view a full portfolio of our work.



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