September-October 2015 | PARADISE IN THE PINES

CUSTOM CRAFTSMANSHIP: A custom-built hexagonal gazebo is just one of the unique features on display in the Olafssons' backyard masterpiece.
MONOLITHIC: A majestic two-story stone fireplace canopied with Scandinavian-inspired tongue-and-groove woodwork epitomize earthy outdoor opulence.PARADISE IN THE PINESTHE GREAT OUTDOORS: “It’s an outdoor living space unlike any I’ve seen," said Tyler Construction's Will Tyler. "I’ve never seen so much going on in such a compact area."PARADISE IN THE PINES



When the Gudjon & Shelly Olafsson wanted to make the most of their backyard space, they started with a call to Tyler Building Company

Written By: Brian Shane | Photographer: GRANT L. GURSKY

Gudjon Olafsson grew up in Europe and California, and in both places he and his family learned how to make the most from small spaces. It was a goal he and wife Shelly brought to their home in Ocean Pines’ Harbor Village neighborhood when they moved here five years ago.

“We wanted to make the most out of where we lived,” said Olafsson. “We wanted to have a deck but also a fireplace to extend the seasons, so we could be out there longer in the spring and fall, and a pool for the kids to play in and cool off in the summertime.”

Two years ago, they started to sketch out what they wanted with Will Tyler of Tyler Building Co. Though construction began last September, they took a break for the winter, so it’s taken almost a year to complete. 

Selbyville-based contractor Hardscapes, Inc. laid their travertine patio and applied a stone veneer to the majestic two-story fireplace that Tyler built for the client. That fireplace is covered by a gazebo-like hexagonal enclosure with Scandanavian-inspired tongue-and-groove woodwork.

The swimming pool is fenced in to one side, while the clear glass railing on the other side offers unencumbered views of the St. Martin River. It's a few stone steps down to reach the ground from the deck; in the future, the clients say the hope to be able to walk down to a lower deck, which Hardscapes will build.

The 20-by-14 pool designed and constructed by Pool Tech was inspired by the Olafssons’ 10-year-old identical twin girls. “They love the water, and this became a fun project for them to look forward to,” Gudjon said.

“We molded this thing as we went along. Almost right up to the end, there was always something changing about it,” said Tyler. “It’s an outdoor living space unlike any I’ve seen. I’ve never seen so much going on in such a compact area, in the backyard. Overall, I think the homeowner is very happy.”


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