Bring the River Home With a Stylish and Practical Outdoor Fountain

Chill out with a custom or kit water feature for your patio or yard — there’s even one for a furry friend

It’s summer. It’s hot. You wish you were floating down a river in an inner tube, but you aren’t. Even if the season’s got you stuck working your normal city routine, you can still come home to a little riverfront R & R with the help of a water feature. Imagine enjoying all the cooling and relaxing properties you love about a river, without those pesky mosquitoes.

Hire an Architect to Design a Custom Fountain


WA Design Architects, original photo on Houzz


Tall and Statuesque

Architect Chris Parlette of WA Design brought that vacation feeling home with this custom three-tower structure.

How it works: It’s made of concrete that was poured onsite. Pipes are embedded within each of the three towers and connect to their respective copper spouts. Water drains into a 1½-inch pile of river rocks, creating a gentle splash. A copper pan underneath collects the water for recirculation by way of the feature’s single pump, located in the Cor-Ten steel box at the base. An indoor wall switch controls the fountain.

Cost: Though it’s difficult to put an exact price tag on this project because it was part of a larger backyard remodel, Parlette estimates a replica could be made for about $1,000 to $2,000.


The Todd Group, original photo on Houzz


Japanese Style

The landscape design-build team of Statile & Todd gave this courtyard a tranquil feel by way of a kit fountain from Stone Forest.

How it works: Much like a custom fountain, a kit fountain has its accompanying water basin reserve hidden under the rocks.

Cost: A fountain of this size can run about $400 to $500.

No Space for a Fountain? Try a Bird Bath Instead


California Waterscapes, original photo on Houzz


Dogs Love Water, Too

No dog can resist a day at the river. This feature from California Waterscapes comes as a kit that includes a choice of rocks.

Cost: The entire package costs about $650.


Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture, original photo on Houzz


Looking for more river-like water features to inspire you?

Water falleth from it. The backyard water experience doesn’t have to stop with a single water feature. Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture married a waterfall with a hot tub. Water generously flows into a thick pile of pebbles to delight the eyes and ears, even when the hot tub isn’t in use.


Bianchi Design, original photo on Houzz


A water feature runs through it. Water runs over the Cor-Ten-steel-edged, rock-filled pool custom created by Bianchi Design. The water flows down into a small channel filled with pebbles for a wonderfully cooling effect in the desert setting.


Alderwood Landscape Architecture and Construction, original photo on Houzz


A meditative stone. This natural-stone fountain, installed by Alderwood Landscaping, provides a quiet spot in the backyard for thinking or zoning out.

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