One of the best parts of my job is engaging in truly unique and individual experiences with each of my clients; transforming challenges into opportunities. In this case, I was hired by a local architect and his wife to design the landscape for their dream home—which was such an honor! My clients were ready to transition from a spacious family home to this sleek Mid-century modern dwelling which they built on five acres overlooking a picturesque reservoir. I chose regional elements to give the contemporary home a sense of belonging within the traditional New England landscape.
The main house, garage, and guest cottage were sited around a courtyard comprised of a crushed stone motor court edged in reclaimed granite curbing. The gravel lends a natural softness to the driveway, which contrasts nicely with the rugged granite slabs that encompass the walkways and patio spaces. These slabs are tempered by planted joints of creeping thyme and a foundation planting of low hedges that do not mask the elegance of the home.
To maximize the striking beauty of the landscape we kept the sightlines open throughout the project. Cable railings on a teak deck provide uninterrupted views to the reservoir and woodland beyond. The outer edge of the courtyard is defined by a concrete retaining wall that was formed out of repurposed barnboards, lending an organic feel to otherwise harsh concrete. The wall is further softened by a hedge planting of Caryopteris and Lavender, which explodes with purple blooms throughout the summer, providing vibrant color along an otherwise earth-toned palette.
Recently, more empty nesters have been using the term “rightsizing” to describe their transition from family home to smaller property. In this case, that’s exactly what we helped the client achieve. With careful attention to detail we followed the lead of the architect and used Mid-century inspired elements to create an uncluttered landscape that is the perfect setting for this innovative home.