For every property/project the issues of space, functionality, privacy and the mind-full integration of these elements are essential facets of any successful design. With that, this quarterly focus discusses our efforts to rectify the homeowner’s problems with spaciousness and outdoor intimacy. These issues and our solutions will create a spacious, yet intimate setting.

The project consisted of a 2.5 acre corner lot that, as part of the property’s appeal, has unobstructed visual connection to the community’s common area. The first issue was the need of privacy and a separation between private and public space. The next issue was an undesirable patio, which was a simple concrete area with steps leading from the house. While standing on the patio the homeowner stated that when barefoot, the concrete was painful and unattractive and that the whole world could see him.

After consultation, a design approach for correcting these problems was agreed upon. The decision for the design then became a compromise between their desire for intimacy while sustaining the openness of the site. To achieve this semiprivate setting the design would include a raised spa with waterfall, brick privacy walls, cypress arbor, landscape lighting and an expanded bluestone patio.

Construction on the project began by digging and forming the spa. The plumbing was installed and a more expansive patio was prepared as posts for the arbor were set. The larger patio area, to be covered in blue stone, would offer a larger entertainment area. This surface would be less painful and more attractive than the original concrete.

As the deck was being finalized a twenty-five foot curved brick wall, built behind the spa, terminated at six foot brick columns. A sheer descent waterfall three feet above the spa served as the focal point. The wall provided privacy while the sound of falling water eliminated street noise and offered a tranquil retreat. The design further complimented the home’s brick exterior by veneering the spa with matching brick and coping the spa blue stone to match the patio. The steps leading up to the spa were also constructed of blue stone and brick to complete the design’s continuity as intended.

Next, the completion of the arbor would ensure enclosure as well as provide shade and further seclude the spa. Cypress was chosen for the arbor construction with ten inch diameter painted columns to integrate a semi formal touch that was present in the home’s existing architecture. To complete the space wrought iron fencing would enclose the patio spa area to the home while leaving most of the property with open views to common area.

A three hundred fifty cubic yard berm was designed and constructed to increase the privacy without the use of fences. Trees would be planted on and around the berm to serve in screening the road but also aid in reducing the traffic noise. Adjacent to the patio area a pond-less waterfall system was designed and constructed to eliminate street noise while offering a unique landscape focal point.

The problem in the home’s original outdoor design illustrates typical problems usually found in suburban properties. However, with professional guidance a solution can be found and, as in the case of this landscape, when everything was completed, the property which once had been open from the patio to the neighborhood common, had now become the secluded retreat that the homeowners desired. This new design allowed the connection to the common to remain while providing the homeowners the option for private entertainment and enjoyment.