When we began work on this property, it was simply a vacant lot populated with weeds, scrub, and trees. The major landscape design elements on this site are a pool with a sun shelf, a custom spa, multiple patio spaces, firepits with seating, natural retaining walls, numerous walkways, a golf tee box and green, and a custom water feature. The project evolved during the home’s construction, necessitating multiple designs. Due to the scope of the project, it was built in phases. Eventually, each design and phase blended seamlessly into a completed project.
We designed multiple patio spaces to accommodate larger groups in different environments. One, adjacent to the pool, is ideal for sunbathing, while others are perfect for relaxing around the firepits located at separate points across the landscape. One of these patios also creates a space to effectively utilize the outdoor bar, and all of them allow family and guests to enjoy the sights and sounds of the property. Our masons used a natural flagstone with irregular joints throughout the landscape, creating an informal feel for the hardscape elements.
Conveniently placed walkways, steps, and landings transition guests and family through the property, allowing them to experience the seasonal colors, textures, and movement of the landscape, as well as turning it into a true outdoor living space. The relaxing sound of water and inviting wildlife habitat create a unique experience when interacting with the landscape and make this an incredible place to relax, play, and entertain.
Working with a small space, we recognized the importance of keeping things simple to avoid any clutter. Our client wanted a new (and totally unique) upper deck constructed with granite, low-maintenance plantings, and a space where they could gather around a firepit or unwind in a spa while enjoying the beauty of lakeside living.
In our first designs, a stone wall was intended to be the gate into the landscape. However, through the design process, we recommended a “green gate” of arborvitae and some bright plantings to create an inviting entrance from the road. On the other side, the green gate softened the stone of the tiered gardens and the flagstone path and granite steps. Due to the hedge on one side and the house on the other, this is a fairly shaded spot, so we chose shade-loving plants with minimal maintenance requirements. We also chose slow growing plants that wouldn’t quickly outgrow their small space.
The side path leads to a large patio space featuring a multi-purpose lakeside wall, multiple fire features, a spa, and synthetic turf. We specifically chose turf in place of sod to account for the small space and lack of access to get a lawnmower into it, and because we wanted to ensure no unnecessary fertilizers would make their way into the lake. The fire features are all gas-powered and remote-controlled, and they include a firepit, two fire bowls, and a combined fire-and-water feature. The spa is a standard luxury unit our client purchased, but we wanted to ensure it felt like a cohesive element with the rest of the landscape. We designed a stone enclosure and steps to match the rest of the hardscaping elements, as well as devising a way for the spa to lift out of the enclosure for any necessary maintenance or repairs. Landscape lighting was used extensively throughout the space to add safety while moving through the landscape, as well as to create specific moods and feelings.
This small space is deceptively simple by design, creating an environment that is sophisticated and relaxing. With a multitude of features for entertaining, it’s a perfect place for hosting friends and family. It met all of our client’s needs—and went above and beyond what they had originally dreamed, transforming their backyard into a private lakeside resort.
This site faced some unique construction challenges, with a lake on one side, a harbor on the other, and a road splitting the residential lot. Creating a strong design allowed the permitting process to proceed smoothly with the various hardscape elements that would set the foundation for this project.
At the front of the property, there was a significant change in grade that provided the perfect opportunity to create a cascading water feature. Combining elements of stone, unique plantings, and tumbling water made for a stunning entrance to the landscape.
Below the water feature, at the edge of the harbor, we designed a recessed seating area with a fire pit, perfect for enjoying the view of the marina. On the lake side of the landscape, custom elements surround a large pool and infinity edge spa, including a summer kitchen, fireplace, pergola, and an adjacent space for entertaining.
This project was a landscape overhaul incorporating a lap pool, an outdoor kitchen, entertaining space, lounge space, and all new planting designs.
Rather than being level with the walk-out basement, the pool is level with the main floor of the house, exposing the long edge of the pool to the lakefront. Capitalizing on the lakefront exposure, we added an infinity edge detail. We masked a portion of the wall with the catch basin, raised grade, and plantings to soften the scale.
The outdoor kitchen features a new grill, drawers, icemaker, wood storage, and refrigerator, making outdoor cooking a breeze. Entertaining and lounge spaces are on the pool level and located near each other, but the homeowner wanted to softly screen each area, so we swept in plantings, creating a nook in the patio for semi-private lounging.
As for plantings, the homeowner sought soft, finely textured plants. A new shoreline greenbelt was planted entirely with native trees and perennials, replacing the lawn. Existing cedars were maintained in the greenbelt, while 15-20’ tall evergreen trees were added to create instantaneous screening.
Path lighting and speakers add the finishing touch to this landscape, perfecting the transition between indoor and outdoor living and making way for more summer memories.
This project started from the homeowners’ need to have an easier and safer way to access their lakefront dock and patio. The house sits on a steep slope above the lake and the slippery old bluestone steps were becoming difficult for the homeowner to navigate. As a replacement, we chose an even width and rise snapped black granite slab step for longevity, resistance to chipping, and ease of walking.
A natural stream wrapped from the upper slope of the house, around to the lower level, and ended in a small pond, and the homeowner wanted to continue the flow of water down the hill. The new water feature connected the pond to a stream that meandered down the hill and traveled under the steps on its way to the lake, utilizing a custom waterfall crafted from a hollowed-out log.
The homeowner also wanted a low-maintenance planting throughout the hillside landscape. There were many existing trees, which were a priority for slope stability and lakeside screening, so we took steps to carefully minimize our impact on the existing trees while adding evergreen and deciduous specimen trees and shrubs for height and interest in the nooks created by the hardscaping. As the plantings progressed down the slope, they transitioned to low-maintenance ground covers with a more natural, native feel, peppered with a few ornamental plants to add seasonal color. Finally, the plantings transition to large swaths of native grasses, while varieties of irises follow the stream to mimic a natural look and masses of ferns populate the more wooded areas.