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A Lake Country Relaxing Retreat

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This new home site in the heart of Lake Country was a landscape designer’s dream - a beautifully crafted, architecturally unique home as the focal point, and clients who were willing to “step out of the box” to discover the full potential of what their site had to offer.

 The main objective in designing this landscape was to accentuate the home’s contemporary, yet rustic style while providing the clients with functional, aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces.

 In terms of design, this site provided many challenges. The very first challenge was to determine the optimal driveway layout. The slight angle of the house footprint combined with its close proximity to the shared access road, made it difficult to ascertain the best vehicular flow, guest parking arrangement and how to best highlight the home’s magnificent entry. The solution turned out to be very simple. A curved entry drive leading to an autocourt focuses guests’ attention to the front entry and guest-parking spur. The overall dimensions of the autocourt provide for easy vehicular ingress/egress as well as overflow parking. A decorative paver border was designed and installed to further enhance the autocourt. The color of the paver accents was carefully selected to complement the woodwork and stone on the home’s front facade.

 An equally difficult design problem was how to provide ample screening of the neighboring home to the north. While a few randomly placed spruces on the neighbor’s property already provided partial screening, the homeowners desired greater privacy. The solution was to create a natural-looking berm in conjunction with large evergreen and supplemental plantings. Drifts of carefully selected, shrubs, grasses and perennials planted in front of the evergreens help to anchor the large trees and soften the newly created berm. A custom designed and constructed cedar arbor and fence also serve as a visual interruption to the north property.

 Perhaps the most difficult design challenge was how to address the grade change from the front of the home to the back. The house design called for a fully exposed walkout basement. A unique opportunity existed on the north side slope because of its proximity to the newly created berm and master bedroom. A hillside terrace was centered off of the master bedroom, carved into the slope and nestled next to the berm, creating an inviting garden destination. Gunmetal granite boulders, irregular bluestone, bluestone chip gravel and natural plantings were carefully chosen by the designer and homeowners to best complement materials used in the home’s construction and overall style.

 Creative design and attention to detail inspired truly unique and functional outdoor spaces for the homeowners to enjoy year round. In the end, the willingness of the homeowners to create something special and appropriate for their new house and site made this project possible.