Architectural Gardens, Inc
4 Reviews

Making An Entrance

Re-imagined outdoor spaces and premium materials have given this suburban home a new sense of identity and greater energy. With an unusually tight lot, making the most of every square inch was a prime driver for the landscape design which included an upgraded main entry, outdoor dining area, cozy firepit and lounging space, a “collectors” garden, pet-friendly amenities, and extended usability with landscape lighting.
One of the challenges resulting from the configuration of the house and lot size is the concealed front entry which is halfway down the side of the house. With three nearly identical homes tightly clustered side by side, creating a distinct entryway among them was achieved by increasing the visibility into the side yard, creating a unique walkway, and designing a custom architectural post light to mark the opening.
The L-shaped slot, comprised of a long side corridor where the main entrance is located and a shallow backyard, is flanked on both sides by neighboring structures which loom over the space. The design of an interesting and attractive ground plain with a combination of contrasting hardscape materials and a collection of showy perennials and shrubs captivates the eye and directs the view forward following the graceful curves of the walk and plant forms.
In the back corner, a gas firepit sits in the center of a circular bluestone patio. The homeowners, both engineers, expressed a strong affinity for the beauty of natural stone and took great interest in selecting the oxide/brown coloration and patterning of the full-range bluestone used around the firepit and on the stoops.
A change of hardscape materials defines the dining area while still maintaining a bright, open layout. Two small lawn panels, one adjacent to the dining area and one in the side yard provide the family dog with his own green space, while the privacy fence offers safe enclosure.
Exacting measurements both horizontally and vertically, precise fabrication, crucial sequencing of work, routing of drainage and utilities, and restricted workspace required a high level of skill, coordination, and constant project monitoring during the two-month demolition and construction.
Project Year: 2016
Country: United States
Zip Code: 60089
Making An Entrance
5 Saves | 0 Questions
The custom-built light post makes a strong visual connection with the house and walkway guiding visitors to the front door which is located on the side of the building — concealed from view. The shape and detail of the walk establishes a welcoming experience. Mike Crews Photography
EmbedQuestion
Making An Entrance
6 Saves | 0 Questions
Emphasizing the ground plain with sinewy curves and interesting textures helps to draw attention away from the narrowness of the space and the bland façade of the neighboring structure. Shrubs, perennials, grasses and groundcovers offer year round interest. Mike Crews Photography
EmbedQuestion
Making An Entrance
6 Saves | 0 Questions
Looking back toward the entry gate, the open slat fence contributes to an airy see-through character while providing safe enclosure for the owner’s small dog. The asymmetrical design creates a more expansive feel and rhythm. Trellis panels and vines will be added in the future. Mike Crews Photography
EmbedQuestion
Making An Entrance
1 Save | 0 Questions
An emphasis on hardscape materials continues around the back of the house where paving materials like bluestone and limestone are crafted with precision to engage the eye. The geometric layout and exact proportions maximize usable space. Mike Crews Photography
EmbedQuestion
Making An Entrance
3 Saves | 0 Questions
Unit pavers are repeated in the dining area for visual continuity and their budget-friendly cost. The smooth, even surface makes it easy to move the patio furniture which provides the homeowners with greater flexibility for entertaining. Mike Crews Photography
EmbedQuestion
Making An Entrance
10 Saves | 0 Questions
To create a greater sense of arrival at the front door, the walkway rises to meet the stoop, which is further distinguished with a custom-crafted bluestone surface. Solid limestone slabs with rock-faced edges serve as step risers at each end of the elevated section of walk. Mike Crews Photography
EmbedQuestion
Making An Entrance
1 Save | 0 Questions
Mike Crews Photography
EmbedQuestion
Making An Entrance
2 Saves | 0 Questions
As dusk approaches, pathlights and torch lights make the narrow space feel open and alluring. The reflective quality of the pavers and limestone contribute to safe footing. Large, white blooms of hydrangea, alternating side to side along the walk, catch the eye and provide a sense of movement. Mike Crews Photography
EmbedQuestion
Making An Entrance
6 Saves | 0 Questions
Defined spaces enhance the sense of a unique experience in each area of the small scale landscape. In the corner of the backyard the stone firepit is a favorite gathering spot. Its modest size and circular shape allow for easy movement through the space. The gas fixture eliminates the need for wood storage and keeps things clean. Mike Crews Photography
EmbedQuestion
Making An Entrance
3 Saves | 0 Questions
The magnolia tree near the entry is the only remaining vestige of the former landscape. It and the newly installed arborvitae provide a pleasing garden view from the kitchen window of the home. An uplight on the tree emphasizes its form and green canopy. Mike Crews Photography
EmbedQuestion
Making An Entrance
0 Saves | 0 Questions
Mike Crews Photography
EmbedQuestion
Making An Entrance
2 Saves | 0 Questions
The homeowners wanted to maximize the amount light and usable space in their outdoor living area, as well as minimize debris and maintenance. Their choice was to install a border fence for privacy rather than trees or space-consuming shrubs.
EmbedQuestion