This Harwood K Smith designed home with strong 1950's California Colonial bones was bought by a world renowned entertainer and his partner who is an avid art collector. Simple , clean and elegant was the direction I was given. We kept the existing weathered brick front walk and opted to continue with aged brick on all new hard surfaces. We designed and built a rectangular unadorned pool that paired well with the small formal lawn to create an open spacious feel to a confined backyard. A niche in the perimeter brick wall made a perfect home for an incredible gorilla sculpture. Hedges in the front add privacy and the boxwood border creates a warm inviting drive up appeal. Several cool art installations come and go on the property.
This Spanish Hacienda style house had a fairly shallow front yard. Stucco walls with the arched openings were designed to create an intimate entry courtyard. The Lush landscape and fountain inside the walls are a contrast to the more austere landscape on the outside of the walls. Iron Gates, Spanish accessories such as Saltillo tile, mosaic art and gas lanterns make the design cohesive and indispensable in making the interior blend with the exterior.
This house was designed by noted Architect David Stocker. The previous iteration of the landscape down-played the incredible medieval arch that was central to the house. The new owners wanted to rectify this oversight and show off the arch and excellent bones of the house. I suggested an alley of trees to create a visual axis into the front courtyard. The property had a slight elevation change which allowed for a long elegant run of steps down to a simple sunken lawn Botticino chipped aggregate was used to unify the space and add a European feel to the property. The back courtyard was simplified to accommodate a farm table for entertaining. The owner had a fun sculpture that was incorporated to personalize the space.
I was initially hired by the builder to solve a difficult elevation change in the backyard. It morphed into a pool design and then comprehensive master plan. The home was sold almost immediately and the new owners implemented the entire plan. It turned out so well they engaged Blackland Prairie to revamp the front yard. All parties were in agreement that the facade of the house was boring and lacked curb appeal. They wanted to generate appeal with landscape only and no changes to the structure. I love good bones in a garden so I suggested a low stone wall to divide the massive front yard into a few smaller spaces. We beefed up the entry walk and created oversized landscape beds. the added depth of the beds and large but proportioned spaces help humanize a rambling facade.
The House is located on a green space with a nice elevation Change. The client wanted to play up the elevation change and Keep a Natural look to blend in with the green space beyond. Steel sheets were used to create large metal planters that hid the unsightly foundation. Stack stone was a great counterpoint to the metal and lent a natural feel to the overall bones of the yard. Encaustic cement tile adds drama to a retaining wall that acts as a bench seat on one side and bar height table on the other side. A wood burning fire pit is on the lower terrace. The Intermediate terrace houses the patio furniture, a grilling station and a Green Egg. The homeowner loves to grill so the Green Egg took center stage. The plants are all xeriscape and provide loads of color and texture, a perfect home for birds, butterflies and humming birds.
This is another David Stocker designed home. We wanted to continue the English garden feel with a relaxed and organic structures. The pool was existing but needed to be updated to make room for an art piece water feature purchased in Santa Fe. Pennsylvania Blue Stone was chosen for the patio and we added Lilac to break up the monotony. The pool tile was hand cut by an artist in Vermont with specific color recommendations from the homeowner who is a talented photographer. The fireplace is a focal feature and has a forged iron relief, which was a sentimental wedding gift, inset within the brick. Several other art pieces make this backyard a retreat. The front yard is a corner lot which needed screening to the street. The homeowner pushed for a cheerful hedge evoking the English love of plants Lots of texture , layers and foliage color are blended to create a solid screen that is quite different than the typical Highland park hedge.
This Spanish Colonial house has an unusual entry that faces the street corner. City code would not allow courtyard walls to be built in the front so we planted a dense screen of Magnolia to provide privacy as well as achieve a nice entry sequence. Old Chicago Bricks were cut and used as pavers on all hard surfaces except the covered patios where encaustic cement tile was used Built in stucco benches were added to clearly define the main outdoor area and create a more proportioned space. The client owned several old olive jars that she wanted to incorporate into the landscape, so we casually placed them around the pool in a slightly wild perennial bed. The oval pool adds a perfect touch of sophistication to the house.
A longtime client sold their modern Town home to buy this traditional house and renovated it from the studs out. The homeowner was friends with Windsor Smith who did the interior design and she had some suggestions on the color scheme and furniture layout for the outdoor spaces etc. The yard is and unusual layout that is narrow and long. Pavers were used along the front facade to give a European feel and let the house breathe. We located a patio stone that went with Windsors signature house color , it was quarried in Arkansas and used for the lead walk and pool deck. The pool is still one of my favorites that I have designed. It is a long lap pool that has a fountain wall at one end. The scuppers were made in a foundry in Dallas. the pool wall squares up the odd property line and keeps the yard from feeling like a bowling alley. Full sun Hydrangeas and Brugmansia thrive in the backyard microclimate.
E Fay Jones house
These are process pictures of project I was beaming with pride to be involved with. AIA Gold medal architect and Frank Lloyd Wright protege, Fay Jones built this Fort Smith home in the 1960's. The new owner wanted to update the grounds as a means to augment the house not overshadow it. This was very tricky because the house sits much lower on the property than the road and any plantings could potentially hide the house. The house was built using Roman Brick in an unusual pink salmon color. The old covered carport concrete was a complementary reddish orange. It would be impossible to match the brick so we decided to go with a tinted stucco to match the brick and we were able to match the concrete color fairly accurately. It is an unusual color palette but really worked with keeping the house true to Mr.Jones' initial vision. A water feature greets guests by the front door and the only other flourish in the front was a Zen garden outside the master suite for yoga. The backyard is on a steep slope that was perfect for a few terraces. The spa needed to be easily accessible to the master suite so it was placed on the level with the main house. The pool was built on a lower terrace with a small space for lounge chairs.
This is a 1920 Georgian that was worth keeping and not tearing down which is the want these days. Look at the dormer, eve and window details, they are really beautiful. The old garage was an eyesore but was restored. I had just returned from Savannah and thought it would be a perfect site to do a version of a fountain I had seen while traveling. The owner loved the idea and it really makes the backyard.