design/build problem solving
Problem FOURThis beautiful home had existing outdoor areas of a much lesser caliber. In addition, a slope that led down to a corner of the house rested against the house several feet up from floor level, leading to water infiltrating the home. There was no usable yard space. The client needed entertainment areas as well as intimate eating spaces. The driveway and front walk were poorly designed.
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The driveway had been installed much too steeply at the lowest steps and the front walk was awkwardly ramped. After removing the existing steps and adjacent driveway paving, flagstone steps were added bringing them down to a lower plane and the paving was reinstalled at a more appropriate grade.
After hauling many truck loads of soil from the site, block walls were constructed and faced with stucco, creating a large patio area, a lawn space, an intimate patio just steps from the dining room, a small lawn adjacent to the living room and a new entry more in keeping with the architecture of the house.
The patios were created of used brick that had been part of an old sugar factory. the brick, though irregular and more difficult to lay, added immediate charm and a sense of history to the garden. Steps out of the dining room lead to a small patio with a surrounding wall. Planting colors above the wall were coordinated with the dining room colors. This area is now not only very usable, but beautiful to look at through the French doors and adds a sense of indoor-outdoor continuity to the dining room. Just steps down from this area is a small lawn surrounded by irregular flagstone acting as a mow strip but also creating a natural framing of the turf and adjoining planting.