Mercer Island, WA
A northwest ranch style home with a sweeping view of Lake Washington was the site for this design challenge. The house sat at the top of a steeply sloped property; the backyard was a narrow terrace, below which the property sloped dramatically toward the lake. Towering conifers that supported an active eagle habitat dominated the landscape. The client wanted to transform the space so it would be a functional and beautiful entertaining area that blended with the surroundings.
The descending boardwalk with recessed lighting takes you through the Rhododendron garden to get from the deck to the patio.
The patio is sited to take advantage of the view through the trees.
Handrail with ipe detail.
Patio provides seating and entertaining area.
Enjoying the garden and lake view from the deck.
The enlarged deck accommodates dining and entertaining.
This recently constructed craftsman-style home is located in the vintage 1950s neighborhood of View Ridge. The homeowners loved the architecture of their new home, and they wanted to upgrade the landscape to match it. In the front the design challenge was to make the two-story house look as if it belonged on this small urban lot, as well as in the neighborhood, and turn the outdated and neglected backyard into a family-friendly space that provided cooking, dining, play space for children and a low maintenance garden.
A varied plant palette on several visual planes blends the house with its surroundings.
Colorful foliage provides year-round interest and softens the retaining wall.
Cedar screening is integrated with the retaining wall and also provides support for vertical plant material.
'Oshu shidare' completes a welcoming entry.
Bluestone pavers and risers provide a comfortable transition from the sidewalk to the front entry.
Custom wrought iron handrail repeats architectural details of the house.
Bluestone snapped edge risers comfortably connect the front yard to the utility walkway leading to the back.
Screening for HVAC, custom handrails to match architectural details, and corten containers for vegetable gardening are a few of the details that maximize the functionality and aesthetics of the space.
The ipe deck provides outdoor dining and entertaining space; wrap-around risers give an open feel and easy access and transition to the lawn and play area.
The garden shed is detailed to match the house and provides much needed storage space as well as a work space.
River View Retreat
A spacious backyard overlooks the Cedar River and is surrounded by trees and habitat that support birds and other wildlife. The owner wanted to transform the neglected backyard into a space that blended with the natural surroundings and provided an area for river and wildlife viewing as well as entertaining space for family and friends.
The bluestone patio at the edge of the yard overlooks the river and offers a viewing area to enjoy the natural surroundings.
A seating wall nicely separates the patio from the rest of the yard making it feel cozy and private.
The client can now enjoy intimate dining or entertaining family and friends in a beautiful setting overlooking the river.
Risers lead to the bluestone path that defines the planting spaces and makes a walk through the garden easy and enjoyable.
An outdated landscape, undesirable surrounding views, and a hilly terrain were the design challenges for this Kirkland property. The owner wanted to bring a strong Asian influence to the landscape that would blend with the home's interior and create views that could be enjoyed from every room.
A clear cedar landing and risers, flanked by a weeping Japanese maple, makes a comfortable and smooth transition from the living space into the garden.
The large deck provides outdoor eating and entertaining space and is surrounded by a specimen tree collection.
The trees provide a shade canopy for the deck and fall color and interest.
The cloud-pruned pine creates a strong focal point near the front entry.
The walkway guides you through the front garden that's filled with maples and other trees and takes you to the deck that is in an unexpected woodland setting.
The circle step stones guide you to the garden bench; they contrast with the linear stone and pebble walkway. Lush pines and soft grasses will soon fill the surrounding planting area.
Outdoor Living Spaces
Mercer Island, WA
The homeowners wanted to transform the backyard into a space that could be used for family activities and enjoyed by everyone. A long, narrow space with minimal flat areas became a lush garden with integrated spaces for seating, casual dining, vegetable gardening, and space for the dog!
The fire pit with seating provides a family gathering space where the views of Lake Washington and Mount Rainier can be enjoyed. The second-story deck accommodates dining and entertaining.
The lush garden can be viewed throughout the house.
Ornamental grasses were used as a low maintenance lawn substitute; they add soft texture and movement to the garden.
Colorful shrubs and perennials flank the gravel walkway that winds through the garden.
This 1950s ranch-style home had a concrete pad for a front yard and asphalt for the entry area between the street and gate. Updated paving materials, newly created lush planting areas, and a new layout transform the 1950s space into a functional, welcoming and visually pleasing outdoor living and garden space.
A see-through ornamental gate provides a welcoming entry
Dimensional pavers define the patio, walkways and planting beds
A colorful plant palette surrounds the water feature
Large containers create focal points throughout the garden
A dated urban backyard is transformed into a family outdoor space with a patio that offers seating and dining as well as play space for the children. The arbor makes it a shady retreat. Raised beds provide gardening space for edibles; new walkways, lighting, colorful, low maintenance plants and a lawn complete the transformation.
An arbor provides much needed shaded for a patio on a southwest exposure.
The lawn is play space for children and pets.
Walkways provide comfortable dry footing throughout the garden.
Colorful shrubs were selected for low maintenance and winter interest.
Small Spaces are deserving of the design process to maximize their functionality and aesthetics. Every square inch counts-especially when the client has a big wish list.
A covered barbecue and beverage station is integrated into the patio and walkway space between house and garage.
Roof top deck and arbor provide a cozy and intimate outdoor dining space. attention while they enjoy the surrounding plants.
Custom planter boxes provide rooftop gardening space; the integrated railing and screen define the space.
Lush container plantings soften a stone patio.