We’re sharing a trick, a tip, and a design approach we used in the landscape design of this new home that makes it feel instantly elegant, stately and mature.
One year before these beautiful LUXE magazine photos were taken, neither this house nor its garden existed. Because it’s on a corner lot in a very established neighborhood, we are frequently asked: “how does this new home look like it’s been there a long time?” Here are three design ideas that help.
1. The Trick
When we received this inspiration image from the homeowner, the glimpse of an inner courtyard and architectural style instantly evoked the French and English countryside.
It is the ivy growing over the façade and entry walls that make it feel mature.
The homeowner and architect agreed on ivy as an important landscape design element.
To give you a fairer sense of its impact, we’re including a before and after:
Our nursery planned and cared for the English Ivy for the project long before installation. After determining quantity, type and size based on the architect’s specs, we started the vines.
As they grew, our nursery team hand-trained them far beyond the height of a standard-sized trellis. It took several months. After the vines had grown an additional 6-8 feet beyond the trellis, we brought them to the house to carefully spread branches and re-fasten them to create the green, ivy-covered wall. Our gardeners continue to train them each week to the facade. Next year, the ivy will have filled in enough to prune a crisp trimline along the midway line of the house, in the style of French country homes.
2. The Tip
Add a landscape architect to your design team early in the design process.
It’s at the beginning of design that important decisions are made affecting how your interior space will integrate with your exterior. The sooner you make decisions about how you will approach your home from the street, what will be visible vs. private, or how your property will relate to your neighbors, the easier it will be to extend your day–to-day living to every inch of your property and maximize your investment.
Early collaboration on this project began even before the old house came down. We visited the site in spring to take a comprehensive inventory of every plant on the site that would be valuable to save.
We also examined views that would be important from within the house, how the property related to its neighbors, and collected information about the property’s soil, light, and water retention that affected the project budget.
Much of that inventory informed our protection plan. During construction, this plan saved the mature trees and plants that help nestle the new house into the existing neighborhood. We took extra care with arborist and the homeowner to protect a large elm tree on the property to maintain the historic trees.
3. The Design Approach
The landscape design segments the space to make it feel larger.
In the LUXE magazine photos, you see a variety of outdoor spaces – a wide entry drive with gates, ample lawn for playing, vegetable beds, a fountain, an interior courtyard, and a generous seating area at the back of the house.
What isn’t so clear is that the entire landscape area on the site is quite small, just slightly over a half acre. Yet the landscape feels balanced and spacious, as if it is part of a bigger property. To make the landscape feel larger, we designed the outdoor space into well-defined sequence of outdoor rooms. As you move through the space, the sequence of moving from one area to another creates a feeling of spaciousness.
The landscape relates directly to the inside of the house.
From the start, the design team thought very, very carefully about the views from the interior to the outdoors as a way to make the property feel more expansive. You’ll notice in the photos below that these four Fastigate Hornbeam trees correlate to the four windows in a niche of the great room.
The art is in balancing both of these approaches. It’s easy to do one or the other, not so easy to do both simultaneously. Early collaboration is important to accomplishing both well.
We couldn’t have been luckier to collaborate with Andrea X Burridge Interiors and Pursley Dixon Architecture on this exquisite home. Don’t miss the chance to see more of their work and to contact them with questions.
Considering a project of your own?
Call us at (847) 251-8355 to chat a little about your project and what you’re hoping for, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.