Our clients purchased a prominent lake lot that formerly housed an historic hotel, with plans to build a new residence. A classic, timeless look was the goal for the home and grounds. Our team provided comprehensive design-build services, including grading and water management plans, obtaining necessary zoning approvals, working out solutions for impervious surface limits and coordinating a phased installation that allowed us to get critical access before the large home was constructed. Several meetings with the clients, their architect, interior designer and builder helped achieve an aesthetic flow from the architecture to the landscape architecture.

Some of the requirements made by our clients presented significant challenges early in the planning process. There was a need for guest parking, which required some special pervious paving areas because of the limits for hard surfaces and structures. Managing the substantial runoff from the road and higher side hills flanking the property presented unique challenges, and our submitted plans had to prove how we’d accomplish this. Then there was the very steep lakeside topography and limits on retaining wall heights facing the lake. We had to grade the steep slopes carefully, allowing for a walkable lawn connection from the shore to the lower-level entry of the home. This sloped lawn path was needed for the family to carry their 34-foot-long rowing shells. And last but not least, a large roadside sports lawn was a must!

Upon gaining approvals, all aspects of the project were installed by our team, except for asphalt and the irrigation system.

Hardscape elements include dramatic stairs made from huge sawn gunmetal boulders that complement the retaining walls, providing a rustic and relaxed look to the hardscape. Large-sized irregular bluestone flags, specified in their full color range, were used for the patios and stoop surfaces. The sizeable motor court is composed of a custom blend of permeable pavers that pick up on the soft grays and lavenders present on the home’s exterior.

Featured trees include hawthorn, magnolia, fringe tree, cornelian dogwood and dawn redwood. Lush and textural greens are provided by expanses of bigroot geranium, dwarf pine, boxwood, pachysandra and woolly thyme. Color is injected with holly, rugosa rose, betony, coneflower and hydrangea.

The end result is an expressive and relaxed setting that allows our clients to unwind the minute they pull into their driveway.

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