A Flowering Family Sanctuary (or the dynamic results of clear design parameters)
April 15, 2016
Symmetrical and informal, straight lined and naturalistic, light and intimate: given these potentially opposing aesthetic preferences by a design client recently was really energizing. As I looked at their site and imagined the layout of paths, patios, and plantings, these design parameters guided my process toward something so “right” that it surprised me.
The family had a number of functions that they hoped their yard could serve: outdoor dining, play lawn, wildlife habitat, child’s play structure, vegetable and fruit growing, meditation space along with lots of beautiful flowers and a welcoming entry. Puzzling all these elements together on the 50′ x 100′ lot could feel cramped. Imposing curves amidst the straight lines of house, garage and fence could feel contrived. But, when I went back to the design questionnaire that the homeowner so thoughtfully completed and cued into those aesthetic preferences, everything fell beautifully into place.
In the back, a roomy rectangular flagstone patio increases the living space with a grill, seating area, and dining table. A large step stone path through a naturalistic butterfly meadow invites you out to a lawn, play fort, veggies, and a meditation pavilion beyond. The front entry garden has a contemplative feel rich in seasonal interest that is welcoming while also giving privacy with the taller plants on the outer edges.
Our designs are always a dynamic process between the site, the homeowner, and the designer. This project in particular, had some great synergy. The parameters set by the homeowner’s preferences inspired the design to be something more beautiful than any one of us could imagine on our own. The result is a clear plan that is just right for this young family to enjoy!