Landscape by Terrain: A Contemporary Patio


Designed with outdoor gatherings in mind, the inviting patio above is one of our landscape team's favorite recent projects. Though filled with abundant greenery, hardscaping is the true star of this location; the Landscape by Terrain team worked closely with the owner to create contemporary structures that are truly one-of-a-kind, inspired by the architecture of the home. We caught up with Landscape Designer Nathan T. to learn more about this stunning space.

Nathan says, "Set in what's considered a traditional, American suburb from the 1940's and 50's, this residence is the exception to the predictable architecture of that time. Inspired by contemporary styles from Frank Lloyd Wright and James Rose, the client wanted to bring elements of his home's unconventional simplicity into the landscape."

"The owner purchased this home recently, and immediately wanted to remedy the lack of outdoor living space," Nathan explains. "We decided to design a space that used materials to complement the home while creating privacy and space to entertain. We also wanted to mirror the way the house pulls outdoor elements indoors." This idea of 'rooms' within the landscape was realized by terracing the existing grade. Gabion baskets filled with river jack stone and capped with Pennsylvania bluestone treads were installed to retain the grade and create seating for large gatherings. Finally, a cedar fence was added at the edge of the property, with the planks running horizontally to create privacy.

Nathan says, "Instead of using concrete pavers or flagstone, we decided to use conventional poured concrete pads in an unconventional way. After tinting them dark to accent the home, we left large spaces between the pads to make the flat surface pop. Next, we filled the spaces with sedum mats to create a living contrast against the concrete." After the installation, the team collaborated with the client to fill the patio with trellised vines, large planted urns of feathery grasses, and unique furniture elements. Nathan adds,"An extra bonus to this project-- we were greeted every day by the client's adorable Great Dane, Benicio!"

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