With a home 30 years in the making, the Lentons were ready to enjoy every square inch of their property. While adding a 717-square-foot addition to their main house, the outdoor spaces were ready to be transformed into purposeful living spaces.
Inspired by the gabion walls of New Zealand, the Lenton’s envisioned intricate caged rock walls to create a focal point of distinctiveness bordering sections of the property. The backyard design would need to incorporate the three Sophora Japonica trees – commonly known as the Japanese pagoda tree or Chinese scholar tree – that Evelyn planted when their home was built 30 years ago. A chandelier suspended between the trees was planned to artfully illuminate the outdoor dining space. A second space apart from the public entertainment space was planned to create an intimate space for the homeowners.
Construction began on two distinct spaces. First, a private Zen garden with a water feature and poured-in-place concrete stepping stones surrounded by pebbles was built for the exclusive use of Rob and Evelyn. Natural stone tables were added. With block walls on two sides, Rob built a sustainably sourced Brazilian walnut wood fence and gates. In the courtyard public space on the other side of the house, the existing trees created a natural canopy to shade the outdoor dining area and suspend a chandelier. Surrounded by gabion walls, poured-in-place concrete stepping stones and a natural decomposed granite surface were added to the area. French doors from the house open for easy flow, and an open-air fire feature, bubbling fountain, and outdoor kitchen complete the functionality of the space. Finally, on all sides of the property, ramps for wheelchair accessibility and living in place were integrated into the hardscape.
In the words of the Lenton’s, “Home design should fit your life and add to its enjoyment. After a hectic day or demanding week, it’s wonderful to come home to the peace and tranquility we enjoy in our outdoor spaces. They have become an extension of our home more than doubling our living space.”