Should you remodel your home, or build new? Learn what to consider when making this tough decision.

A Yard Transformed for Beauty & Function

Bainbridge Island Residence

Harnessing beauty and function with a terraced, arced retaining wall.

Before the reinvention of this yard, there was only a cobbled together rockery that was barely keeping the slope of the yard in place – it wasn't doing the street presence any favors, and the sloping landscape wasn't very usable. Of course, the redo would improve the look of the landscape, but an additional key goal was to increase the functionality of the yard. This meant creating a small, level front lawn that would not only set up a clean aesthetic for the front of the home, but would be a great spot for kids to play.

In order to create this, the entire front of the yard needed to be leveled out and the grade retained. Complicating matters, there was an excess amount of migrating groundwater, so it was crucial to plan the drainage carefully so the retaining wall didn't act like a dam and turn the new lawn into a swamp.

To prevent the wall from looking too harsh from the street, rather than a straight line, it forms a sweeping curve that instantly softens the appearance. Additionally, we created a terrace in the wall. Stepping the wall offers a mid-level plant area to showcase seasonal plantings. Hand-chiseled edges on the Pennsylvania Bluestone cap bring the natural character back to the stone for a great finishing touch.

When it came to plant selection, Derek explains, "I like to keep the palette simple by using just a handful of ‘structural’ plant types that hold the form of the space year-round, and then let the perennial infill come in as the growing season takes off. Highlighting specific seasons with flowers and leaf color is what really makes the space dynamic. Sarcoccoca, Hakonechloa, Heuchera, Acorus, Pieris, Seiryu Maple, Coral Bark Maple, Azaleas, Liriope, Leptinella, Cotoneaster, Lilac, Daphne, Hosta, Lonicera, and Allium are a few plants that help this landscape glow."

Now that it’s all in place, it turns out that the new flat lawn is a complete game changer for the use of this yard. Not only has it tidied up the street presence, but – and certainly aided and abetted by the outdoor sound system — it has also turned into a dance platform for all the neighborhood kids.

B&V Project Team:
Derek ReevesProject Lead

Photography by Derek Reeves.

Bainbridge Island Residence – Arced Retaining Wall – Board & Vellum Landscape
Bainbridge Island Residence

Bainbridge Island Residence – Arced Retaining Wall – Board & Vellum Landscape
Bainbridge Island Residence

Bainbridge Island Residence – Arced Retaining Wall – Board & Vellum Landscape
Bainbridge Island Residence

Bainbridge Island Residence – Arced Retaining Wall – Board & Vellum Landscape
Bainbridge Island Residence

Bainbridge Island Residence – Arced Retaining Wall – Board & Vellum Landscape
Bainbridge Island Residence

Bainbridge Island Residence – Arced Retaining Wall – Board & Vellum Landscape
Bainbridge Island Residence

Bainbridge Island Residence – Arced Retaining Wall – Board & Vellum Landscape
Bainbridge Island Residence

Bainbridge Island Residence – Arced Retaining Wall – Board & Vellum Landscape
Bainbridge Island Residence

Want to learn more?

You’re welcome to take a look at our available services and other portfolio projects.

Services

Our services span architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture — from residential to commercial, large or small. Whether you are looking for a little help redesigning your kitchen, or need full integrated services for a multifamily development anchoring a vibrant neighborhood, we would love to team up with you to bring a project you love to life.

Portfolio

Our portfolio of work spans across a spectrum of project types and scales. We don’t have a particular “style” either: we love traditional, modern, contemporary, you name it. Our goal is to work with you to design a project you love.

Considering a project? Or, just curious about something?

Send us your questions about design, architecture, interiors, landscape, third places, LEGO rooms… Anything, really. We’re always eager to meet new people, and we’d love to get to know you, your project, and your goals.

Get in touch.