Integrated Design for Indoor/Outdoor Living
Queen Anne Gambrel
Designed with integrated services, this home’s remodeled interior and exterior spaces blend seamlessly.
Sometimes, projects evolve in ways you don’t expect. In this case, the homeowners came to us for a full landscape and site remodel and left with an integrated design project featuring not only an entirely new yard, but a deck addition, a garage rebuild with a roof deck, new windows and siding throughout, a front porch remodel, an interior stair reconfiguration, a bathroom remodel, and a new mudroom and kitchen to boot.
The previous homeowner was a plant expert and it showed. The garden was full of beautiful plantings, but the style and balance weren’t orderly, and the current homeowner found it challenging to maintain. Our objective was to keep the richness of the landscape while introducing order and ease of maintenance.
At the front of the house, an updated entry and walkway brings guests through lush gardens. Stretching from the house to the sidewalk, the verdant plantings are an easy-to-maintain balance of “eye-catching” and “understated” that simultaneously delight the eye of passers-by while adding privacy for the home.
The backyard – the project that first brought these homeowners to us – is a hub for the active family. From spaces for dining, family time, seclusion, and play, the packed program meant starting from scratch and pulling out every stop to eke out every last inch of usable space. The result is a cohesive outdoor living space with distinct, yet integrated, zones. At ground level, a flat, moderately sized yard provides room for the kids to play. Above, a new roof deck atop the rebuilt garage offers relaxation and solitude, plus great access to sunlight for an edible garden. At the level of the remodeled kitchen, nestled against the house, a barbecue and dining area is perfect for al fresco dinners. Connecting the dining area, garage roof deck, and play area is a low patio, perfect for lounging or entertaining. The spaces feel simultaneously unique and continuous, with easy shifts between play and relaxation for both adults and kids.
As the exterior design took shape, opportunities opened for updates at the back entry, mudroom, and kitchen, where a connection to the outdoors felt natural and necessary. The original kitchen felt small and closed off from the life happening outside its walls. By overlapping its space with that of the outdoor dining area, both live larger and feel more spacious. We opened the exterior wall of the kitchen with a full-length sliding glass door for a complete view of the yard. Now, the cozy kitchen benefits from the natural light, and the outdoor dining area feels like a true extension of the indoor space.
Much like the exterior spaces, in the kitchen, we sought to maximize every inch of usable space. The island and adjacent built-in dining area create an elegant yet efficient space without expanding the kitchen’s footprint. The island adds needed storage and workspace, while the banquette seating reduces the floor space needed for chairs. Plus, the banquette bench adds storage space underneath. Outside, the built-in bench seating at the barbecue faces the interior seating. This direct communication between the two deepens the connection between the spaces, feeling like a true conversation between indoors and out.
Off the kitchen and back deck is a new mudroom. Tucked behind the lively kitchen, it provides much-needed storage for the active family. Wall hooks and cubbies under a built-in bench corral coats, shoes, and backpacks. A banquette serves as a drop-zone for all the odds and ends that need picking-up or dropping-off as the family comes and goes.
Fresh siding and windows, an interior stair reconfiguration, and, finally, a bathroom remodel rounded out the buffet of updates made to this home. Though a seemingly piecemeal addition of scope, understanding how this family sought to use their home and yard allowed our integrated design team to guide them toward a holistic approach, creating a seamless experience for indoor and outdoor living.
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Our design services encompass architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture, with teams specializing in projects across the spectrum, from single-family homes to multifamily and mixed-use buildings, and from boutique commercial spaces to civic spaces, like parks. We love designing the integrated fabric of structures, spaces, and places that create vibrant neighborhoods.
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