Hardscape Solutions: Updated but timeless

September 10, 2019 -  By
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Location: Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Company: Exscape Designs

The design intent was to create an updated landscape and entertainment area that reflected the traditional architecture of this 1920s-era home.

Exscape helped create a new driveway layout, which meandered down the middle of the left-side lot, integrating the double lot into a cohesive whole and working around the existing large trees.

The brick and stone used ties back to the materials used on the house and provides an updated but timeless look.

A masonry feature fireplace provides a focal point in the entertainment area, while creating a backdrop for privacy.

A 6-foot-tall cedar fence around the backyard adds another layer of privacy.

The hot tub was integrated directly into the wide veranda steps, and the hot tub and chimney were lined up on the center point of the upper veranda to connect them to the house’s architecture.

The Exscape team excavated and installed a masonry foundation for a 1,200-square-foot addition and installed all new storm and sanitary connections from the house to the street, drainage throughout the property and a complete waterproof system on the foundation around the existing house.

The project earned Exscape Designs a 2018 Gold Award from the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.

1920s-style house (Photo: Ian Adams Photography)

Photo: Ian Adams Photography

The owners of this 1920s-era house engaged Exscape to design and implement a complete exterior makeover while they were doing a complete interior renovation of the house.

Front porch of 1920s house (Photo: Ian Adams Photography)

Photo: Ian Adams Photography

A new front porch was installed, along with new landscaping, a front walk and masonry walls across the front of the house.

Side view of house (Photo: Ian Adams Photography)

Photo: Ian Adams Photography

All new landscaping plantings around the house provide a clean, simple look.

Back patio of house (Photo: Ian Adams Photography)

Photo: Ian Adams Photography

The new outdoor living space becomes the center hub of activity in the backyard. The outdoor entertainment area includes an outdoor dining veranda, grilling island, custom hot tub, seating area and fireplace feature.

Hot tub feature (Photo: Ian Adams Photography)

Photo: Ian Adams Photography

The fireplace does double duty as a center focal point of the entertainment space, while also providing a backdrop which provides some screening to the adjacent house.

Back patio of house (Photo: Ian Adams Photography)

Photo: Ian Adams Photography

The homeowners did not want a hot tub which was “floating” out in the landscape; so the team designed the hot tub so it appeared to be part of the dining veranda.

Hot tub area and house (Photo: Ian Adams Photography)

Photo: Ian Adams Photography

The wide steps create nice transition from the bluestone on the upper veranda to the bluestone on the lower patio.

Blue guitar and garden (Photo: Ian Adams Photography)

Photo: Ian Adams Photography

A formal area garden is visible from the upper and lower patio areas. The crushed bluestone paths visually tie the garden area to the bluestone patio.

Blue guitar (Photo: Ian Adams Photography)

Photo: Ian Adams Photography

An 8-foot-tall guitar sculpture purchased at a charity auction creates whimsical focal point in the formal garden area.

Back deck view (Photo: Ian Adams Photography)

Photo: Ian Adams Photography

The guitar sculpture becomes the center axis point when walking down the sidewalk from the driveway.

View of back patio view (Photo: Ian Adams Photography)

Photo: Ian Adams Photography

Due to budget restrictions, the team designed a pavement scheme that transitioned from the main bluestone patio to a dyed concrete walk, which leads guests to the driveway/parking area. The brick border softened the look of the concrete and tied back into other brick features on the house and in the new landscape.

Walkway area (Photo: Ian Adams Photography)

Photo: Ian Adams Photography

Spa equipment, air conditioners and a generator are hidden behind a new cedar fence which is softened by espalier apple trees. The brick-bordered concrete walk ties to the driveway/parking area on the the other side of the fence.

Driveway (Photo: Ian Adams Photography)

Photo: Ian Adams Photography

The team installed and the designed the layout of a new dyed concrete driveway with the brick paver banding.

Exterior site work (Photo: Ian Adams Photography)

Photo: Ian Adams Photography

All of the exterior site work was within Exscape’s scope of work. It included completely water proofing the foundation of entire house, all new storm and sanitary connections, new underground down spout connections and underground electrical service throughout the yard.

Underground connections (Photo: Ian Adams Photography)

Photo: Ian Adams Photography

With many large, mature trees, the company had to position the new underground connections carefully to minimize damage to the existing trees.

Backyard office space (Photo: Ian Adams Photography)

Photo: Ian Adams Photography

A simple flagstone walk connects to an additional office space in the backyard, which was once a carriage house before the early residents had cars.

Abby Hart

About the Author:

Abby Hart is the managing editor of Landscape Management. A native Clevelander, she spent 10 years in Chicago, where she was operations manager of a global hospitality consultancy. She also worked as managing editor of Illumine, a health and wellness magazine; and a marketing specialist for B2B publications. Abby has a degree in journalism from Boston University’s College of Communication.

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