In an urban setting, homeowners must rely on gardens to submerge themselves in nature. Framed by hollies and magnolias, the workhorses of privacy, this Charlotte home offers an escape from its surrounding urban landscape. The European architecture sets the tone and tenure of the project and reflects the homeowners’ tastes. “The homeowners are two of the most sophisticated people, with very refined style,” Ben Page of Page|Duke Landscape Architects tells us. “They are quite refined and focused on anything that can be edited or simplified.”

Ben Page, alongside Architect Ken Pursley and Interior Designer Phoebe Howard, wielded a thoughtful, refined touch to the property.

“We love to work in the world where the three disciplines — architect, interior designer and landscape architect — work together,” Ben shares. “The team was deeply committed to the interior-exterior relationships. The architect responded to this relationship with the addition of large window walls, allowing you to see through the house to its surrounding landscape. The interior designer handled the textures inside the home in an ethereal way, so the interiors blend into the outdoor landscape.”

Simplicity and Refinement Surround this Charlotte Home

The landscape architecture, devised by Ben Page of Page|Duke Landscape Architects, allows this home to be a private oasis in the center of a busy neighborhood.

The brick driveway is the first indication of the project’s quality. “The driveway harks back to the early 20th century,” Ben says of the layout for vehicular access. “The car is not the dominant image for the presentation,” he further explains. The combination of materials, including stone and brick, determine the texture, which is enhanced with natural plant materials. “The house has a sense of formality, so we used relaxed texture combinations — rich materials handled in an informal way.”

Simplicity and Refinement Surround this Charlotte Home

Rich materials set the tone and tenure for the design.

Simplicity and Refinement Surround this Charlotte Home

A thoughtfully designed driveway allows the house to stand out.

Simplicity and Refinement Surround this Charlotte Home

Simple, rich plant material softens the space, and 19th-century stone adds rich texture.

Simplicity and Refinement Surround this Charlotte Home

Lead planters, which will develop a beautiful grey-blue patina over time, were chosen for their longevity.

Simplicity and Refinement Surround this Charlotte Home

Cars are hidden as to not distract from the home’s beautiful exterior.

A garden adjacent to the kitchen is a favorite spot on the property, the small garden moving into the larger landscape by way of limestone steps. “The garden is reflective of the relaxed formality of the kitchen,” Ben explains. “It is a soft transition from the back of the house to the backyard. There is a conscious sequencing of space between the house and the immediate landscape, and the natural, wild landscape.”

The overall design is relaxed but focused on refined architecture and details. “The house and landscape reflect the personality of the owner. That gives me pleasure.”

From the kitchen to the parterre garden to the pool and terraces, there are numerous social spaces throughout the property. The expansive backyard is home to a pool pavilion, which is a formal and structurally elegant piece of architecture. That formality is balanced by an oval pool, a more informal presentation of water, explains Ben. The pool is surrounded by solid limestone, an integral part of its backyard setting.

“The chambers of the home are all intimately connected but set up for privacy,” Ben explains. “While you are sitting by the pool, you don’t know you are also sitting next to the motor court and four-car garage.”

Simplicity and Refinement Surround this Charlotte Home

A private garden can be seen from the home’s kitchen.

Simplicity and Refinement Surround this Charlotte Home

The pool pavilion is a stunning piece of architecture softened by lush greenery.

Simplicity and Refinement Surround this Charlotte Home

An oval-shaped pool is a smart decision that speaks to the marriage of formality and simplicity through the design. A wall of greenery enhances the intimacy of the space.

Simplicity and Refinement Surround this Charlotte Home

Framed by an iron gate, the pool is private and quiet.

Simplicity and Refinement Surround this Charlotte Home

The back of the home opens to the landscape, and the porch easily transitions into the yard and pool area.

Simplicity and Refinement Surround this Charlotte Home

The mixture of stone and greenery is quite beautiful.

Simplicity and Refinement Surround this Charlotte Home

Large, grassy stone-lined steps help define the space, bringing dimension to the yard.

Simplicity and Refinement Surround this Charlotte Home

The hot tub is beautifully articulated to create an elegant space.

Simplicity and Refinement Surround this Charlotte Home

Again, we see the planters that are known for their enduring material.

Thank you, Page|Duke Landscape Architects for sharing this example of simplicity and refinement at once translating into a lush garden landscape.

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