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.”
“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.”
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.”
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.”
Thank you, Page|Duke Landscape Architects for sharing this example of simplicity and refinement at once translating into a lush garden landscape.
- Photography: Reed Brown Photography
- Architect: Ken Pursley, Pursley Dixon Architecture
- Interior design: Phoebe Howard
- Contractor: Whitlock Builders
- Landscaping: Southern Scape
- Landscape Architects: Page|Duke Landscape Architects
- Swimming pool: B&B Pools
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