Words by Adrienne Dyer. Photos by Jody Beck.
The homeowner of this new West Coast contemporary build wanted a front landscape
with wow-factor to welcome clients to her home-based design business. Using modern, linear lines and minimalist plantings, Merle and Katie Kroeker of Pacific Ridge Landscapes created a unique design that embraces the home naturally into its surroundings.
“This was an exciting project for us to be involved in,” says Merle. “Often, we are asked to create a traditional landscape for a modern house, or a modern landscape for a traditional home. This time, we got to marry the style of the house and garden.
”The lot itself is shaped at a steep angle and the driveway access cuts off a substantial portion of the front yard. Merle’s solution to this design challenge was to create geometric plant beds that echo the angles of the house and frame the sculptural concrete water feature wall, set with an elegant trio of metal waterspouts.
“We wanted to do something unique with the water feature,” says Merle, who built a floating entry of concrete steps spaced over a shallow pond, surrounded by low-maintenance grasses with built-in lighting for stunning evening ambience. Lighting and water features are key landscaping elements the Kroekers often incorporate into their designs. Here, these design elements maximize the impact of the front entrance and highlight the home’s striking architectural curb appeal.
In the backyard, concrete steps provide a smooth transition between indoor living spaces and the large concrete patio, where the homeowner loves to entertain. Ornamental grasses and succulents adorn the perimeter of the patio while a rock garden cleverly conceals underground utility boxes. A built-in irrigation system contributes to the low-maintenance requirements of the backyard, while the custom fence features horizontal lines that blend with the home’s architecture.
“With modern materials, it’s challenging to achieve a natural balance between a modern interior and exterior, but always very rewarding. We were excited to implement this design,” says Merle. With lines and angles in harmony with the house, this design creates a seamless transition between the home’s architecture and the landscape.