Sunday, November 15, 2015

An Outdoor Secret Living Space on Martha's Vineyard

The Newhouse's vacation home had a garage on the street separated from the house by an unsightly patio.
The space in between the two buildings was an unappealing barren area 
that could be used for grilling or hanging out in privacy,
 sort of.....
since there was a scraggly hedge between 
this "terrace" and the house next door.
Les Brown the pain in the ass architect I've worked with for eons and eons and eons, etc, etc. etc.....
came up with a solution that would have been brilliant if I was the one to think of it!!!!!

Since this was a barrier free design because our client used a wheel chair,
 Les designed a deck that was the same height as the entrances to both buildings. 
Thus, creating just a small difference in surface between the floor of the deck
 and the floors of both houses.
In New England this is usually a no no,
 as the snow, and thus the water, can pile up in front of the exterior doors,
 so you have to be vigilante in snow removal. 
But if you're rich enough to have a waterfront home on the vineyard.....
 I guess you're rich enough to have the snow cleared from your deck if you want to get out the door.
But as this was mainly a summer retreat, that probably wasn't a problem..... 
I have to hand it to Les for the way he was able to make this area one of the nicest's aspects of the house.
The white board fence with the lattice along the top was placed on the property line,
 up against a scraggly privet hedge,
 leaving just a couple of feet between the deck and the fence.
 But since this was a deck and not a terrace, it was possible to plant rose bushes along the fence as the roots had plenty of good dirt under the deck.
 Tons of perennials were used to fill in the rest of the beds, creating a lush and colorful border.
Annuals were placed among them in pots that didn't show as the deck was higher than the ground and hid the pot. If they became scraggly and unsightly, they were just swapped out for newer fresher flowers.
This is a great trick for keeping a flower border looking full and pretty,
with no work for the lazy!!!!!
Trellises were mounted at intervals along the fence to support the climbing roses that would eventually run along the top, forming a beautiful visual barrier between this secret outdoor space and the neighbors larger, taller home.
A square cutout in the deck  allowed  the planting of a pretty Japanese maple to supply some shade in the hotter months.
Japanese maples are good choices for small spaces as they grow slowly and don't get too large (at least compared to a real American maple.....)

Country Garden Magazine had me produce a story for them incorporating the Newhouses deck and guesthouse.
So, these pictures are from that photo shoot.
As an incentive to the Newhouses....
anything that I chose that they liked, they could get at my cost, so it was a win-win for everyone.
The magazine got it's story.....
I got publicity.....
and the Newhouses got a good deal!!!!!

I designed the spaces from the serenity of my office,
 ordered everything from catalogs and had it shipped to the island, 
where June, my trusty office manager-assistant-best friend and I unpacked the crates and boxes and set up for the photo shoot.
The chaises I chose for the deck were from Lloyd Flanders, but I believe they are no longer made.
They looked GREAT!!!!!
but the pull out foot rests weren't that comfortable.
But since this was for a shoot.....
The fabrics chosen were all for outdoor use.
Since this was Soooooooooo long ago, I don't know it any of them are still available.

I set up a small dining area for the Newhouses to have an al fresco nook where they could enjoy a morning cup of Joe,
 or an afternoon cocktail....
For designing this spread, I had the best time pouring over catalogs, since this was a retail story and everything was to be easily purchased by the readers.
I fell in love with these silly toss pillows that have the saying
"You are my sunshine"
My dad used to sing that song to me when I was little.

the moral of this blog post is.....
go sing silly songs to your kids.
on that note,
Latah Gatah


Unknown said...

Wonderful outside space and a great story.It is nice to have wonderful memories of our childhood, thanks Betsy.

bmayer said...

Love those pillows too!

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