When we pulled up to this charming brick colonial in Alexandria, with its perfectly decorated interior and charming residents, we were totally unprepared for the ragtag 1970's mess that awaited us. The house had numerous additions with no consideration to the overall look or style.
The pool was separated from everything by a picket fence—making it appear as though it were behind an old garage. An arbor connected the house to the pool house and then onto the swimming pool area. The landscape plantings were totally haphazard and overgrown.
The first step was to redesign the back of the house and develop a new pool house design. We removed the upper level doors, re-sized and replaced all of the windows, redid the siding and added a slate roof to the main body of the house.
The multiple additions were unified with a pitched porch black metal roof. This created a great covered porch for the main living areas. Our landscape designers also incorporated square columns into the porch design, the arbor-covered sitting area, and the new entry to the changing rooms.
Next, we decided to conduct a complete swimming pool installation so we could renovate it with new pool plaster, tile, and fittings. The pool equipment would be moved to the side of the pool house, allowing us to add doors to the back of the pool house design and provide direct access to the swimming pool from the living area.
The front door leading into the pool house was also redefined by removing a shed area and adding French doors. A new potting shed was installed along the west property line. The next step was to add in new hardscapes leading comfortably to the different areas of the yard (see the power of the circle below).
We also included colorful garden designs with landscape plantings that are lush and filled with texture. Our horticulturists and landscape designers used a healthy mix of both perennials and annuals to create the softness that the massive amount of structure and hardscapes needed as a counterbalance.
We also incorporated landscape plants that are warm and inspired by southern style gardens including hydrangeas, caladiums, palms, and tropical plants like Mandevilla Vine. Green giant arborvitaes shield the view of the neighbor’s garage and accentuate the circular lawn panel.
A single tree comes across to soften the corner of the pool house design. A centrally-located fountain suggests a Charleston style courtyard, further emphasizing the southern-style landscape design.
We had so many landscape design problems that could only be resolved with a circle as the base design element. The outside area between the house and the pool house was a dead end that provided no direction as you left the house. This created a discrepancy with two structural angles.
We ran the flagstone walkway parallel to the house, leaving the greatest portion of the planting bed to the pool house side, where the landscape plants could be seen from the kitchen window. This gave the illusion that the pool house was further away from the house.
At the end of the walkway, our landscape designers placed a circular flag and cobble stone patio with a curved arbor above, creating the perfect sized sitting patio for two or for entertaining guests by the grilling station. The curve catches your eye and prevents it from getting caught in the awkward corner of the fence to create this perfectly charming respite in the garden.
The outdoor area directly behind the living space was also squeezed next to the pool house with no room for a dining area. By placing a circular patio off to the side, we were able to lead guests to the side of the pool house, where they would have a clear view of the pool.
The lawn area was also small and undefined. By giving this area a perfect radius, it made the space seem larger. At the same time, it softened the connection to the swimming pool—allowing us to bring the pool patio around and break the line that was defining the pool area behind the pool house.
The lawn was framed with a cobblestone border that was made wide enough to create a subtle connecting walkway to the swimming pool area. The circle added a harmonious feeling to the landscape design, unifying the different landscape elements to create direction for guests. The finished result was recognized as an award-winning landscape design in Alexandria, VA.
Whether you want to use the pool house design or swimming pool installation on Braddock Road as inspiration, or have another unique idea of your own, we can help! Contact us to transform your landscape in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC with detailed landscape elements like porch design, landscape plantings, pool house design, and much more!