Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Planning the lanscape

I'm very excited about the opportunity to landscape our bungalow, but at the same time, a little nervous about the task. Designing in a craftsman style is very much about bringing the outside in and bringing the inside out. A craftsman bungalow should be comfortable, and it should blur the lines between the inside living room and the outside living room. Kurt and I spend a tremendous amount of time outside and it is important to us to have "rooms" available to us for reading, dining, or whatever it is we want to do. I've been reading a number of books to harvest design ideas, and one of my favorites at the moment is Naturalistic Gardening by Ann Lovejoy. The book features two photographs that are driving my latest outdoor landscaping obsession. Drum roll please....

Above photo: I love water, and plan on having a lot of it when I get done with the landscape. This is one of the first photographs in the book, and it instantly appealed to my senses. In the background, you see the porch with the pergola like rafters. I particularly like the textures in the foliages and the contrast in colors.

Above photo: What isn't to like here? Just looking at this photo makes be relaxed. What if this Japanese style bridge stretched across the pond and terminated on the other side by entering into a Japanese style tea house? I feel relaxed just thinking about it.

Okay, so where are we now and how will these design features fit into the current landscape?

Welcome to my back yard. This picture is taken about 1/4 of the way back. The back yard is about 80 feet deep. The first order of business will be to square off the back deck and get rid of the 45 degree angle corners. The deck is *huge* as it exists today, and we'd rather use the space for plants, etc. We'll be using the deck board we pull off to continue the deck on around the house (picture of that later). The inset portion of the home with the 1960's sliding glass doors will be an outdoor living room, and will be framed in with a pergola roof. From the corner of the deck, you'll be able to look over into the water. I've laid the water hose out as an example shape for the pond, but have yet to determine the final shape. The bamboo poles on the ground represent the bridge which will run to the tea house. The tea house will sit a little to the left of where the photograph was taken. Eventually, I'll upload a drawing of this layout so that it makes a more sense.

The sliding glass doors will eventually be replaced with craftsman type glass doors. They will open out onto the outdoor living room. From the outside living room, you'll be able to see the water and the fish (potentially Koi), and there will be a step down from the deck onto the bridge that will lead you to the tea house. The tea house will be the ultimate place for relaxation and meditation. I have yet to determine the exact design for the tea house.

I can just picture this in my mind, and what an amazing backyard experience it will be!

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