Have you ever experienced the Chicago Botanical Garden? Inspirational would be a pedestrian description of this daylong venture. Our recent visit was coupled with an ambitious national design/build/landscape symposium that was easily the most compelling in my 20-year history. The “rock stars” of our industry filled the space with renewed visions of yesterday’s very classic ideas.
By blending bold new living patterns with historic material selection, we realized several strategies from both the gardens and the symposium in this project. Employing crushed-stone texture elements with modern furniture and blazing ornamental urns speak of this home’s very cool vibe. Constantly pushing toward forward design will often prompt creative solutions.
The previous front sidewalk was like most in Carmel. Functional, a little boring, and of course, the exposed aggregate was settling. The obvious solution was to remove the old and install something new. But the smart homeowners had something edgy in mind. “How can we repurpose the exposed aggregate?” Hmmm.
Carefully, the team removed the sidewalk in large pre-planned sections and preserved as many as possible. The evolving design artfully integrates soft hues of bluestone accents at the driveway interchange then repeats a bluestone ribbon along the walk at various geometric intervals. The result is a unique walk that generously crafts its way to a front door micro space.
A surprise courtyard outside the front door brilliantly speaks to the homeowner’s lifestyle and offers a crisp space for thought and a glass of wine. A huge slab of blue stone behaves as a step to the front porch and further pulls the space together.
Repurposed exposed aggregate married with soft hued bluestone and a crushed stone house ribbon easily fits the Chicago Botanical Garden in a side courtyard… or your home and always changing lifestyle.