Home & Design

In front of the house, Surrounds built a formal, elliptical-shaped guest entry of brick and flagstone.

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Faced with a span of only 15 feet from the kitchen window to the rear property line, most homeowners wouldn’t begin to consider building a backyard entertaining area. But landscape architect Chad Talton of Surrounds says that with just a bit of planning and effort, “you can make any space useful, no matter how big or small it is.” Talton’s McLean, Virginia, clients specified their desire for an outdoor living space, but left most of the other decisions up to him.

In front, Talton designed a formal, elliptical-shaped guest entry of brick and flagstone, flanked by boxwoods. He also integrated a new walkway into the existing drive, which overlooks a neighboring lot; hardscaping complements the Colonial-style house and its quaint, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. In the backyard, he designed a curved stone wall that warmly embraces the new entertaining area, complete with a built-in grill and fireplace that make it useable year-round. Low retaining walls provide additional seating for guests, and tall conifers screen out neighboring properties. “It was such a small space,” says Talton, “and there was so much going on in it, that it seemed appropriate to use evergreens and other plantings that would add color constantly.”

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE: Chad Talton, Surrounds Landscape Architecture and Construction, Sterling, Virginia. PHOTOGRAPHY: Ron Blunt, Washington, DC.

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