Home & Design
Yard - Patio
Yard - Patio

The fireplace is flanked by two cheek walls that create a backdrop to the outdoor living area.

Landscape - Kitchen
Landscape - Kitchen

The outdoor kitchen is equipped with a grill and storage drawer.

Garden - Landscape
Garden - Landscape

In the front yard, staggered limestone steppers lined with perennials connect the driveway and front walkway.

Lawn - Garden
Lawn - Garden

A pea gravel path leads to a secluded play lawn.

Landscape - Scott Brinitzer Design Associates
Landscape - Scott Brinitzer Design Associates

Wisteria climbs the custom iron trellis, creating a canopy of greenery above the outdoor living area.

Child's Play

Starting with a barren lawn, Scott Brinitzer creates a series of inviting gardens now enjoyed by family and visitors alike

Child's Play If the mark of a successful landscape is that it looks as though it’s been in place forever, then Scott Brinitzer’s recent project in McLean, Virginia, fits the bill. The landscape architect organized a quarter-acre of empty front and back lawns into a lush retreat with inviting living areas, colorful beds and secret gardens connected by stone pathways.

Brinitzer had several challenges to overcome. One was blending the house—newly built on a teardown lot—into its neighborhood of 1940s-era homes. An “intermediate bed” in the front yard planted with liriope, Miami crape myrtle and Endless Summer hydrangea softens the façade and affords privacy; it shields a lawn where the owners’ two children play volleyball and badminton.

Another goal was to mediate a steep slope from the front entryway walk to the driveway, which leads to a lower-level garage. Indiana limestone steppers now connect the driveway to a new front walk. “The children love to run up and down the steps,” says Brinitzer.

In the backyard, a spacious terrace encompasses an outdoor kitchen and dining area, a fireplace and a seating area. A custom iron trellis enveloped in wisteria defines the space and, as Brinitzer explains, “gives overhead ‘protection’ to the big, open area.”

Adjacent to the terrace, a laurel hedge conceals a vegetable patch where the kids experiment with new crops every spring. In addition to this “special hidden nook,” says Brinitzer, a pea gravel walk leads through beds of ornamental grasses to a 30-foot-square play lawn “large enough for a good soccer game.”

Brinitzer, who carefully planned the project to evolve for generations to come, takes pride in how much joy the kids derive from it. “This garden is meant for roasting s’mores in the fireplace and digging in the dirt,” he says. “It’s meant to be enjoyed and not just looked at.”

Photographer Roger Foley is based in Arlington. 

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE: SCOTT BRINITZER, Scott Brinitzer Design Associates, Arlington, Virginia.

You may also like:

Outdoor Living
Anthony Wilder Design/Build turns an empty backyard into an al fresco oasis
Historic Makeover
A 2020 renovation revives the White House Rose Garden
Industrial Revival
Inspired by American mills of yesteryear, architect Donald Lococo forges a Leesburg, Virginia, home that’s both rough-hewn and glamorous
HOME&DESIGN, published bi-monthly by Homestyles Media Inc., is the premier magazine of architecture and fine interiors for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

The company also publishes an annual H&D Sourcebook of ideas and resources for homeowners and professionals alike. H&D Chesapeake Views is published bi-annually and showcases fine home design and luxury living in and around the Chesapeake Bay.

The H&D Portfolio of 100 Top Designers spotlights the superior work of selected architects, interior designers and landscape architects in major regions of the US.

Stay Connected with HOME & DESIGN Newsletter

Copyright © 2021 Home & Design. All rights reserved. | Back to top