Home & Design

Hydrangea, perennials and apple and peach tree espaliers provide color and interest year-round.

Custom-sized slabs of Jerusalem limestone envelop the pool and water feature.

A loggia below the new deck includes a built-in grill.

The upper deck connects to the patio and grill underneath via a space-saving spiral staircase.

Family Oasis

A clever design makes the most of a compact Palisades garden

Small landscapes often present design dilemmas. Case in point: a project in DC’s Palisades neighborhood recently overhauled by J.R. Peter of Colao & Peter.

Despite the diminutive size of the clients’ backyard, the landscape architect met their desire for maximum amenities for all ages with a few innovative solutions. Peter set out “to transform a dated single-family home into a resort-like environment for our clients’ family to enjoy year-round,” he says.

Existing upper and lower decks were demolished, and an above-ground pool was sited at the rear of the one-fifth-of-an-acre property to create plenty of space for other features. Peter selected materials to complement the home’s contemporary design. Custom-sized slabs of Jerusalem limestone were imported from Israel for the veneer enveloping the pool and water feature, and for pavers in the loggia space underneath a new deck. The texture and color of the limestone blends with the hues of natural building stone near the deck and patio off the back of the house. The upper deck, with Trex Transcend flooring and a custom cable railing, connects to the patio and grill underneath via a space-saving spiral staircase. A water-management system channels rainwater into hidden gutters. Between the pool and patio, Colao & Peter installed artificial turf to establish a generous children’s play area with a specially designed swing set.

Evergreens lend the garden structure, while summer-blooming hydrangea, perennials and apple and peach tree espaliers against the horizontal fence provide color and interest year-round.

Award: Grand for Outdoor Living Area/Design Build. Landscape Architecture: J.R. Peter, Colao & Peter, Luxury Outdoor Living, Sterling, Virginia. Landscape Contracting: Colao & Peter. Photography: Curt Pulleyblank.

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