Home & Design

Great Outdoors: Modern Magic

Clean lines and luxe materials enhance a sleek retreat in McLean

Colao & Peter reimagined a blank-slate, one-and-a-half-acre expanse as a year-round oasis. The project encompassed a swimming pool with an integrated spa and water feature; a separate zone centered on a fire pit; and a spacious porch off the main residence. “Our clients envisioned a luxurious, resort-style setting,” recounts landscape architect and partner J.R. Peter. “They wanted a design that blends clean lines with unique details, a timeless feel.”

At the clients’ request, the design team homed in on a modern sensibility reflected in crisp hardscape, strong angles and structured plantings. The large, rectangular pool is bordered on one side by a three-scupper water feature built into a limestone retaining wall; the feature faces the house, providing an appealing focal point and peaceful sound. The same stone envelops the spa, which boasts a granite spill on one side that empties water into the shallow end of the pool. A sun shelf provides easy pool access.

Imported Jerusalem limestone was used liberally as a connecting element to achieve a unified aesthetic. It clads the pool deck and forms stair treads and pavers in neat geometric patterns that navigate the property. A border of river rock delineates planting beds from hardscape. Hydrangea, Green Giant arborvitae and ornamental grasses soften the tableau.
The 450-square-foot porch “was designed to feel like an extension of the home,” Peter says. Double roller screens with mesh and vinyl, as well as ceiling fans and heaters, ensure comfort and use all year round.

Award: Distinction, Craftsmanship (Design/Build). Landscape Design & Contracting: J.R. Peter, partner; Dave D’Amato, landscape architect; William Woodburn, project manager, Colao & Peter—Luxury Outdoor Living, Sterling, Virginia. Photography: Jimi Smith.

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