Monday, March 31, 2008

Home Renderings, Volume 3


Now we move on to a view from the front of the home. This view is interesting not only because it's of the front, but because it contains a few design changes as well. Here it is, click to enlarge.
Beautiful, isn't it? Landscape-wise, my brother thought we should have apple trees or some other flowering tree in the enclosed wall in front of the house, and we really like that concept. I think we'll definitely go with apple trees, and stay on top of trimming them so they don't get too large. He added that little door in the wall so that you can go in and tend the other plants in there, and also to pick apples. It's kind of monastic!

Also, he thought that a good way of transitioning from lawn to wooded area was with wild flowers. It's also low maintenance, which I had requested of any landscaping. Our current home has too much landscaping and it takes an incredible amount of time and effort to take care of it all. We'll probably have more lawn that what is shown here, but I like the concept, especially how the flowers go right up to the house.

Structure wise there are other changes you can see. First, there are new forms of windows on the lower level. The front entrance and the clusters of windows to either side are meant to be a family of similar forms, and there are now only three windows on the upper level which are aligned with the clusters on the lower level. This eliminates yet another window on the upper level for cost and I think aesthetics are still preserved. Also, there used to be brick that went all the way up the southern face of the main volume of the home, which my brother said he didn't end up liking once it was rendered. So now the brick on that face is limited to being even with the brick on the front, and a small brick face is added on the secondary volume of the home to continue the small brick wall into the hillside to the right.


John Curran said...

Absolutely beautiful! I really enjoy the enclosed wall garden, and think apple trees are a perfect choice.

I like the wildflowers going right up to the house, especially as rendered in blue. However, the flower color would be very seasonal, and the foliage perhaps a bit weedy looking, but it is still a bold move that might just work with the house! I'd be tempted to use hostas or daylilies instead, depending on exposure.

The windows are wonderful, I especially like the second story windows aligned with the ground floor door/windows.

The new idea for the brick is brilliant, I would only suggest that the eaves of the garage NOT be brick; perhaps the garage's brick front would look best capped off horizontally as the first story brick is. I think it would make for a nice continuity of the (brick)line, and avoid too much focus on the garage (already distinctive--- in a good way--- with the twin roof.)

Excellent work. It is great fun to see how these plans are shaping up!


Brendan Koop said...

Yeah, that's one of the reasons I think there will be more lawn than is shown here. But I think there are wildflowers that are essentially a type of tall prairie grass when they aren't flowering, so they shouldn't look like weeds.

And your comment on the brick is in play depending on the bid we get from our contractor and whether we will be looking to trim costs. We could reduce brick on that face if it ended up saving a lot of money.

BTW, I love daylillies. We definitely need some of those somewhere, we have a few in our current home. The don't bloom for very long though. Hostas... I'm kind of sick of. Molly will verify that we have probably the most hostas you've ever seen in one house. They do well in the shade, which we will have, but I'm just tired of them. They are easy to take care of though.

Molly Koop said...

I like hostas when they've been blooming for a couple of weeks--when they're just perking up and starting to fill out. Then about a week later, they're about five times bigger and they've taken over the path in our garden. They're less-attractive then. They're a pain to split, but they're hearty, for sure. I also like the little flowers, but again, when they're done flowering, they look really weird with those stickish type things growing from the center. Hey, if anyone wants some hostas, you can drop by anytime and split some of ours for yourself! Really! And if we decide on hostas for the new place, we'll be taking them from our current garden!

John Curran said...

Hostas are generally considered foliage plants, and come in hundreds of varieties; I grow about 200 kinds myself. Purists will even remove the flowers. Many of the hostas have wonderful flowers though, some favorites are deep purple, others are very large fragrant white blooms.

I am also a big fan of daylilies, of which there are over 50,000 registered varieties. If carefully chosen for bloom period, one may have daylilies in flower from Memorial Day through until frost, extra-early to very late.

Improved selections of daylilies are more garden-worthy plants, often featuring rebloom for an extended season. The flower scapes are chosen for good branching and high bud count, as well as "pretty" faces. Good foliage is another consideration.

If you promise not to plant any of the rather unattractive and definitely overdone, cliched 'Stella d'Oro', I'll be happy to send a housewarming package of other daylilies!

Ornamental grasses would be another option, as you mentioned the prairie grasses. Again, I think the house would be a very suitable backdrop for them. These combine happily with daylilies.

Brendan Koop said...

I think you just volunteered as our landscaping consultant! We might have to take you up on the daylily offer next year.

John Curran said...

I'm not an expert, but I do enjoy gardening, and would be happy to make suggestions. And you're definitely welcome to some daylilies!