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Mid-Century Patio + Landscape - Waukesha, WI

2018 Gold Award for Excellence in Residential Landscape Design and Construction - Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association

With five children of their own, our clients needed a larger patio than the mint green concrete slab that was original to the 1960’s ranch. Both husband and wife have large extended families, so the main project goal was for a larger patio on which the entire family could gather. Our suggestion of creating outdoor rooms within the new, large patio space was embraced by the client.

In reviewing the surrounding scenery, which included a distant pond on the property, it became apparent that the placement of the patio was critical. Two sight lines were identified, separated by a stand of mature oaks, and the patio was orientated to take advantage of both. Seat walls were designed to subdivide the overall patio into separate, but connected spaces radiating out from the fire pit. Some walls also function as retaining walls as the patio area was extended out over a downward slope. The fire pit area provides a place for the family to gather and includes an over-sized, cantilevered stone coping, and radial, cascading steps down the hill.

Material selections were also important, as our goal is always to match or coordinate strongly with the existing architecture and style of the home. The Tennessee stone for the walls and fire pit was chosen to match the stonework on the home as closely as possible. The crew from Stone Oak Landscapes did a masterful job cutting some of the supplied stone into smaller pieces to match the sizes of the 1960’s stone on the home. In fitting with the Mid-Century theme, the husband preferred concrete as the material for the patio. This decision also allowed us to allocate the savings on the paving to help offset the cost of the masonry seat walls. Brick soldier courses used as borders and inlays, help to divide the space visually and were chosen to be in the same color family as the stonework of the walls and home.

Hand-hammered copper bowls were selected to finish off the seat walls, giving our client the opportunity to experiment with annual flower combinations each year, which was important to her as she comes from a family that once owned a nursery. Minimal planting beds wrap around the patio and fire pit area, filled with native and long-blooming perennials and ornamental grasses. Our design embraces both the house and hillside, while providing our client with plenty of room for large family gatherings.

Designed by James Drzewiecki, APLD.

Mid-Century Patio Makeover - Waukesha