Easy Outdoor Living in Washington State: Mercer Contemporary by Darwin Webb

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Mercer Island: just the mention of it conjures up images of misty days in the Pacific Northwest, with balmy, sweet ocean breezes and lush gardens; this space fits that picture admirably, thanks to Darwin Webb Landscape Architects. When the clients’ house was remodeled, the garden needed a bit of a facelift as well; the owners wanted space for casual outdoor living, along with a spa — without sacrificing privacy. This could have been a bit tricky: note how close other homes are to this garden, as well as how compact the space is. Undaunted, the designers installed a fiberglass spa on a new deck, positioned cleverly behind wood screening that gives both a dramatic backdrop and easy seclusion.

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Privacy? Yes, this site has it, beautifully put together: surrounding the warm wood is a profusion of greenery, a mini-meadow that provides additional shelter and harmonizes with natural materials in decking and paths. And what’s an outdoor living area without a cozy fire? A gas fire pit provides the answer, lounge chairs pulled up close on the flagstones, with soft cushions below and a panoramic view above. Color is splashed everywhere here: red ornamental grasses, bright orange daylilies, and purple flowering sage are only some of the delights in this peaceful spot. Whether they’re entertaining friends or just curling up in the hot tub — or before the fire — at the end of a workday, these clients have peaceful green and fragrant blooms around them in a serene, welcoming outdoor space.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).