Irresistible Terrace: Stewart Residence by Huettl Landscape Architecture

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How can you improve on a setting that’s already darned good? In the case of the Stewart residence, which boasted an existing slate terrace in a cozy back yard, Huettl Landscape Architecture answers that question beautifully! That terrace, already in place among native oaks, was retrofitted with an element that’s a great crowd-pleaser: water. Between large, generously proportioned square stepping stones, the water ponds and flows surrounded by “waterfalls” of native grasses that flow gently in the breeze alongside the shimmering surface. From a terraced wall (concrete that looks like stone!), a gentle cascade spills down, providing a soothing, relaxing backdrop for the patio’s lounging and entertaining areas — and the color palette is as tranquil as the water itself, drawing on purple, blue, and gentle pastel yellow.

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Banked by unobtrusive retaining walls, this inviting space is secluded by lush greenery and rock structures that add visual interest as well as a practical accent for the sloping terrain. At various points on the patio, concrete benches repeat the intriguing stone-like pattern of the hand-layered concrete basin, and the water trickles gracefully over two levels with a cooling ambience that can’t be beat. But there’s no sense making an irresistible water feature if people can’t dip a toe in once in a while…which means the water needs to be kept clean enough for wading when the temperature rises. That problem is solved by a filtration system and UV sterilizer; that way, those darling little girls don’t have to hang back from the best part of water — the fun of a good splash!

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