Outer Focus

At last, the season for outdoor living is upon us. Once summer arrives, the unpredictable winters and often blustery springs we grumble about in New England somehow seem worth it. We’ve earned these months of sunshine, flowers, and fresh air. It’s time for backyard get-togethers, swimming, and school vacation; late bedtimes for the kids, refreshing adult cocktails, firepits, and ice cream. On the following pages, we feature three dreamy outdoor spaces designed for making the most of all aspects of alfresco living.

Natural Connection 

With multiple kids of different ages, the homeowners of this Nantucket property looked to Gregory Lombardi Design to transform the landscape into a series of distinct yet connected spaces. To expand the pool area, it was relocated to the side of the property from the small area between the main house and the guest house, a spot that now exists as a grassy courtyard connecting the different spots. Defined by an entertainment zone with a grill and live-edge walnut bar, an expansive seating and dining area segues to the pool and a play lawn where an in-ground trampoline is situated by a craft barn geared for children’s activities. A firepit, privy to subtle ocean views and bordered by a native stone wall, conservation land, and lush plantings is located adjacent to the guest house.

Greg Lombardi Design, lombardidesign.com

Bucolic Revival 

Spread upon two-and-a-half acres, this once beloved estate had become derelict. When new owners purchased the 1911 Craftsman style house in Chestnut Hill, MA they called in Dan Gordon Landscape Architects to revitalize the grounds, which includes a decorative pond, and rejuvenate the garden in the spirit of the neighborhood’s traditional character. The steep terrain was terraced to maximize sightlines from the house and stone walls were added to safeguard the new pool, define entertaining and recreation areas, and display an organized transition from the house to the landscape beyond. Hedges, gates, and entry piers beckon, guide, and add formality within the natural abundance.

 Dan Gordon Landscape Architects, dangordon.com

Porch Perfection 

Located off the back of a Shingle style home on Martha’s Vineyard, the idea for this porch was for it to represent an outdoor living room. The homeowners turned to design firm Gauthier Stacy to furnish the space as completely as an interior room would be.  With ceilings clad with shiplap and crown molding—details exhibited in the home’s interior living spaces, the porch features a wood burning fireplace to warm on chilly evenings and furniture in the seating area and dining space by Kingsley Bate. The coffee table, ship model on the mantle, and lamps were vintage store finds. It’s an ideal spot for casual gathering and big family dinners and the view is sublime: overlooking the verdant lawn the eye stretches to a field beyond and all the way to the ocean.

Gauthier Stacy, gauthierstacy.com

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