Date: February 9, 2021 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Lauren Cerrato |
In Northwest Arkansas, DK Designs creates an outdoor living area with multiple destinations for enjoyment and relaxation
A childhood spent in New England drew the owner to purchase this early 1900s home in Fayetteville’s sought-after Wilson Park neighborhood. “It reminded me of the homes where I grew up,” she says, “and I wanted to stay true to that when it came to the outdoors.” Having worked with outdoor designer Daniel Keeley in the past, she was eager to have him personalize this new space. Daniel came to the project with the benefit of not only knowing the owner’s preferences, but also being well-acquainted with the space, having worked on the garden with the home’s previous owner. “I have always loved this house and the property, and I’ve been lucky enough to work on it twice,” he says.
Drawing on the homeowner’s childhood experiences, plantings like boxwoods, hydrangeas, and lilacs came to the forefront of the design, while features like crushed gravel walkways adhere to her desire for a traditional aesthetic that looks like it has been in place for decades. “I am not someone who knows the names of plants, so I lean on Daniel and trust him when it comes to those selections. I like to let him be inspired by the yard and topography,” the homeowner says.
While Daniel had worked to define some of these spaces with the previous owner, new elements were added and refined to tailor it to this family. Case in point, the loggia, fire pit, and pool received design refreshes while new areas, including a parterre garden and fountain, a meditation lawn for the owner and her clients to practice yoga, and a green rooftop garden were all additions. “Especially now during the pandemic, we have lived in this outdoor space,” the owner says of the time she and her two teenage children spend here.
In particular, a favorite of both Daniel’s and the owner’s is the fountain and parterre garden, a space that was carved out after an addition to the home. “I especially love the fountain because you can hear it all over the garden,” the homeowner says. “It buffers noise from the street and really takes you away to another place.”
At the front entry, a pair of limestone planters, which Daniel notes will age gracefully, coordinate with the structure and hardscape materials. Each is filled with a classic planting of boxwoods and ivy.
Repairs were made to an existing rock wall that dates back to the late 1800s, and a new complementary gate was designed by Studio MH. Seasonal plantings by Simply Meticulous Landscape Co. include coleus, ‘Sunpatiens’, and angelonia.
A space over the loggia was transformed into a green rooftop with a variety of plantings created by Ozark Green Roofs, a company that specializes in these types of garden installations.
We created clean lines in the structure of the garden and balanced this with pockets where the plantings are softer.” —Daniel Keeley, landscape designer
A Balanced Approach
Symmetry reigns in the rectangular-shaped front yard where identical benches surrounded by ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas sit opposite one another on each side of the lawn. Cold-rolled steel planters are filled with ‘Kimberly’ ferns and purple scaevola. “These vignettes cap off the sides of the lawn and make it feel like it’s the first room of the house,” Daniel says.
Dine & Unwind
During the home’s interior renovation, which was helmed by Studio MH, Peacock Pavers and limestone columns were added to the loggia to upgrade its presence. The spacious retreat, located off the home’s main living area, has enough room for both dining and lounging and gives views of a number of the outdoor area’s other attractions.
A parterre-style garden was created between the original house and a recently completed addition. “I love little spaces and didn’t want this one to get lost,” Daniel says of the nook. Here, ‘Limelight’ hydrangea trees are surrounded by boxwoods with a central fountain, which can be heard throughout the outdoor living area.
Swim & Sun
The pool, which was installed by a previous owner, is a central spot for relaxation in the backyard. A low wall separates this space from the back of the home. Boxwoods are planted around its base, while lavender can be seen along the top.
Destination Fire Pit
The previous owner had installed a simple fire pit in a back corner of the yard. Daniel and his team expanded on this with the addition of a native stone ring to border the space, crushed gravel, and large-scale planters filled with ferns and scaevola. “This has been such a big hit with the kids during COVID,” the owner says. “We have started cooking s’mores and even full dinners over the fire.”
Contractor Preston Bacon, Preston & Company Interior design Melissa Haynes, Studio MH Landscape Design DK Design Green roof design and installation Ozark Green Roofs In-ground seasonal plantings and garden maintenance Simply Meticulous Landscape Co. Fountain, landscape lighting, outdoor furniture (benches), and planters DK Design Lighting and outdoor furniture Studio MH Pool/Spa Luther Stem Pools