Landscape designer Chip Wade drew up a wonderful design plan for our Outdoor Room winner, Norma Clark of Shelby Township, Michigan.
Wed, 20 Jun 2012|
Norma Clark of ShelbyTownship, Michigan is the winner of Traditional Home's 2011 Outdoor Room Giveaway. The Clarks have a lovely summer home on Lake Huron. Their problem was the approach to it. "It's practically like the ocean there," says designer Chip Wade, who transformed the getaway's grounds. They needed a barrier between themselves and the water. They also wanted a private place to entertain. It was like a public thoroughfare with people going through on their way to the beach. Chip's challenge, make the home setting look better and work better. His solution was three fold. First, he created a defining central element, a wide handsome boardwalk. It extends from the home permitting unimpeded access to the shore. Second, he created a fire pit area on one side of the boardwalk for entertaining. It is surrounded by sand and walls made of pavers from Belgard that look like cut slate. The walls have a handsome decorative cap on top, also from Belgard. "Anywhere you see a wall", Chip points out, "it doubles as seating." The third part of Chip's plan is a good looking cabana on the opposite side of the boardwalk. It creates privacy, but also permits the Clarks to catch some rays in its alcoves. The ceiling is made from a wonderful waterproof shell-colored fabric and Sailcloth with a beachy feel. It's from Sunbrella. The solid and elegantly simple dining table comes from Agio's Grand Floridian collection. It's set behind screening for privacy. Because so much of the space is rocky and rustic, Chip says, "The table is a good place to put a drink down". A solid table gives a feeling of quality. The chairs and loungers are from Agio, which provided all of the furniture. "Don't be afraid to go darker," says Chip. This fabric really brings out the feel of the wicker chairs and ties them in with the natural wood of the cabana. From Laura Ashley, the Clarks chose the finishing touches of classic accessories, Wellington boots, baskets, and garden tools. To further tie the scheme together, Chip added an open gable rafter detail to the house. It echoes the architecture of the new cabana. To solve a practical matter, the sand problem, all of the new elements are set at least a foot over the sand. Chip says the property went from looking nondescript outside to having a completely defined entertaining space. The architectural interest of the outdoor spaces brings the house up to a higher level. There's a perfect transition from architecture to landscape.