This pretty and prac­ti­cal out­door area fea­tures style, form and func­tion that wow.

Cottages & Bungalows - - Contents - BY AU­TUMN KRAUSE

Get this land­scape ar­chi­tect’s tips for a pretty and prac­ti­cal out­door area with style, form and func­tion that wow.

Sean en­vi­sioned an “out­door liv­ing room” that was highly struc­tured yet still ca­sual, with three op­tions for en­joy­ing the out­side:

a semi­cov­ered per­gola, an ex­posed stone ter­race and a fully cov­ered screened porch or sun­room. CA­SUAL CHIC. In the sun­room, Sean likes to keep it ca­sual and un­fussy, with clas­sic dé­cor in calm­ing col­ors.

When you de­sign the land­scape for your home, the de­signs you im­ple­ment will be the back­drop for your mem­o­ries— all the birth­days, hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tions and get-to­geth­ers will play out on the hearth and grounds you cre­ate for your fam­ily.

No one un­der­stands this bet­ter than Sean Papich, owner of Sean Papich Land­scape Ar­chi­tec­ture. He, with his in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tor wife, Tami, pur­chased a home in Hing­ham, Mas­sachusetts, and quickly re­al­ized that they needed to level the ex­ist­ing house to build a new Cape Cod-style home and redo the land­scape. “The prop­erty was in very mar­ginal shape,” Sean re­counts. “It was over­grown and dated.”

As a land­scape ar­chi­tect, Sean had a unique vi­sion for the prop­erty. “I wanted the gar­den to be a bit of a test­ing ground for plant­ings and hard­scape ma­te­ri­als, while still main­tain­ing co­he­sion and fit­ting the home’s ar­chi­tec­tural style.”


As an ex­pert ap­proach­ing his own home, Sean was aware of the com­mon pit­falls. “It can be chal­leng­ing for de­sign­ers to work on their own es­tates,” he says. “The world is filled with

|ABOVE| GAR­DEN TO TA­BLE. One of the ben­e­fits of be­ing a land­scape ar­chi­tect? Be­ing able to use flow­ers and plants from your grounds for gar­den-to-ta­ble dis­plays. “Tami cuts flow­ers all the time to use in­side or on the porch or the ta­ble,” Sean says. |BE­LOW RIGHT| EASY-CARE PLANTS. Sean picked these lovely An­thony Waterer Spirea shrubs for their ro­bust strength.

ar­chi­tects and land­scape ar­chi­tects whose prop­er­ties are in sham­bles with half-done projects be­cause the plans might be too lofty for the bud­get or they don’t have time with their busy sched­ules.” But, he adds, “Tami would not put up with a half-done project! Like me, she grew up in Iowa, and there is al­ways a strong work ethic to get a project com­pleted.” So when it came to cre­at­ing a func­tional land­scape that paired well with the house while also adding to the over­all aes­thetic, Sean knew just what to do.


Sean en­vi­sioned an “out­door liv­ing room” that was highly struc­tured yet still ca­sual with three op­tions for en­joy­ing the out­side: a semi­cov­ered per­gola, an ex­posed stone ter­race and a fully cov­ered screened porch or sun­room. He re­graded the back­yard to achieve a flat­ter area and then got to work on a per­gola and ter­race de­sign, com­plete with a New Eng­land field­stone fire­place and an earthy chan­de­lier from a vin­tage home fur­nish­ings store. He added a fil­tered screen to the rear side of the ter­race to make vis­i­tors more com­fort­able be­cause, as Sean ex­plains, “it faces Hing­ham’s Main Street. Eleanor Roo­sevelt once called Hing­ham’s Main Street the most beau­ti­ful main street in Amer­ica. It may be … but it also needs to be screened from my back­yard!” A mix of ma­te­ri­als—brick in a her­ring­bone pat­tern, bluestone and wood—com­bine beau­ti­fully while not over­pow­er­ing the space’s pro­por­tions.


Sean also or­ches­trated nat­u­ral el­e­ments into the con­structed area, al­low­ing guests to en­joy na­ture up close, epit­o­mized by the Five-Leaf Ake­bia vine climb­ing up the wall and Annabelle Hy­drangeas grow­ing un­der­neath the per­gola. When it came to se­lect­ing the plants for his prop­erty, Sean says “Like with most plant­ing de­sign, I study the so­lar ori­en­ta­tion first.” He ex­plains, “I look at the struc­ture, flow­er­ing color, fo­liage tex­ture and color. We tend to de­sign with the most ‘bul­let-proof’ plants we can.”

The out­door area is flex­i­ble, mak­ing for great en­ter­tain­ing op­tions. If Sean and Tami want to host a din­ner for as many as 16 peo­ple, they will set the ta­ble un­der the per­gola and dine with a crack­ling fire. The screened-in porch also al­lows guests to hang out while din­ner is be­ing pre­pared. If the party is smaller, they put the Adiron­dack chairs and other seat­ing around the fire­place and set up a bar.


A screened-in porch gives that in­side yet out­side feel and pro­vides an­other area for hos­pi­tal­ity. There was one must on Sean’s list. He says, “I grew up swing­ing on a porch swing. I spent count­less nights on my grandma and grandpa’s porch swing in Iowa, look­ing over the corn­field at sun­set. I trea­sure those mem­o­ries and wanted to see if I could re­cap­ture them for our kids.”The sun­room also acts as a through­way for guests ac­cess­ing the ter­races. It’s a stylis­tic tran­si­tion be­tween the in­doors and out, al­low­ing guests to en­joy the causal, earthy New Eng­land dé­cor of the sun­room be­fore step­ping into the fresh air.

|ABOVE| STUN­NING STONE. With an open ter­race and a semi­cov­ered per­gola, this area is ideal for host­ing. The bluestone on the open ter­race fea­tures a rec­tan­gu­lar, run­ning bond pat­tern and ther­mal fin­ish. The lay­out of the stones con­trasts with the brick’s her­ring­bone pat­tern un­der­neath the per­gola. |BE­LOW RIGHT| FINE DIN­ING. This is an ex­am­ple of a din­ner­time set­ting for Sean and Tami’s guests. The clear glass ves­sels and white bowls and plates fit the neu­tral color scheme in the semi­cov­ered per­gola. Sean opted for a sooth­ing color pal­ette for the per­gola be­cause “we did not want to over-stim­u­late the space.”


“Blue is such a nat­u­ral fit for a coastal home,” An­drew says. “Vary­ing shades can be seen through­out the house, and

it makes each room feel unique.”

When it comes to land­scap­ing his grounds, Sean “tends to in­cor­po­rate plants into masses, like an artist’s brush­strokes on a can­vas. We also like plants with mul­ti­ple sea­sonal ap­peal and a va­ri­ety of tex­tures, as well as a cy­cling of col­ors through­out the sea­sons,” he says. Sean main­tains you can cre­ate the gar­den you want in any con­di­tions. These pho­tos show how his care­fully cho­sen flow­ers were in full bloom and thriv­ing amid one of Bos­ton’s worst droughts.

|LEFT| CLAS­SIC NEW ENG­LAND. The picket fence was cho­sen to give some sep­a­ra­tion from the street and help achieve a New Eng­land aes­thetic.

POWER PLANTS. Sean de­scribes his land­scap­ing as “mus­cled-up, new Amer­i­can gar­den style,” epit­o­mized by larger drifts of hardy peren­ni­als, shrubs and or­na­men­tal grasses, along with some ar­chi­tec­tural struc­tures.

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