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Case Study: Starling

This project, designed by Jason Stubbs, took place in the gorgeous Starling neighbourhood. Our customer was looking for a low-maintenance exterior that matched the high-end look of their beautiful family home.

The Vision: Low-Maintenance

To keep maintenance to a minimum, they suggested artificial turf instead of grass. They knew they wanted a staircase down the side of the home for added accessibility to the second level. They also hoped to create a conversation space around a fire pit. 

It was also important to incorporate a shed into the design for some extra outdoor storage. The family envisioned a welcoming path to the rear gate of the home, which would lead guests into the quiet, private backyard. The home is a lake view property, so while privacy was a concern for the family, they also didn’t want to lose their view of the lake.

The Challenges

Jason was impressed with the customer’s thoughtfulness to the functionality of the vision. However, the space did have a few things to work around to bring their plan to life.

The main challenge had to do with the topography and dimensions of the backyard. The yard was on a significant slope, which posed a challenge for how and where to place the shed. Furthermore, the backyard space itself was quite narrow compared to the width of the lot.

The other challenge to consider was the multiple access points to the house. This would mean the design would have to intuitively flow from each access point into the focal point of the design.

The Design

To unify the access points, Jason created an S-shaped curved paver design that ran the length of the space. The shape created a pathway to the home’s access points while also adding visual depth to the lot by incorporating extra space between the pavers and the fencing.

Jason added a circular dining area and separate fire pit space into the paved area, which complemented the curved pathway. Jason worked in a statue of the family’s dog which personalized the area.

To soften the look of the concrete and stone, the team used wood mulch for most of the yard space to keep the area looking low-maintenance while still keeping a strong natural element. The team strategically placed low-maintenance shrubs and perennials throughout the mulched area to add some greenery and life.

To manage the slope in the yard, the team installed a white concrete staircase, which was blended into the design with matching stone blocks. The blocks created a tiered effect for the mulched perennial garden surrounding the staircase.

It was important to both Jason and the family that the front yard worked harmoniously with the backyard design. Jason created continuity with landscaping stone, low-maintenance greenery, and more pavers in an S-shaped curve. He then created a twin leaf-shaped lawn design using artificial turf to add an eye-catching, zero-maintenance feature.

The success of the design come down to the amazing cooperation of the family, who gave Jason tons of design freedom. Thanks to their willingness to let Jason run with their vision, he was able to come up with original ideas that married style and practicality.

Check out more photos of this project in our photo gallery.

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Posted in Case Study

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