Creating Exterior Rooms

Often the favorite room of a country house is an exterior room.  Many of our clients spend their weekdays in the city, surrounded by concrete and steel.  When they escape to the country, they want to experience the rejuvenating beauty of nature. We strive to create a variety of exterior spaces that will heighten our clients’ enjoyment of the countryside, and make for a true indoor-outdoor experience.  Here are a few examples of how developing exterior rooms can enhance a country home.


A courtyard provides an attractive and welcoming entrance to a home.  It can be defined by surrounding buildings, a low stone wall, fencing, plantings or a combination of all of these elements.  Creating a courtyard can take a function as mundane as parking and transform it into a memorable outdoor room.

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 Here a courtyard is defined by two wings of a new farmhouse, low stone walls and landscape plantings. A raised granite terrace near the house features an antique stone watering trough. Granite steps, cascading from the main entrance down to the gravel courtyard, welcome visitors.

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The L-shaped addition to this antique cape creates a natural courtyard and an inviting entrance. Bluestone pavers lead through a fieldstone wall to a protected dining terrace.  Rhododendrons along the wall provide additional privacy and screening from the approach drive.

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This informal courtyard, paved with pea stones, serves to organize several entrances into the house. In renovating and expanding this antique house, great care was taken to protect the ancient maple tree which shades the courtyard.  The climbing roses, on the split rail fence in the foreground, help to screen the view of automobiles from the landscape. 


Porches serve as wonderful transitions between the home and nature, providing protection from the elements while still affording expansive views.  A well designed porch can serve as an outdoor living or dining room for half of the year.  The addition of a fireplace can extend the use of a porch into the colder months.


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The massive stone fireplace allows this gracious outdoor living room to be used throughout the year.  Tall arched openings on two sides of the porch frame distant views.  A series of lanterns extends the use of the porch into the evening hours.


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Lush plantings, surrounding this classic farmhouse porch, create the illusion of dining within the garden.  An adjacent terrace allows for viewing a distant pond below.


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Sometimes the simple old traditions are the best.  What could be more relaxing than a rocking chair on a summer afternoon?

Garden Structures

A country property provides opportunities to create outdoor rooms in the landscape, distant from the home.  An open-air garden structure can provide a place to escape the sun, enjoy a rural view or share an outdoor meal.  These garden structures can also create distinctive highlights in the landscape, to be enjoyed from afar.


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A colonnade of fieldstone columns topped with carved cedar timbers defines this outdoor room.  Wisteria vines above create a shady spot to enjoy the cooling central fountain, created from an antique granite cider press.


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This rustic cedar gazebo is a favorite vantage point to relax and enjoy the surrounding garden.  The fanciful twig frieze casts playful shadows on the comfortable seating area.  An antique millstone surrounded by irregular pavers distinguishes the gazebo from the green garden path.


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This carved cedar pergola provides welcome shade to this outdoor dining room without obstructing the panoramic views.  “Dutchman’s Pipe”, planted at each post will eventually create a lush canopy above.  A massive custom-designed harvest table always has room for one more guest.  Hanging lanterns add a warm glow at twilight.