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Creating the Dream Home: Outside Edition

When Whit Harvey and his wife Joanne Larson found their current residence on Overlook Lane in 2017, they knew that this one could be the dream home. Four guest rooms and inviting living spaces make it the perfect home for entertaining friends, children and grandchildren, and the primary bedroom, accessed from the main house through a glass atrium ensures privacy for everyone. With mostly main level living, the house can readily accommodate eventual aging in place – not that they are ready for that yet!

“We weren’t after a big statement house,” says Whit, “This one certainly has a lot of room, and allows us to entertain, but from the outside, with the addition of gray shingle siding, it looks like a lovely little cottage.”

Hardscaping Goals:

  • Remove bricks and replace with stone

  • Reduce the square footage of the patio to allow for more lawn

  • Make a patio that follows the line of the house

  • "Green up" the area by having foundation plantings

  • Design garden beds to extend the vista from the home and patio rather than blocking view

“When you buy a home, you need to have vision,” says Whit, “With Overlook, the bones were good, the location was unbeatable, and we knew that we could gradually turn this into our dream home. I think that when you find a home you love, spend the money to make it your own. You may be there for a long time, so take it one project at a time, making improvements as you can.”

After tackling interior renovation projects, Whit and Joanne have turned their attention to the outside. In 2021 they refinished their pool and deck. And this year they’ve begun to reimagine the landscape.

Let the Demo Begin!

Joanne and Whit hired Shari Depasquale, RLA with Stone Hill Landscape Architecture, Inc. to help bring their vision to life. Chris Williams, of Buffalo River Landscaping did the demolition and Natural Concerns is doing the hardscape and landscaping.

“We are looking for a greener, more natural space. There was a lot of red brick with the patios and walls, and we wanted something that would blend with the color of the house and use natural materials. We also wanted to reduce the square footage of the hardscape so that we could have more lawn and flower beds,” says Whit.

A Patio is Born!

The new patio will be bluestone and the walls will be natural fieldstone with bluestone caps. The new patio will more closely follow the lines of the house and feature low growing plants in a bed along the foundation. Because of that, drainage has been an important consideration, and a system draws water away from the house to a French drain. Scuppers in the wall, and a slightly sloping patio ensure that water won’t be a problem in the crawlspace.

Other hard scaping will include steps and paths that lead to the pool area, and paths to the front of the house and shed.

“Sometimes I look at everything going on out the window and I think, ‘Is it going to be worth it?’ So I look at my plans and imagine how wonderful it will be when it's done.”

Stay tuned as we continue our process blog as the hardscaping continues and landscaping begins.


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