Part 2 – Veals Residence, Kentucky – Landscape Design

Part 2 – Veals Residence, Kentucky – Landscape Design (PDF)

  • John Brown

    This is the completed landscape design for the Veals residence.


  • Murray

    I like a lot of what Paul proposed for the floorplan – switching everything around – it would be great if the Veals’ had the budget to work towards that solution.

    The landscape proposals are all very nice, too.

    However … this house and yard has zero storage facilities, unless there is a crawlspace and/or attic. With the outdoor proposals of lawns and patios there will be a need for lawnmovers, edgers, etc, but currently there is no place to store them securely.

    Might there be a need to intrude upon the poetics of the landscape proposals with a prosaic garden shed? – designed by an architect, of course!

    Or, maybe the Veals will hire a gardener.

    Further, I lived in Tennessee for a few years and the state gets winter weather, so Kentucky, being further north, will also get its share of cold and snow. All the outdoor furniture may need a home during the winter months.

    And, regarding outdoor theatres on a summer night in the American South – you will be eaten alive by mosquitos and other bugs!

    Sorry to be such a party-pooper.

  • Meg

    I really like the plan.

    I’ve been thinking about views when lying in bed. In the pocket garden in the east the corner where the lounger is could be planted and lit with what it would look like from the bed in mind. Thinking about the other bedroom I was thinking about a wall running from the house in line with the wall between the bedroom and the bathrooms and extending slightly beyond the first pillar of the car port overhang support. Needn’t be full height and perhaps should be movable because turns some useful space into circulation space but would provide good backdrop for nice view both from MBR and when approaching western garden from street or front door.

    It might be worth playing with the position of the path from the carport to improve the view from the sink.

    How about some trees or fencing along the southerly boundary of the property.

  • John

    Unless the owner specifically requested it, I think the plan has too much lawn/patio furniture. I would devote the side yard to grass and trees — get rid of the furniture and fence. I like the back yard plan, but I’d remove the two lawn chairs.

  • John Brown


    Your suggestion of introducing a storage shed of some kind is an excellent idea.

    Rather than being a detriment, a built structure like this could be a great addition to the design and used to define space, provide privacy and improve the look and feel of the garden. For an example of what this could mean (as a higher end solution) check out Modern Shed –

  • John Brown

    It is really interesting to see that you are translating the floor plan into a three dimensional experience. This is not an easy thing to do because of the extreme abstraction of a floor plan. You have taken the Christopher Alexander book to heart!

    I always encourage clients and students towalk through the plan in their head, thinking about what they see when the walk in a room, stand at a counter, lay in a bed, or sit in a chair. It is the best way to think of the design as a “lived experience”.

  • John Brown

    Good point about the furniture. I guess it is a holdover from my professional work. I like to show clients a range of options in the first concept design and then have the conversation about which pieces they would like and need.

  • Brad W

    Paul C – I really liked the interior and landscape you did for the Veals. I must admit I have a soft spot for home theatre.

    Murray – good points about storage and Kentucky weather.

    John – I took the liberty of tweaking your design. I changed the position of the front door and closet. I also redid the windows on the dining/living area and the guest room closet. On the outside I added a sleek horizontal fireplace in front of the living room window, expanded the BBQ into an outdoor kitchen, added storage and a spa/bar area. Cheers!


  • John Brown

    Good ideas. The shift in the front entry makes a tremendous difference to both the interior and the exterior. I also like the idea of the fireplace centered on the living room window.

    The bar/spa sounds like fun – maybe a bit weird – but fun.

    I would make a small suggestion about the storage – making it long and wide and opening from the carport side.


  • Louis Pereira

    John – Further to your comment about using Garden Walls – it’s a practise i always look to employ as compelling way to introduce structure into the landscape.

    The Veals project in particular, along with your suggestion of colored Garden Walls (and especially Volker’s entry sequence between the House and Carport) reminds me of Ray Jungles Landscape Architect’s “Island Modern” project in Florida. Note also the similar Pergola idea between the Carport and House as suggested by Terri yesterday – a great way to harness the atmosphere by creating roof plane above.


  • Terri

    Louis, Good to see your presence on site–and your great precedents too. Your examples always make the idea look so much better.

    Vokker–I totally missed the part of your plan that showed water (duh!–now the Koenig reference makes sense!) Cool idea. Walking past water has a calming influence and would be much appreciated by the Veals as they leave their cars and enter their private space.

    Murray- I had no idea that Kentucky could be quite so “inhospitable” with snow in winter and mosquitoes in summer. Sounds like most of Canada, except for us here in smug Victoria. We have wind though, which can put a hamper on outdoors in evening. Guess the Veals definitely won’t want that pond though…

    Brad W-I like the change in entry that you propose and the outdoor kitchen being so much more accessible because of it.

    John B- The wall idea sounds interesting, especially if it is “softened” by plant life. Your modification of Brad’s storage into the carport is where I’d been imagining the storage to be, on the inside. Hopefully that carport is long enough to accomodate it.

    I noticed that most everyone allowed more greenery than I did. I had imagined the climate to be more Mediterranean and had gone for the stone surfaces (that’s what’s worked for me here with a similar summer climate). Goes to show that a person needs to know the environment before designing the outdoor space.

  • Brad W

    Louis – good to hear from you again – always enjoy your design precedents…

    John B – Nice modification on the kitchen/storage area. The spa/bar is not an architectural feature as it is not built in but more of a furnished item. The plan would simply show a stone patio.

  • John Brown

    Thanks for the precedent images. It is interesting how refreshing it is to see a colored wall introduced into a landscape.

  • Elva

    Brad I love the concept of an outdoor fireplace, bylaws permitting. I have seen two, one in Saskatchewan and the other here on the west coast of Canada. Since functionally they extend the seasonal use of the outdoor space I think that the placement should be reconsidered, so that they provide heat to the seating area, as opposed to being viewed fron the interior of the house.

    If visual interest from the living room is desired may I suggest a sculpture, water feature or specialty planting instead.

    The second area I would like to comment on is the use of lawn in some of the spaces. Particularily at the back of the house and along the far side of the carport. I think planted ground cover would work in these areas. I have found that once it is esatblished it requires less upkeep.

    Louis I loved the images of the coloured walls.

  • Louis Pereira

    ^Elva – Excellent points, especially on the use of ground covers. Plants like ‘Lily of the Valley’ (colder climates Zone 3) and ‘Creeping Lily Turf’ (for warmer climates Zone 4) would essentially cover and thrive in those areas you described. And you’re right, less maintenance and drought tolerant…so GREEN in many ways.