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No-frills Yard Transformed into Eclectic Multi-Level Oasis

No-frills Yard Transformed into Eclectic Multi-Level Oasis

When it comes to renovating your home, the interior is the tip of the iceberg. The best renovations transform a space inside and out, ensuring a seamless transition between the interior and exterior areas.

The Scudder residence is a stunning older house located in the Old West Side of Ann Arbor. With its lilac exterior and generous outdoor space, it’s a striking home with a lot of potential. Last year, the Scudder family totally remodeled the house, and decided it was time to treat their outdoor space to the same. They called Lotus for help.

With total transformation in mind, we decided to redesign both the front and back of the property, focusing on the entry and driveway, patio area, and lower yard. The Scudders wanted a creative, eclectic environment that could facilitate both older relatives and pets, and continue the quirky aesthetic established inside the property.

The Lotus team created a sweeping entry and driveway using bluestone and original antique brick procured from the house during renovation. This custom design set the tone for the rest of the property.

On the backside of the house, our team had to find a solution to the heavily graded landscape. Rather than try to level it, we decided to make a unique feature out of the slope. We built a tiered retaining wall from large natural stones, creating three distinct levels for a multi-functional space.

On the uppermost level, we constructed a porch and patio area, providing an accessible transition between the back of the house and the landscape. One level down we installed a flat stone terrace, bordered by native shade plantings to complement the existing trees. On the lower level we created a lush grassy area, perfect for the family pups. We also added a custom-made fence to prevent any escapes. To make the steps more accessible, we fashioned a playful handrail from downed tree limbs, which complimented the nearby plantings.

In addition to these hardscapes areas, we also focused on introducing fresh native plantings to the landscape. Using a combination of sun and shade-loving species, we created pockets of color that will continue to evolve with the landscape.

This project was a collaboration between designers Lauren (plantscape) and Traven (hardscape). It took the talents of many crews, including the maintenance team that keeps the landscape looking fabulous year-round!

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