Junior League Tour of Fine Spaces

This year we were a part of the Winston Salem Junior League’s Tour of Fine Spaces.  Ours was the first garden on the tour and I am pleased to say we had a great showing; of the 200 to 300 expected per house, 348 people visited ours.   Foothills Brewery joined us serving up samples of their tasty draughts and delightful nibbles.

This was a great opportunity to put into place what we profess: designing the home and gardens as a singular composition.

Teaming up with Emily Taft Interiors we renovated the family room and show cased the dining room she did for us last year.   The first item we addressed in the Family Room was the treatment to the existing Wormy Chestnut paneling.  We wanted to be sensitive to the wood as it is an extinct species you see in many older Winston Salem homes. The walls were sanded down and rubbed with a watered down grey solid stain.  A satin seal coat was applied to protect the stain creating a patina that compliments the natural color of the wood creating a dynamic color range as the light changes throughout the day.

Emily along with master carpenter Phil Doby designed a classic mantle surround framing the entertainment system.  The mantle was painted white to act as a focal point to the room.  An elongated subway tile and marble hearth in the same color round out the fireplace.   Artfully hung paintings my wife has collected over the years are throughout.  The Adrianne Anderson paintings got rave reviews.  Emily’s use of texture, color, scale and form create a series of unique rooms that blend together seamlessly.   An expansive lawn provides a large area for the kids to play.

I designed the gardens as a series of outdoor spaces.  The front yard is composed of boxwood specimens, boxwood and gardenia hedges, an expansive sweep of lawn, seasonal plantings of hydrangeas, catmint, roses, azaleas and dogwoods.    Once you enter the front door an axial view to the pond with a 24” sphere by Pennoyer Newman greets you and draws you into the family room.  As you approach the back windows the Potager unfolds, you begin to see the tree house and the remaining back gardens.

Many visitors were drawn to the back porch to get a closer look.   Some were compelled to climb into the tree house and one brought her son back to try out the zip line.   The tree house is tucked into the side of an old Magnolia with a series of catwalks, platforms and ladders to scramble on.   A zip line traverses the garden beyond the pond from the tree house down to the back corner of the yard.

As you explore the backyard you discover there is something for everyone.  Seating for two in the Potager with the fire pit is a cozy spot and the sound of the fountains in the background emanating from the pond relaxing.  An armillary rests centrally in the garden and gravel paths entice one to explore the gardens and discover on cross axis a Pennoyer Newman urn that leads you across the yard to the rustic outdoor kitchen.   The Potager provides lettuces, herbs, strawberries and blueberries early in the season and tomatoes and peppers as we move into summer.   I am delighted as our children eat directly from the garden making a closer connection to the earth and discover how some food is grown.

For pictures, go the link to our Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/pages/JALA-LLC-Jeff-Allen-Landscape-Architecture/359992031975

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