Design Diary: Hurry It’s Lovely Up Here

One of the rare treats of this apartment is a fantastic city garden. Measuring 50 x 30 feet, it’s actually bigger than the apartment itself. And every room faces onto it. I had a simple concept for the garden. I wanted it to be clean, modern, and very architectural– enhancing the spirit of the apartment itself. We enlisted Paul Harness of Plant Specialists who came up with a fantastic scheme.

There were a few inherent problems. Light is an issue. Paul analyzed the space to figure out what will grow best and in what location.

There is an ugly fence on the West Side that we can’t change. He suggested a great fence to place in front of it made of horizontal knotty cedar boards. We are also creating an area behind the fence to hide the air conditioning units and for storage.

New fencing concept

The blue-stone pavers were laid in an  ugly random pattern. Paul is sorting them and laying them in varied “stripes” in a great modern way.

The center will have birch trees that form a custom-designed personal park. Other areas include chaise lounges to read and sun, and a dining area for dinner parties. He selected beautiful vertical trees for the Eastern wall.

Birch trees

Trees for Eastern Wall

One of the most unique features is a huge mirror that will extend the western view of the garden and double the size of the planting.

Lighting throughout will create a great mood from every window in the apartment.

The client also asked for a swing for the grandchildren. Paul found this minimalist piece that will have rubber chips underneath so they don’t get hurt.


Rubber chips

Construction started on the garden this week as you can see in the photos.

Plan by Plant Specialists

Before Photo showing existing fence

Before shot of East WallLaying out the new “park”

Week one in the garden

Proceeding apace


They have taken out the lower walls under the existing windows. There are all being replaced by sliding doors. You can see how open the apartment becomes and the visual flow from inside to outside.


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