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Broomfield Residence

Boulder, Colorado

by Karen Nobbe Stephens, Keystone Hardscapes

Broomfield Residence

The Broomfield Residence in Boulder, Colorado was designed by Designs by Sundown to create an outdoor entertainment space that complemented the home's exterior. Housed within its paver-lined and low wall-enclosed perimeter are a dining and sitting area beneath the upper deck, an intimate area with a concrete fire pit, and a unique "in-ground" water feature that connects to a lounge area outside the master suite. The design involves complex water, fire and integrated LED outdoor and water feature lighting elements.

This larger-scale residential project in the hills of suburban Boulder, Colorado, which includes extensive landscaping of the grounds and an open-concept patio that runs its entire width, was designed and installed by Designs By Sundown based in Littleton, Colorado. The landscape designer, Matthew Underly, worked closely with the owners who wanted to incorporate many features of their previous lake home in Chicago. They envisioned an inviting entrance but a more formal feel to the landscaping, with lush, green lawns and well-manicured plantings. They wanted flowing water to be a key part of the design, with the sound audible from their master bedroom as well as their living spaces, each on separate levels. Designed to exacting requirements, it complements the home's exterior with its natural stone elements and just as important, creates an outdoor retreat and entertainment space.

Creating a design that would satisfy the lengthy list of requirements was not the only challenge to contend with; the patio space must work with and complement the rest of the home. It must also have a design that accommodates the features and drawbacks of the property itself. All challenges ultimately met with communication acumen, expert landscaping skills, and planning that was both careful and detailed. A comprehensive master plan was created for the front yard, backyard and sides with emphasis on the outdoor living area that would connect spaces within the home to the landscape.

The natural stone exterior of the home is Colorado Buff Strip Stone, a high-end rock quarried locally and highly sought-after nationwide by custom home builders. Selection of the patio pavers was a pivotal decision because it is a fundamental aesthetic element, yet there were no flagstone options for the patio that would match the color and texture of this material. Searching for the right paver ended when Keystone HardscapesA(R) (then PavestoneA(R)) could provide a custom color match of the buff strip stone. Its Vintage StoneA(R) paver series was chosen in a Colorado buff blend to ensure the large space coordinated seamlessly with the strip stone and other natural stone used on the home exterior. The paver color and contours also fit with the surrounding terrain of the Boulder area, a semi-arid geography in a basin at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.

Broomfield Residence

Broomfield Residence

In all, 1,200 square feet of Keystone Hardscape's Vintage Stone® paver series were laid. The pavers were selected in a custom-ordered two-tone Colorado buff blend. A four-piece random paver pattern included a giant-size unit (12"x 12"x 2 3/4"H) that as part of the pattern, opens up a largescale project for a more elegant design. The water feature has 7 large, square stepping stones set in an 18-inch deep tile basin traversing the width of the patio. Water flows from the 2 scuppers into the basin.

Paver color, texture and patterns were key to providing the flow and design continuity of the patio. To unify the space, a monochromatic pallet - the color buff - was used throughout, from the patio pavers to the three-foot tall concrete walls along with the matching concrete fire pit. Even the pottery, furniture and dA(C)cor are shades from the same hue, creating sleek lines for a clean, contemporary look.

The visual focal point of the patio is a modern water feature capped with buff flagstone. Underly had to come up with a creative solution that was modern in design and could be positioned near the master bedroom. The designer decided to create a water feature that acted as both a boundary and connector of the two patio sections; on one side of the water is the dining and fire pit space, and the other side provides the illusion of a private patio directly off the master suite. The design was also meant to create a sensation of walking on water. The stepping stones appear to float as water gently spills into the basin from scuppers in the low side walls.

"Great attention to detail resulted in a living space that's open, while still carving out intimate spaces for the owners and their guests," commented Tracy Olson of Designs By Sundown. The landscape project won a Grand Award from the National Association of Landscape Professionals, a testament to the simple sophistication and quiet refuge it inspires.

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February 16, 2020, 9:13 pm PDT

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