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Northshore Home Summer 2018

Northshore Home magazine highlights the best in architectural design, new construction and renovations, interiors, and landscape design.

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90 Homeowners Greg Slama and Christina Pusswald began the quest to transform their 1.5-acre backyard in North Reading with a simple Internet search. "They found us online after doing their research, and called us and said, 'We'd like to put in a swimming pool,' and that's how the conversation started," explains Rus- sell Stott, landscape architect and partner at Andover Landscape Design and Construction, the firm respon- sible for the project. "And, a portion of their backyard was relatively flat, and it was just an open lawn with a couple of random trees, and there was really nothing to it. There wasn't any programmed space at all." To create a seamless transition between the exist- ing contemporary house and the new outdoor space, Stott meticulously hand-rendered plans complete with the five crucial elements on the couple's wish list for entertaining family and friends: a swimming pool, a large deck, a hot tub, a lounge area with a fire pit, and a sun deck. Stott also strategically considered the home's exterior, down to the roof shingles he helped the couple select and the paint color "Galveston Grey" by Benjamin Moore. His design formula for the modern backyard in- cluded classic New England materials such as bluestone pavers, an 18- by 36-foot rectangular swimming pool with three tiered modern steps, a teak outdoor shower (an existing piece owned by the couple), and a hot tub wrapped in natural cedar with a privacy fence to match. "We sunk the hot tub into the framing of the deck, which reduced the overall height and kept the sight lines from the home's interior intact." But I also had it wrapped in a similar cedar; it's just a subtle change in the dimension, and it gives it a finished integrated look," says Stott. "For this contemporary project, it was all about pulling clean lines from the architecture and repeating the pattern of these clean lines in the design, and even the bluestone paving itself; I designed it to be this running bond pattern —a custom, 8-inch, 12-inch, and 16-inch pattern. It's linear and everything comes off these parallel, orthogonal lines." The refined and linear design continues with mini- malistic plantings such as 'Karl Foerster' feather reed grass, 'Walker's Low' nepeta, and 'Nikko Blue' hydran- gea. "It's a restricted palette and it's planting in masses, so it's not 15 different plants in a plant bed, it's one plant, but 15 of them," says Stott. "So, those tall grasses really start to add a backdrop and define where the Stott's design formula for the modern backyard included classic New England materials such as bluestone pavers and an 18- by 36-foot rectangular swimming pool with three tiered modern steps.

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