Updated Prairie Style

raised garden bed Stapleton

This client wanted to redesign their small front yard and porch with an updated prairie style for their craftsman home. The round columns installed by the builder were the only round element on the front elevation and they disliked the traditional white porch railing and steep, uninteresting composite wood steps with a railing.

The round columns were replaced with new square columns with simple, clean lines more in keeping with the door, exposed rafters and multi-pane windows.  When the fiberglass columns were removed and the structural posts exposed, a sag in the posts was revealed and a structural engineer was brought in to replace them and reinforce the porch ceiling before new trim was added.  To add a more contemporary look, the vertical wood railing on the porch was replaced with stainless steel rods run horizontally with a matching sliding porch gate to contain the family dog.  The existing composite wood steps were redesigned to be more gradual and reflect the long, low horizontal lines typical of the prairie style.  Natural local stone laid in an ashlar pattern replaced the composite wood and stainless steel lights were installed in the risers. A stone wall was added across the front of the porch with the same feel as the steps and the ground level beds were outlined with stone edging.

Plantings included symmetrical massings of ornamental grasses and low perennials and groundcovers with interesting textural foliage that repeat the horizontal line of the prairie land and sky.

The backyard, redesigned several years prior to the front reflects a consistent style and use of  materials.

Note: This project won a first place 2013 C.A.R.E. Award for Landscape Remodeling. The CARE awards (Colorado Awards for Remodeling Excellence) are sponsored by the Homebuilder’s Association of Metro Denver.

Client Testimonial:
“Sarah worked with us in completely remodeling our front and back yards – plants and hardscape. She provided lots of great ideas and worked with us in modifying the design until we were all happy with it. We have had SO many compliments on the finished product. We would work with her again!” – Jen Tryggestad