Before: Deserted BackyardElle Gougen, Marc Elie and their daughter, Jazmine, love living in New York City. Two years ago they bought the house of their dreams—a brownstone on the Upper West Side. Living in such a fast-paced city, they love their calm and comfortable house. Now they just want to extend this comfort to their yard.
Elle and Marc love their Manhattan lifestyle and their quiet, comfortable house. Now, they just want the yard to match the home. They would love to transform the backyard from a weed-filled patch of dirt into a lush and private refuge.
After: Lush LotTo transform their bland backyard, the couple decides to work with Jim Morgan. He incorporated the rounded shape of the spiral staircase and carried it throughout the yard. At the bottom of the stairs is a flowerbed for Elle and a new barbeque for Marc. A path of blue flagstone leads to the design's focal point — a round stone terrace with a large semi-circular pergola.
Before: A Dirty LandscapeThis newly-engaged couple has another incentive to get their yard into shape — a wedding. Their lot is long and narrow, with tall buildings overlooking it from almost every direction. Up against the back of the house are some utilities that need masking and the neighboring wall needs a little help, too.
After: Peaceful PrivacyThe curved shape of the pergola is repeated at the rear of the property with a circular patch of artificial turf, bordered on one side by a low stone wall that doubles as a bench. The water feature was carefully selected to provide soothing sound. Newly-planted trees and a bamboo fence add immediate privacy from the buildings around and above.