This new home was constructed on a ridge of land overlooking the Sakonnet River in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The Arts-and-Crafts style home has details reminiscent of a barn and sits amidst a working farm. We were part of the preliminary design team, working in tandem with the architect to site the home. A 100 year old beech tree was an integral component of the house location. Careful arboriculture studies of the tree allowed us to locate the house close enough to the tree to appreciate it as part of the design, but not damage it in any way. The glass doors of the great room now look out onto this majestic specimen.
The back of the house, facing the stunning river view, has a simple banded bluestone terrace with stonedust paths through borders of heather, catmint and lavender. A stone wall, several feet in height, runs the entire length of the house creating a platform for the house to sit on and view the meadow and river beyond. Steps through the wall lead to a mown path through the meadow creating a serene walk.
The driveway and house front are rustic, in keeping with the barn style home. Weathered fieldstone instead of cut stone are used for the front walk reminding one of the informality of the site and house. A green japanese maple, transplanted from elsewhere on the site, overhangs the front walk and an adjacent sitting area off the great room. Four Sargent crabapples (Malus sargentii) set in a simple lawn soften the facade of the garage. This is not a home for the typical foundation planting.