Overlooking idyllic Narragansett Bay, this summer retreat in Jamestown, Rhode Island, needed a landscape worthy of its spectacular views. The homeowners turned to Katherine Field and Associates to enhance and preserve their property’s natural vegetation and conservation land, as well as create a serene space for outdoor entertaining.
LANDSCAPE DESIGNED BY Katherine Field & Associates
Kate Field, associate Ray Maiello, and their team, transformed the landscape with native plantings that provide year-round interest, accented with summer-blooming perennials for bursts of color during the months when the house is used most. They designed a graceful bluestone terrace to envelop the back of the home, complete with a spa, polished bluestone fountain, and an outdoor kitchen featuring custom teak cabinets. A second terrace with a custom fieldstone firepit makes an inviting spot for informal gatherings on cool nights. For added interest, the team designed a third terrace, paved in a bluestone mosaic that circles a three-dimensional armillary sphere set on a hand-carved stone pedestal. Sustainable, natural materials throughout the property, such as stone retaining walls and cedar fencing, further define and enhance the landscape, while energy-saving fiber optic lighting elegantly illuminates the terraces after dusk.
Beauty is in the details. For the metalwork on the gates and terraces, Field and her team found inspiration on the property. “There were some cattails present on the site that the client really liked,” says Maiello. Working with Newport Forging and Welding, Field and the team designed cast-bronze railings, door latches and knobs to echo the look and movement of cattails and native grasses. “The color of the bronze as it darkens and patinas complements the colors of the stone walls and other natural materials on the property,” says Maiello. Elsewhere in the yard, artful rings on a custom handrail (also carved on the stone pedestal) reflect the clients’ fondness for bamboo. “Our clients find something they love, and we can design exactly what they want,” Maiello says. “It completely personalizes the space.”
Other finely-conceived details that ease the transition between home and landscape include custom covers for the outdoor audio system, fabricated with a bronze mesh backing that conceals the speakers and washes with soft light in the evening. “We get down to the small details that no one else really sees, but we always have our eye on the grander scheme of how a space fits within the environment,” says Maiello.
Since the landscape design was part of a larger renovation, Field and her team collaborated closely with the project’s architect, builder, interior designer, and craftsmen to meet an aggressive schedule and create a landscape in harmony with the exterior and interior spaces of the home. Known for client service, the firm worked with the clients throughout the process, from initial meeting and review of sketches, to providing estimates, choosing plantings, and refining each feature.
This Jamestown home now offers a pastoral respite for taking in the views and relaxing with friends and family, with environmentally-sensitive plantings and elements that reflect the home’s warmth and character and, above all, bring out the property’s natural beauty.