From the April/May 2020 Issue  

Refined Relaxation with a Casual Vibe in Bergen County NJ

Writer Marirose Krall  |  Photographer Kyle Caldwell  |  Architect Dan D'Agostino  |  Builder Brian Heytink  |  Location Bergen County, NJ  |  Landscape Design John McIntyre  |  Furniture Selection Pamela Joseph
Sitting Room with Casual Vibe

“We tried to maximize seating as much as we could,” designer Pamela Joseph says of the backyard spaces. A seating area next to the fireplace on the covered porch is a cozy spot to watch television.

When it came to their outdoor spaces, the owners of this Bergen County, New Jersey, property were looking for a classic combination: polished surroundings with a casual vibe. “We went with a Hamptons-type feel,” says John McIntyre, owner of Edge Landscape & Construction Corp. in Orangeburg, New York. McIntyre interpreted that look with plant selections that are “loose but tame. They have a natural feel, but they’re not wild and out of control.”

Front Entry with Casual Vibe

Endless Summer® hydrangeas in fluted urns greet visitors at the front door.

Two hydrangeas at the front entry illustrate the natural yet contained aesthetic. The luxuriant shrubs are tucked into identical fluted urns on both sides of the door. Though the flowers and foliage are lush and full, their placement in matching containers provides a pleasing, orderly symmetry.

Dining Table

DINING TABLE | Colorful center­pieces adorn the poolside dining table. Border plantings include ‘Limelight’ hydrangea, ‘Forest Pansy’ redbud, Wine & Roses® weigela and Tiny Wine® ninebark.

Out back, white hydrangeas are featured players in the pool deck border. McIntyre paired them with ninebark, a plant with a footprint that makes it suitable for the thin strip of land. “They stay tall and narrow,” he explains. They’re also a good choice because they tend to hang on to their leaves. Around a pool, McIntyre notes, “you want to make sure you don’t have plants that drop a lot of leaves or flower petals.”

McIntyre planted ornamental grasses in the beds at intervals, relying on their motion to add interest to the landscape. “When it’s breezy, there’s some movement. They give it some life.”

This is a comfortable place for them to enjoy the outdoors together. — Designer Pamela Joseph

Seating Area

SEATING AREA | Ornamental grasses reach above the sectional sofa.

With the landscape set, Pamela Joseph of Pamela Joseph Interior Design in New Milford stepped in to select furnishings and fixtures that would build on the theme. “The client definitely mentioned a number of times that he loves the crispness and the summer feeling of the Hamptons style—a light, clean look.” Light-colored stone pavers surrounding the pool create an airy foundation for the muted color of the teak dining table and chairs and the light gray sectional sofa. Teak cocktail tables in the same tone accessorize the sofa on the pool deck and the seating area on the covered patio. The unfussy, linear teak pieces and subdued textiles allow the organic shapes and colors of the surrounding plants to take center stage.

The covered patio is outfitted with everything the homeowners need to enjoy time spent outdoors—even when nature isn’t at its best. A gas fireplace warms the conversation area, and a television mounted above it adds entertainment to the mix. The cooking area is well equipped with a grill, sink and refrigerator. Clearly, this is a backyard meant for relaxed gatherings. “The family loves having friends over,” Joseph says. “This is a comfortable place for them to enjoy the outdoors together.”