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Newton, MA

The homeowners collaborated with Shoplick Landscape Architecture to create a more gracious entry to their home and to widen their existing driveway to accommodate two cars.


Oakwood Road

With the front door set more than 10' above the street, it was a noticeable climb up the existing concrete steps to the home's entry. Shoplick Landscape Architecture proposed reconfiguring the existing straight run of concrete steps into two staggered sets of steps connected by a small terrace. The lower steps were aligned with the home's large front window while the top steps were aligned with the front door. This new layout gives people the chance to linger after climbing the lower steps and enjoy the new garden surrounding the terrace before continuing up to the front door. Shoplick chose different materials for the steps and terrace to help distinguish each part of the entry sequence. The lower steps are built of granite and fieldstone that match the new Pennsylvania Fieldstone sidewalk walls; the top steps are built from white and gray AZEK that clearly identify them as belonging to the house. In between the steps, the terrace is laid with gray concrete pavers.


With careful grading of the house steps and terrace above, Shoplick was able to lower the height of the Pennsylvania fieldstone retaining wall adjacent to the driveway, thereby making it feel less overwhelming than the original concrete wall. The driveway's field of tumbled gray concrete pavers with black accent pavers visually tie it to the black and white color scheme of the house.


The plant beds adjacent to the front façade of the house lie in substantial shade and are therefore planted with shade-loving species such as Japanese Painted Fern, Brunnera, Actaea, and Plum Pudding Heuchera. More sun-loving species are planted around the patio and include Tor Birchleaf Spiraea, Fothergilla, Iris, Walker's Low Nepeta, and Hameln Dwarf Fountain Grass.

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