WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2012

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Dashing thoughts of outdoor parties in New England conjure images of formal brick or bluestone patios rolling into thick carpets of high-heel hungry lawn. "The deck in New England is really a California solution to 'what now?'" says Tom Wilhelm of landscape design firm a Blade of Grass. In California, homeowners build decks onto houses perched on the edges of canyons and ravines, places where a lush patch of bluegrass and fescue would make as much sense as a bighorn sheep behind a Massachusetts barbecue. In New England, a well-planned deck can also resolve tricky grading issues and provide a neat, clean segue from the house to the great outdoors. Whether building a new deck onto an existing home or into a bluff at the lake or on the beach, a little legwork in the planning stage can be the difference between an obvious afterthought (or worse, a town offi- cial demanding removal of a brand new structure) and the perfect place for years of sunset cookouts. Ask the seemingly obvious question first: What's the deck for? Tricky Topography Hilly properties or homes with basement walkouts needn't settle on a crows-nest perch of a deck fifteen feet in the air. Landscape architect Dan Gordon of Dan K. Gordon Associates, Inc. sees a series of decks as a great opportunity for achieving creative spaces at different eleva- tions. If there's too much altitude between your back door and your backyard, step it down. Build a deck off the main level of the house linked by a half set of stairs to a lower level, and then another half staircase down to a terrace. With a rooftop style drainage system, the space below a high deck can become a perfect hideaway for swinging chairs, hammocks, or a picnic table lit by fairy lights. Get creative with rainwater funneled into a water feature. 30 WellesleyWeston Magazine | summer 2012

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