We have a landscape design and installation project in Bridgewater, CT.   When designing the front entrance to the house, I thought it would be a nice touch to add a picket fence.  The thought behind the fence was that it would create an intimate space as well as give a sense of privacy for this corner property that sits close to the road.  When it came time to install the fence, I’ll admit, I didn’t give much thought to its size.  I was more concerned with the layout and style of the fence.  The style was never a question.  Based on the architecture, the fence had to be the colonial style picket fence.  So when it came time to spec the fence, I went with a four foot picket just as I have at many other projects.  The installation was perfect.  It was installed exactly as I had visioned when I originally designed it on the landscape plan.  Even the style looked great but the more I stared at the fence from across the street the more I thought something wasn’t right.  At first, I thought it was just because the fence lacked paint.  Maybe it had just been a long day I told myself.  My first stop the next day was across the street at the same vantage point I ended the day before.  Then it came to me.  It wasn’t the lack of paint and it wasn’t the style of the fence I had an issue with.  The issue was the scale of the fence in relation to the house.  A fence size that has worked so well on so many houses in the past was an issue with this house. The scale of the fence was off for this one story entrance and small courtyard.  I probably could have left it in place and it would have looked just fine but we strive for excellence at Designing Eden.

Before picture

After photo.  The scale of the fence is more in tune with the architecture after being lowered.

This expensive lesson proves that past experiences are helpful to a certain extent but every house, property, landscape design, landscape and client is never the same.  No matter how much I think I know, this project is a reminder that I constantly need to step back and analyze the landscape design as well as the installation until I get it right.  That’s what keeps our clients coming back, it’s why Designing Eden has had two projects in national publications and why I’m able to sleep at night.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Dave Marciniak

    Rich, great reminder of how critical scale is in design (and by extension, how valuable a designer is who gets it). Glad I took my coffee time to catch up on your blog, I’ve missed some great posts!

    • Richard Schipul

      Thanks for the compliment Dave. Yes, I do get it but it was a costly mistake none the less.

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