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Create a Floating Effect in the Landscape

In this backyard landscape, each material – metal, wood, concrete, plant, or grass – looks as though it is floating or weightless, hovering above the surfaces around it. At the owner’s entrance, a metal roof floats above the walls, its structure invisible from the garden. Below, the ipé deck drifts above the ground plane, seemingly attached only at the house and cantilevered far into the garden space. Two poured concrete slabs, their white color standing in stark contrast to the dark stain of the deck and steel planter adjacent to them, seem to hang above the grass and gravel plinths on which they sit. Even the planters, separated from other materials by color, texture, and edging of steel, seem to float above the lawn panel.

From Outside the Not So Big House by Julie Moir Messervy and Sarah Susanka (Taunton Press, 2006), page 122. Design by John Ahrens; photo by Grey Crawford.