This alternative for the front entry space has the same major front entry space as Option B, with several modifications. The central viewing garden provides for a more permanent access. It consists of an alternating pattern of stone paving and annual flower beds with a narrow central stone walk. The ornamental urn, on center with the bay window, is set apart with a brick paved area and a low wrought-iron railing. The southernmost portion of the garden focuses on a specimen ornamental shrub, a background of higher shrubs, a large bed of annual color or ground cover adjacent to it, and a curved hedge to reflect the front entry wall.
Front Entry Plan—Option B (Figure 14-41, top left drawing)
This alternative for the front entry space offers the following. A low, curved, stone retaining wall provides a visual accent to the entry. The entry space and top step are each composed of a central brick pattern edged with a wide band of stone. A low, curved hedge is used to reflect the arc of the wall. The central viewing garden consists of a lawn panel for access and an ornamental urn centered on the bay window. The southern portion of the garden focuses on a small grove of ornamental trees adjacent to a formal lawn panel. This formal lawn panel also has a low, curved hedge to balance and reflect the front entry wall.
Entertaining Area—Option B (Figure 14-42, top right drawing)
This alternative for the entertaining area offers the following. An overhead arbor is incorporated to provide shade and ground pattern adjacent to entry in this space. This arbor is supported by two special architectural columns. A grill is centered at the end of this arbor for easy access from the house. The major table is placed nearer to the mantel wall, creating easier access through this space. A small ornamental fountain is centered on one of the accesses into the space, with paved access on each side. Additional lawn area for play is provided in lieu of the potted garden. This might serve as an early phase of design, with the potted garden following in later years.
Lawn and Garden Area—Option B (Figure 14-42, bottom left drawing)
This alternative for the lawn and garden area offers the following. The entrance to the formal vegetable/herb garden has a less formal character than that shown in the master plan. A curved paved area coupled with a curved planting bed make for a softer transition into the garden. The formal garden has a different pattern for paved access. The backyard is simplified. There is no walkway around the lawn, making for a more passive lawn space. A series of large shade trees is designed with an alternating pattern of flower beds and shrubs to add variety and rhythm along the property line and fence. Overhead arches and trellises are used to provide for a prominent rose garden along the walkway.
This chapter was developed to encourage designers to continue exploration in developing alternative design ideas. There are many ways to solve any given design problem. Although it is often quite easy to imagine a solution very early in the design process, it is strongly encouraged that additional effort be put forth to pursue ideas that are different from those first conceived. One idea can never be objectively evaluated unless there are others to compare it with regarding function, form, pattern, materials, and so on. Developing a series of design ideas at the preliminary stage of design is extremely helpful to the clients. With a variety of potential design solutions facing them, they are often impressed with the thought and attention given to their project. In addition, some of these solutions are often different from any they have imagined. This is always good for the designer, as the client will usually see the value in such steps of the process and will, more often than not, feel better about selecting a particular designer. Although developing alternatives does take time, and time is money, it is important to eventually build enough time into a design contract to allow for such important design studies.
As seasoned professionals, we are thoroughly convinced that alternative design development is a powerful growth tool for the designer, as well as a valuable sales tool in dealing with current and future clients.