A simple fence helped produce this secluded oasis.
With its sleek linear form surrounded by massive vine maple trees, Sharen McLean and Mark Derraugh’s house on a quiet street in Vancouver feels like a faraway escape in the heart of the city. Yet until recently, the landscaping was “lackluster” and didn’t fall in line with the modernity of the house, says Sharen’s daughter, Andrea McLean, an architectural designer with her own practice who is working toward becoming registered. “The front yard was literally just a way to get from their cars to the front door,” she explains. “And the backyard was in such bad condition, they didn’t want the grandkids playing out there.”
After spending the previous 15 years slowly renovating the home’s interiors, Andrea tackled the front yard in 2013, starting with a Western red cedar fence that both visually encloses the whole space and keeps the grandchildren—including her own kids—safe from the street.
A mass of rhododendrons was replaced with a wood seating platform next to a patch of easy-care artificial turf, and such traditional touches as topiaries and boxwoods were removed. “It was all about taking out finicky things that didn’t serve us,” says Andrea, who tied the new fence and house together with a coat of midnight-black stain.
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