The tiny town of Yarrow Point, population 1,010, is surrounded on three sides by water. It’s nestled along the eastern shore of Lake Washington, a stone’s throw from big-city neighbor, Bellevue, located just a few miles south.
Nearly three quarters of the homes in this tight-knit community boast expansive water or terrestrial views, and the remaining 25 percent either enjoy water access or are directly on the lake.
SCJ’s Seattle-based landscape architecture studio, Project Groundwork, completed a residential project in Yarrow Point last year. As many lakefront homes do, the site had a challenging slope, but it was no match for a thoughtful design and some earth-moving equipment.
An existing pool terrace was disconnected from the rest of the yard and waterfront. So, SCJ Principal Landscape Architect Mark Garff replaced a retaining wall and view-blocking metal fence at the edge of the pool with a wide, generous stair. The graceful drop-down welcomes guests to a new, bocce-style terrace below, complete with gas fire pit and stunning views.
“From there,” Mark said, “a gentle, winding path leads down to a waters-edge patio with intersecting stone and concrete patterns that create a visually dynamic experience. A small sandy beach and generous lawn complete the space.”
“We used a California-style planting palette,” he explained, “with beach groundcover, perennials and elegant, flowing grasses, then highlighted it with low-voltage, LED outdoor lighting to complete the vacation-home-in-the-city feel.”
Yarrow Point may be in the middle of the Bellevue-Seattle megalopolis, but designs like this make it feel anything but.