Fire & Water
The pool is truly the focal point that ties all these different projects together. “It is the space,” says LeBlanc. “The color, the water—it just transforms the backyard.” Part of what makes this pool so special is the way that LeBlanc has married form and function, creating an accessible space with the patio and pool so beautifully interwoven. “The hardscape and pool has just totally changed the way we use the house,” adds King, who credits LeBlanc and her team for their dedication to the project.
For those inspired to transform their own backyard, “There are always surprises in a project, so be prepared for that,” says LeBlanc. “My advice would be to make sure that all your costs are estimated before you start and that there’s room for contingencies in your budget. Add 10 percent! It’s always important to make sure everything’s planned out ahead of time and to put a good team together.”
It is abundantly clear that LeBlanc took her own advice with this project. Viola Associates flawlessly handled the installation, and Schumacher Companies artistically executed LeBlanc’s vision for the landscape. “It was a complicated project, and I needed a company with excellent masons as well as a talented pool company. Those two are two of the best in the area,” says LeBlanc. AV Lighting finished off the project with a gorgeous lighting design and installation, and Walpole Woodworkers installed the fences. Together, all of these elements yield a transformative design that is a large step—a leap, even—from the kidney pool that originally sat on the property.
For King, the outdoor space is always a work in progress. She certainly is not shy about changing things up. The orange patio furniture has recently been replaced by soft teal cushions accented with pillows covered in a hot pink fabric that King discovered and fell in love with. In her home, design is always evolving, and she’s constantly discovering a new fabric or fun plant to keep her busy throughout the summer months. “In the winter we lose a lot of things, but then we also get great surprises,” she says. “Things evolve and develop—like this year my crop of peonies is unbelievable.”
Even with the ever-changing accents in the space, and the callouts to King’s southern roots—like nautical light fixtures made in New Orleans and the pelican weather vane that sits atop the cupola as a nod to Louisiana—this home maintains some key elements of Cape Cod. Large rhododendrons from the original front yard have been transplanted into the woodland garden, and a lot of the existing vegetation, from lilacs to grand spruce trees for privacy in the backyard, was maintained.
“Sometimes it’s easier to start with a clean slate, but we tried very hard to reincorporate some of the plantings from the old property,” says LeBlanc. “The owners were great and were willing to put in the extra effort to save things—to dig up, store and move many trees and shrubs.”
Long before the “Fire Fountain” was installed outside the Guggenheim, Klein declared, “Fire for me is the future without forgetting the past.” As the vibrant orange sun sets behind the spruce trees in the Kings’ backyard, lighting the modern pool and deck area with a burnt siena orange color, and the flames dance across the stainless steel fire pits, Klein’s vision of a romantic interplay between past and present, between fire and water, comes to life.
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