A place to gather for friends and family
The next phase of the project began with an area that had originally been designated for barbecuing and dining. After some laughs and examination of spirit, the space instead became a whimsical tiki bar. Throughout the entire project, as Miskovsky and the Baryskis became closer, the family’s nostalgia for John Baryski, Olya’s husband who passed away several years ago, always influenced the discussion of how the property could best be used. Thus it was determined that the tiki bar would be named in honor of Johnny. Miskovsky immediately thought of a local Falmouth artistic talent who would be perfect to craft the custom signage. “Paul told me about an artist who could make a sign so it looked like the transom of a boat—Ronnie Reasonover. Paul made the introduction and Ronnie nailed it. My father would have loved it!” Paul Baryski says.
Miskovsky, who some consider to be an artist himself when it comes to his talents working with stone in his landscapes, identified a substantial six-foot piece of Goshen stone to serve as the bar top. Off of the bar, a peastone area was identified for an oversized fire pit surrounded by a comfortable seating area. “It was tricky,” recalls Miskovsky. “You want a fire pit that can keep you warm on cool summer nights, so I had to find one that threw enough heat. Then we realized we didn’t have enough gas service for a pit that large. So we brought a new gas line in from the street, through the house and out the other side. There was a lot of wrangling to pull everything together like we had planned.” Ultimately Miskovsky ended up with a project that utilizes 450,000 BTUs, through a 2-inch gas line.
The improvements didn’t stop there. Another mammoth piece of Goshen stone was identified that Miskovsky says would take the heat of this customized pit. He and his crew shaped the stone into a 6-foot top with a 24-inch opening, placing it upon a dry-laid, stacked stonewall in order to provide enough air for the fire to breathe. Additional oversized Goshen stone pavers contrast against clamshell fill, while also setting the mood of a relaxed beachside setting.
Paul Baryski says that he added a bit of technology to the project with his introduction of a fully wired outdoor Sonos audio system. “There is a gentle wave of sound across the property, that even-tempered sort of background music you get when you are at a resort.” Another subtle component is the extensive lighting found throughout the garden and pathways. “It fundamentally changed our relationship with the property. There was never a reason to go outside at night, but now, between the fire pit that Paul built, the lighting, the music and the bar, it has created usable space well into the night,” he says.
“My parents were fortunate to find this property when it was affordable and build this home just over 30 years ago,” he adds. “The landscape choices we have made and implemented enable people to spend quality time together. Everything that we were able to dream up, Paul Miskovsky would figure out a way to do it and make it happen.”
The special friendship extends to the entire family. Olya says everyone involved put their stamp on the project. “My son Paul, my daughter-in-law Leah, my other son Andrew, Miskovsky’s whole crew and even my sweet husband, everyone is a part of this project. And Paul Miskovsky, although he was an artist with a specific vision for our yard, he was always accommodating and flexible during the project, and now he is a close friend of our family.”
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