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Pleasant Bay provides the perfect backdrop for this jaw-dropping home

In the front, another retaining wall is found along the circular driveway, featuring a charcoal-toned veneer with Belgian block edging. Beyond this wall is a living barrier wall of sorts—layers of trees of varying heights, including 22-foot-tall Radican Cryptomeria, screen against neighboring property and blend in seamlessly with the natural conservation landscape. To achieve the Cape cottage look the homeowners desired, the team incorporated a row of low-growing Hameln grasses along the base of the retaining wall, and hydrangeas and native shrub species tastefully dot the grounds throughout. In the center of the driveway, a River birch tree, a special request from the owner, is illuminated at night as it casts artistic shadows from its unique peeling bark. “That’s a sentimental favorite for me—it was my mother’s favorite tree,” she says. “Whenever I drive up, it’s so nice because it reminds me of my mother—it just gives me a sense of good karma.”

“All in all, it’s been a successful project,” reflects van Steensel. “The owners have been a pleasure to work with,” he adds. “Oh, they’re a true joy,” enthuses Hilferty. “They really take pride in this property, and they wanted to do the right thing in terms of  protecting the land and the water.”

“What I appreciated is how respectful everybody was,” the owner says. Speaking of van Steensel, Hilferty and Sorbello, she adds, “They all love the Cape too, and they want to do right by it, and that came through.”

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