Happy Landings

Dividing this walk into welcoming spaces was a step in the right direction.

Steve Bender
Happy Landings
<b>This circular stone terrace near the front door says that you've arrived. The shape of the circle is repeated in the arc of the steps, softening the entry up to the house.</b>
Ralph Anderson / Styling: Scott Martin

Imagine scaling more than 20 steps from the street to the front door over and over again. You'd have to be a Himalayan mountain guide to enjoy it. Of course, mountain guides rarely come calling in Dallas, so the homeowners here opted instead to make the experience pleasurable for ordinary people. Beckoning landings now partition the walk. They create friendly gathering areas and destinations, while also making the ascent to the door seem less daunting.

Opportunity Knocks
Sloping front yards such as this one are uncommon in the Highland Park section of Dallas. Because these homeowners like to entertain, landscape architect Paul Fields of Lambert Landscape Company took advantage of the unusual grade change to add a series of terraces where people can congregate, pause, and enjoy the views.

Starting from the street, you first arrive at a large stone landing surrounded by lush plantings that include azaleas, hydrangeas, ferns, and seasonal color. An iron bench to the side provides a nice place to sit and glimpse the park across the street. Three steps bring you to a smaller rectangular terrace and a different viewpoint. Ascend four more steps, and you come to a circular stone terrace just a short distance from the front door. Paul chose the circular shape because it provides a sense of order and arrival without being too formal. "It blends the lines of the architecture with the landscape's more natural setting," he explains.