Q: The yoga room. Tell us about the inspiration behind those ground-level windows in that shed makeover.
We quickly learned that Ann and Tony were meditators and yogis, so we wanted to turn that shed out back into a yoga room.
I first learned yoga in Bali, in Indonesia. And so I based the design on my experience in Bali. I wanted to turn that shed into my interpretation of a Southern Hemisphere Balinese yoga pavilion, only in the chillier climate of the Northern hemisphere.
I thought "how am I going to give them the experience of a Balinese yoga pavilion but still have it closed off to the elements and comfortable?" It turns out that they had a series of tall windows stored in a shed, so I took those windows and laid them on their sides at the bottom of the wall to force their gaze down into the garden. It gives them privacy on the top half of the wall, and on the bottom half of the wall, they have these garden viewing windows — which is exactly what the Japanese do.
Q: Tell us about that plant tapestry between the deck and yoga pavilion—what’s the design principle behind this?
I used some Aucuba and Japanese maples, some of those beautiful variegated hostas, and heucheras to bring the magenta in. So it was a real burst of foliage color contrast. I like to paint with the plant foliage rather than wait for flowers. I use Picturata Aucuba all the time in part- and full-shade areas because that vivid gold foliage really brightens the landscape.
WHY IT WORKS: The yoga room brings the garden view inside in an unexpected way, and by using foliage instead of flowers for excitement, the garden view will always look beautiful year round.