Boyd & Heidrich – Landscape Architects
John Watson – Lighting
One of my favorite houses in one of my favorite neighborhoods is this Robert Johnson Perry designed home in Mayflower Estates. Emilie and Phillip Schepps originally owned a home across the creek on three acres which allowed them to carve out a creek ledge on the corner of the lot and build a home. This small piece of land on a dramatic ledge enjoys the views of the creek and the several adjoining acres of landscaped flood plain. Part of the solution to this incredibly small building footprint was a 60 foot long by 6 foot wide footbridge to the front door (see blog post on bridge houses).
Part of this home’s appeal is its scale. It is right across the street from a private lake and extensive gardens of a 15 acre estate home. This small Robert Johnson Perry home holds it own with the large neighboring estate properties because of the way it conquers its site and setting. One looks across the bridge and face of this cantilevered home and sees it as if it is floating above the creek that gently moves through a wide band of groomed grass and trees off into the distance.
The Schepps, who also had a home in France, loved French furniture and detail which they collected and had recreated in this home. Robert Johnson Perry was such a brilliant choice to design the house because while this home has a distinct French influence, it is at its heart a classically modern home, with perfect dimensions, open rooms and tall floor to ceiling windows with oversized panes capturing the loveliness of the site. Architects who design predominantly eclectic style home are far more prone to follow religiously the design of European predecessors, giving less energy to the actual site. Robert Johnson Perry, like every good modernist, created this home specifically for the site and allowed the site to have an equal or greater voice in the outcome.
While endless views are enjoyed from the footbridge and the living room, dining room and master bedroom, the kitchen and breakfast room look out onto an enchanting herb garden with a stone wall backdrop, sporting plants in this vertical stone garden.
Landscape architects Boyd & Heidrich utilized native shrubs and plants long before this approach to landscape was fashionable. A linear stand of magnolias further protect the rear of the house with verdant verticality. Phillip and Emilie Schepps were great clients with sophisticated taste who retained the best: architect Robert Johnson Perry, landscape architects Boyd & Heidrich, interior designer Ben Read III, lighting designer John Watson, stone worker Henry “Chief” Benson