Spotted in a project by London architecture firm Gundry & Ducker, this slate facade takes a conventional material in a traditional shape and makes it look fresh by keeping the rest of the look clean and modern.
Inspired by the hexagonal slate facades spotted on Georgian and Victorian buildings in the seaside town of Lyme Regis in West Dorset, England, the architects updated the garden facade of this house with a smattering of the same. Since first seeing this project, I’ve noticed the same hexagonal slate shingles on brownstone roofs around Brooklyn and I’m hopeful more neighbors will put the material to use in refreshing ways around my own neighborhood. In the meantime, here’s how to recreate the look in your own backyard:
Above: Hexagonal slate paired with steel-framed windows and doors, a bright white brick wall, and a bluestone patio set the stage for this urban terrace. We’ve sleuthed options so you can replicate the look on your own, including an up-to-date take on the owners’ metal garden furniture and an option for a bountiful crabapple tree of your very own. Photograph by Hufton & Crow for Gundry & Ducker.
Above: The slates used by Gundry & Ducker for the facade are Spanish and sourced from UK slate distributor Cupa. They were cut specially to size for this project. The best option for finding similar slates in the US is to contact a local slate roofing company. Topside Roofing in Washington State has several options. To help along your research: The U.S. General Services Administration has compiled a brief on Slate Shingles with historic preservationists in mind; browse the list of U.S. slate shingle manufacturers to get started.
Above: For the patio, the archtiects sourced gray patio pavers from UK-based Mandarin Stone. Their Mandalay Blue Riven Limestone has a riven–or cracked–texture which makes it naturally slip resistant; £25 per square meter.
Above: For everything you need to know about sourcing bluestone in the US, See Hardscaping 101: Pennsylvania Bluestone. Photograph by Ellen Jenkins.
Above: Double glazed steel windows were chosen for their 1930s look. The architects sourced windows from Clement Windows in the UK. Sometimes critiqued for their energy inefficiency, historic-style steel windows can get a bad rap. The EB24 Range by Clement are designed to match the appearance of historic steel windows, but they’re upgraded with 21st century technology.
For US readers, Euroline offers made-to-order steel windows for a similar look. Finally, if you can get your hands on historic windows from an architectural salvage yard, you might decide to go the DIY route. For the research-obsessed, the National Parks Service has a comprehensive brief on the Repair and Thermal Upgrading of Historic Steel Windows. Photograph by Hufton & Crow for Gundry & Ducker.
Above: On the lefthand wall, the brick wall abutting the terrace is painted in a bright white, providing a clean backdrop for the space. In Meredith’s roundup of White Paint, Farrow & Ball’s All White is the brightest white option and likely the best choice to replicate this look.
Above: The painted iron garden furniture belongs to the owner of this house. The Iron Conservatory Table is a similar option with a slightly updated profile; $1,998 from Terrain.
Above: The matching Iron Conservatory Chair is $348 each from Terrain.
Above: If you ask us, the crabapple tree leaning heavy with fruit over the patio table and chairs completes the look. The Malus ‘Evereste’ is frequently cited as the prettiest of the crabapple trees. In spring it’s covered with fragrant flowers and in the summer it’s ripe with edible fruit, known for use in apple butters and cider. Even better, it’s incredibly disease-resistant. An ‘Evereste’ Crabapple Tree is $24.50 from Raintree Nursery. Photograph from Shutterstock.