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Garden Visit: At Home with Architect Kelly Haegglund in Mill Valley, CA

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Garden Visit: At Home with Architect Kelly Haegglund in Mill Valley, CA

March 6, 2017

When Mill Valley, California-based architect Kelly Haegglund designed a modern farmhouse for her own family, she married contemporary and classic details: the house has a peaked roof, covered porches, and a picket fence.

The result was so visually pleasing that when it was time to design the outdoor spaces, she performed variations on the theme, installing a hammock for naps, tall hedges for privacy, and a velvety green lawn that pays homage to 20th-century suburbia…except for the fact that the grass is artificial. Let’s take a closer look:

Photography by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.

Curb Appeal

A picket fence built of \2-by-\2-inch pieces of clear cedar and a standing-seam metal roof are a nod to classic farmhouse style.
Above: A picket fence built of 2-by-2-inch pieces of clear cedar and a standing-seam metal roof are a nod to classic farmhouse style.

“One of the interesting effects of this design is that the fence appears almost solid from certain angles then opens up as you look straight on,” says Haegglund. The natural wood pickets blend seamlessly with a solid cedar backyard fence.

A glass panel in the front door allows sunshine to stream into the house and, if you are standing indoors and  looking out, &#8\2\20;the door doesn&#8\2\17;t block the view,&#8\2\2\1; says Haegglund.
Above: A glass panel in the front door allows sunshine to stream into the house and, if you are standing indoors and  looking out, “the door doesn’t block the view,” says Haegglund.

The paint color on the front door is Benjamin Moore’s Dark Lime, which Haegglund chose because “it’s modern, and a complement to the greens and purples in the garden.”

Neutra Modern House Numbers are available in two sizes and three finishes including aluminum (shown) and are on sale for from \$\2\2.95 to 33.\15 depending on size from Design Within Reach.
Above: Neutra Modern House Numbers are available in two sizes and three finishes including aluminum (shown) and are on sale for from $22.95 to 33.15 depending on size from Design Within Reach.
Planted against the foundation of the house, purple salvia serves the purpose of a low hedge—but with an airier appeal than shrubbery.
Above: Planted against the foundation of the house, purple salvia serves the purpose of a low hedge—but with an airier appeal than shrubbery.

Back Garden

A covered porch provides shade and looks out onto a back garden with an emerald green lawn. To save water in drought-plagued California, Haegglund installed artificial turf.
Above: A covered porch provides shade and looks out onto a back garden with an emerald green lawn. To save water in drought-plagued California, Haegglund installed artificial turf.
Architect Kelly Haegglund planted a layered garden, relying on different shades of green and foliage textures to create a sense of depth in the garden beds that edge the perimeter of her backyard.
Above: Architect Kelly Haegglund planted a layered garden, relying on different shades of green and foliage textures to create a sense of depth in the garden beds that edge the perimeter of her backyard.
The key to making artificial turf look its best is to make sure all the rolls come from the same dye lot, says Haegglund.
Above: The key to making artificial turf look its best is to make sure all the rolls come from the same dye lot, says Haegglund.
Above: To cover the backyard, three rolls of artificial turf were required, with two seams. “You want minimal seams,” says Haegglund.
In the far corner of the garden is a hammock.
Above: In the far corner of the garden is a hammock.

Are you on the fence about the Pros and Cons of Artificial Turf? See more of our favorite projects featuring artificial grass:

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