Historic Stillwater MN Home on the St. Croix River

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Front Entry Mortared Posts

Front Entry Before and After

This historic 1887 home in Stillwater, MN looking over the St. Croix River was really an honor to do the landscape design and installation for.  Even though this home had a facelift (Architecture by SALA Architects), when you arrive at this home it feels untouched. From the peaceful views to the enormous trees that have been on this property for years.

When you drive up to this house we wanted it to feel like it was a step back-in-time. Imagine yourself arriving by horse and buggy.  The front yard mortared stone columns mimic the dramatic peaks on the house.  They also are what hold and support the front gate and front metal fencing.  The front gate and fencing is partial custom, along with stock fencing.  We wanted a dramatic curve in the fencing.  So we designed it and had a local metal fabricator, Metalsmith’s Designs, create it for us.

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Before Front

We arrived on site once the interior remodel was well under way. This was the blank slate of the front yard we had to work with.  The home is such a statement piece along with the views from the backyard of downtown Stillwater and the St. Croix river.  It was exciting to dream of what this home had looked like and the history of the families that lived there!

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Front Yard Mortared Post

The peeks on the front of the home were such a dynamic piece of the architecture that we want to pay homage to, but also not take your eyes way from them. We came up with a similar design with the two mortared stone columns – this would also be the place to install a mailbox, address sign, and the year the home was built.  To resemble a roof, we used cut bluestone pieces.

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Front Entry Mortared Posts Installed

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Front Entry Metal Curved Fencing

Here you can see the dramatic custom curved fencing that Metalsmith Designs made for us. It added a unique and custom addition to this custom historic home.

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Front Entry

For the walkway we used an old cobblestone paver to mimic what may have been there in the 1800’s.

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Front Entry with Metal Fencing

Most of the plant material is low-profile, not to take away from the home’s architecture, except for the two pink flower crab trees (Velvet Pillar) on each sides of the columns.  Velvet Pillar’s are a dramatic spring flowering tree.

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Front Entry Mortared Posts2

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Backyard Bluestone Terraced Patio

Backyard Before and After

The backyard and terraced bluestone patio were designed around the amazing views from the house. There is a blue-chip rock side walkway from the side yard patio that easily brings you from the front and side yard to the back. When you walk out the back patio door there is a wood deck which bring you down to a bluestone terraced patio. The bluestone patio and home are both retained with limestone walls and a variety of plantings. We chose the light color of the limestone walls to keep it light and airy.  The bluestone patio has varied earth-tone colors that complement the yellow on the home and the blue of the river.

It was also important for the backyard to remain open for the views and additional yard space for the kids to run around on.

We added bronze Gardenstone planters from Twisted Elements to add a pop of color on each column.  Once they are planted they will add some height to the low profile area.

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Backyard Bluestone Terraced Patio1

The view!

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Before Back of House

This shows the before image of the intense grade we had to bring up and retain with soils, limestone retaining walls, and the bluestone patio.

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Construction on Limestone Retaining Walls

Our crew installing the base levels of the retaining walls.

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Construction on Limestone Retaining Walls 1

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Backyard Wood Deck Installation

Walls and part of the bluestone patio are completed and now the wood deck and stairs are installed.

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Backyard Bluestone Installation

The rest of the bluestone is ready to go in!

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Backyard Bluestone Terraced Patio2

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Backyard Bluestone Terraced Patio 1

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Window Well Fencing

A before and after photo of the simple touches.  We added a matching fence and gate around the egress window well for safety.

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Before side window well

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Side Patio and Walkway

Side Yard Before and After

The side yard is what leads you to the garage, but we wanted to make it as important as the rest of the home since you see it from the entrance way.  We continued the use of the cobble stone street paver for the walkway and smaller bluestone patio off of the kitchen.

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Before Side Yard

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Side Patio and Walkway1

Historic Stillwater Minnesota Remodel Landscaping_Front Entry Balcony

This historic Stillwater home in Minnesota is revived and ready to take on another 100 years!