Architectural Lighting Design: Post & Beam Home


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Hidden on an old campground outside of Elkhorn, this remarkable home compliments the natural elements of its surroundings. It has several distinctive characteristics, from the mix of materials and textures used, to the old school bell and rain chains.

When the couple began building their home with ARJAY Builders, they requested to work with a landscape lighting company to enhance the architecture. Andrew "A.J." Coleman, our designer, worked with the homeowners and builder to develop the custom architectural lighting design. 

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Architectural Lighting Design

"The owner wanted to softly highlight the architectural features - nothing over the top -  and improve visibility. The home sits on top of a hill near a wooded area. The secluded property was very dark at night," explains Coleman. The house pairs rustic and modern elements, "We wanted the lighting to naturally blend and enhance the different textures and elements they picked."

Coleman strategically uplit the house, creating unique shadowing effects while enhancing the beautiful stonework, wood cedar siding, and clean pitched roofline. A spotlight accents the stone chimney. The brick paved walkway to the front entrance is paired with stone steps to give it a rustic feel, "we staggered path lights to mark the elevation change and safely guide people to the front door."

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Driveway Lighting 

"We have four larger path lights around the circle drive to improve visibility and guide people on the property at night," explains Coleman.

The center island landscape features an old wood log from the campground. "We hid a couple of fixtures in the landscape that highlight the log yet won't blind people as they drive by."

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Grand Old School Bell 

One unique aspect of the home is the grand old school bell elevated by two wooden posts in front of the house. "When the kids are playing outside in the woods, they ring it to signal that it is time to come home for dinner or other things. We highlighted its wooden posts," says Coleman.

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Wood Burning Fire Pit Area in the Backyard

Outside of the screened-in porch, a walking path leads to a sunken fire pit surrounded by boulders and log stumps for sitting.

Path lights mark the walking area to improve nighttime safety. "We have an uplight on the cottonwood tree in the distance and another one highlighting the woodwork on the screened-in porch," Coleman says, "It provides just enough light to guide you around the backyard and adds to the ambiance as you use the outdoor space. You don't want too much competing light when the fire is going."

The walking path continues around the backyard to a gate in the pool area.

More fire pit lighting ideas»

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Lighting the Backyard

In the backyard, "we installed a light on the fence by the gate handle, uplit the house, and have a path light by the stone bench and wooden barrel," says Coleman. "It gets a little light around the pool area to make it safer at night."

More on lighting for pool safety» 

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Decorative Rain Chains

In addition to traditional gutter downspouts, the home has three rain chains which are a decorative and effective alternative.

Rainwater flows down to provide a multi-sensory experience to an otherwise still outdoor area. They are visible from the fire pit area and from inside the home. "We illuminated them from the base up to enhance their unique character and charm."

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"We wanted to create a lighting design they love," says Coleman, "which is what we do for every client. They wanted a simple design that enhanced the architecture of their home yet met their safety needs."

Video Tour of the Landscape Lighting Design

Watch the video tour above or go to the gallery to see more photos of this stunning home. 

For Coleman, the key to lighting new construction homes includes coordinating the installation of certain components and timing. "It's standard on every project as it helps ensure we can get wire in places we might not otherwise be able to."

Looking to Enhance Your Property?

Our dedicated team at McKay Landscape Lighting works with you to create a custom landscape lighting design that's unique to your property. From design to installation to service, you can count on our team of experts to make sure you are happy with your lighting system for years to come.

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