After three years in Hong Kong, Meredith and Benjamin Jenkins came back to Manhattan re-energized to do a little homework. They had a specific project in mind: Transform their overgrown backyard into a lush hangout.
The Jenkins, both in investment management, wanted to finally make use of space that they simply had ignored before they went away for business. They imagined a place for their three little boys to romp-without worrying that they'd get hurt. A place to grill with friends. And a place to sit and relax, maybe even reflect.
They wanted to create their own oasis in the West Village, their escape from the concrete jungle. And they are not alone. Every year, countless New Yorkers decide to make their homes a little more summer friendly.
The Jenkins set about realizing their remodeling dream with the help of a professional. They hired architect Anne Fairfax to open up their patch of land yet keep it traditional, a complement to their classical-style, three-story home on Charles Street.
"Frankly, the garden was nothing before," Meredith Jenkins said. "We wanted to make it shine and make it an extension of the house."
Fairfax, the managing partner of Fairfax & Sammons Architects, advised the Jenkins on everything from patio furniture to plants. (One choice: crawling ivy.)
"The lushness ... reminds me of our former residence in Hong Kong," said Meredith Jenkins, who politely declined to reveal how much the work cost other than to joke "too much." "It's a wonderful escape from the city."
- Christopher Cameron