Villa Landscapes Designer wins 2019 Hardscapes North America Award

Kelly O'Donahue, award-winning landscape designer

Kelly O'Donahue, a landscape designer with Villa Landscapes, received recognition for her landscape and hardscape design at a historic home on “Cream of Wheat Row” in Minneapolis at the 2019 Hardscape North America Awards, produced by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI).

The award for vintage installation was presented to hardscape manufacturer Willow Creek™ Paving Stones, a member of ICPI, at the Hardscapes North America show Oct. 17 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. HNA awards honor top residential and commercial hardscaping designs for walkways, patios, pool decks, outdoor kitchens and living spaces, and driveways as well as commercial plazas and streets.

Paver driveway at historic Minneapolis home

Originally built by a Cream of Wheat company co-founder, the home had the original driveway and portico that were meant for horse and buggy. Vehicles could not easily pass through the portico, so the project included moving an embedded boulder that was used originally as a step for horse-and-carriage passengers. Kelly's design needed to reflect the 1902 home’s character while enhancing accessibility.

For the driveway and sidewalks, Kelly selected Willow Creek Paving Stones Cobblestone pavers for their old-world, classic appearance, which recalls the paving stone streetscapes of the past. Two colors, Charcoal Blend and Harvest Blend, were combined to accentuate the exterior limestone and colors in the porch tile and window trim of the home. Sailor and soldier courses of Cobblestone in Prairie Tan and Charcoal Blend were added for contrasting borders. VERSA-LOK step units were used in the sidewalk for their natural stone appearance.

She also chose the VERSA-LOK Harmony retaining wall system, which combines VERSA-LOK Standard and Cobble wall units, for its ability to create a tight radius without creating a hazard so that vehicles can navigate the tight curve of the driveway. The Weathered™ texture was chosen for its historic, hand-hewn appearance to complement the existing limestone. The Charcoal Blend color was selected to match colors in the paver surface.

“The homeowner is very pleased with the project features, especially the flow of the driveway, the choice of colors and the intersection of the walkways,” says O’Donahue. “Our design philosophy is to meet the homeowner’s needs and desires, and to reflect the home’s personality and its relationship to the outdoor environment.”

This year, a record 165 projects entered 18 hardscape categories including clay brick, segmental retaining walls, porcelain, vintage installations, concrete pavers, a combination of hardscape products, natural stone, and outdoor living features.

"Each year at the HNA Awards presentations, we see more tremendous work on display, the product of great creativity, attention to detail, and collaboration among designers, manufacturers and installers,” said Marshall Brown, Ph.D., Chair-Elect, ICPI. “We're proud to honor their exceptional accomplishment."

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