Muse. Flash of genius. Serendipity. Whatever you want to call it, a trip to Perugia, Italy delivered some powerful inspiration to Jennifer Duneier of New York-based Duneier Design. That inspiration came in the form of ceramic lava stone columns.
“I saw them and said ‘I must do something with those!’ I brought them back with me and waited for the right moment,” says Duneier. That moment came when she was presented with the lackluster backyard of an 1895 New York City townhouse.
Her clients also helped jump-start the design with some inspirational direction. “They didn’t want to feel like they were in a backyard in New York City, and they didn’t want a typical backyard,” says Duneier, of the couple. “They wanted to feel like they were traveling in Europe. That’s how it all got started.” The designer showed her clients pictures of the columns that she had been keeping in storage and a sketch of how she planned to use them. Her clients shared Duneier’s vision, and the project commenced.
Originally, the outdoor plot contained nothing but cinder blocks and concrete. “We jackhammered all that away,” says Duneier, “then we terraced it, so there’d be three different levels to separate the lounging space from the cooking and dining space.”
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