Relaxing Retreat

Mid-Century Modern, Plus Light, Color and a Creative Garden Scape, Defines the Style of Gables Homeowners Terry Cook and Steve Yevich

By Karen Buchsbaum

April 2019

Working with local home improvement company Habify, five years ago Terry Cook and Steve Yevich gutted a 1950s house and redefined the interior and yard to bring in as much of the outdoors as possible. Triple sliding doors and expansive windows were installed to showcase native plantings, a new pool, patio, and other outdoor areas.

As seasonal residents, they wanted to create a private setting filled with as many native plants as possible to minimize the landscaping maintenance. A native of Texas who spent his childhood on a farm, Cook completed a Master Gardner’s program in New Hampshire where the couple also has a home. But he had to start fresh to learn about local plants and flowers. Hours of research and classes at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden helped him plan a free-form yard that packs a lot of interest into a compact 10,000-square-foot lot. With the help of architect Buck Reilly from Habify, a long-range plan was developed and Cook went to work.

The result is a happy, colorful vibe from the inside out. Even the poolside décor was carefully curated, using a mid-century-inspired outdoor fabric from Robert Allen on the patio furniture (Yevich’s involvement focuses on hardscape maintenance and some of the trimming).

As in much of the Gables, the property has extensive coral rock just under the grass, including some outcroppings. Cook quickly learned to master a jackhammer to shape their massive beds of bromeliads, palms and other plantings. During the time they’ve been in the home, Cook and Yevich have also collected a large variety of orchids for placement throughout the property and house.

Only a half dozen of the original plants on the property still exist; new native plants were selected, with varieties chosen that are attractive to butter ies and birds. Vines cover the rail chains used in place of downspouts to direct water from rooftop gutters. The entire garden is at once intimate and relaxed, with a cozy ambiance that makes you feel comfortable enough to sit – and stay awhile.