Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Cottage&Gardens.com : Photographed by Peter Murdock


Derived from an old Italian word, gabbione, meaning "big cage," gabions are enclosures that can be filled with any sort of inorganic material: rock, brick, or concrete debris. The cages were originally wicker, but now are usually a welded mesh made of sturdy galvanized, coated, or stainless steel wire that won't bend when filled with rocks. In landscaping, gabion walls can support an earth wall, stabilize the soil, prevent erosion, and more. 

Wood Framed Gabions: eclecticlivinghome.wordpress.com
The most common civil engineering use of gabions is to stabilize shorelines, stream banks or slopes against erosion. Other uses include retaining walls, temporary flood wallssilt filtration from runoff, for small or temporary and permanent dams, river training, or channel lining. They may be used to direct the force of a flow of flood water around a vulnerable structure. Gabions are also used as fish barriers on small streams.

Capped Gabion by Kettelkamp & Kettelkamp 
In the medieval era, gabions were round cages with open tops and bottoms, made from wickerwork and filled with earth for use as military fortifications. These early military gabions were used to protect field artillery gunners.

Current Project on Tweed Blvd Upper Grandview, NY
That Brings us to Design Farm Group's latest project here on Tweed Blvd in Upper Grandview New York. This Gabion was the perfect solution to a yard with a steep slopes  and considered environmentally sensitive. Using gabions to retain the soil was a natural solution. The client wished to increase her level property space with walls. This would be used for the children to play, where space was non existent. The only flat area was a large deck that floats above the trees overlooking the Hudson River. She wished to keep the planting to a minimum so the kids can do their thing but dress up the industrial wall in a minimal way. The only thing behind the wall will be a cedar post fence with cable wire in between each post. This is a great example of practical and creative ideologies that have come together to create a beautiful solution. 

Constructed by Partner of Design Farm Group

This particular Gabion was crafted by using galvanized steel cages and local light stones. This project has really been a labor of love. This is a project here at Design Farm Group we are very excited about because it is something we haven't seen used in abundance on the east coast. Perhaps not the gabion itself but what will be planted in conjunction with the wall. 

Sedum Green Roof at homeli.co.uk

If you have been reading about gardening or landscape design over the past year I'm sure you've stumbled upon the concept of a green roof.  green roof or living roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. It may also include additional layers such as a root barrier and drainage and irrigation systems.

Sedum and grasses being delivered to job site.

Have you guessed where we're going with this yet? A living "green roof" atop our Gabion wall. The planting of sedum atop the gabion was a perfect solution to soften the look of the wall. Sedum was the plant of choice for this retaining wall as it has shallow root systems, doesn't need too much water or attention at all. Along with the sedum some ornamental grasses will be scattered amongst the fence to soften the look. It will also grow out to become a natural carpet.

Wall getting prepared for planting.

The finished installation...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Meeka's House : A Classic Re-Imagined- Transforming a Shell



Meeka Van der Wal : Design Princial at Design Farm Group

"This is Meeka, the Design Principal at Design Farm Group. Earlier in the year Meeka purchased this charming cottage that needed a lot of work. She would like to update you through the process and into the final stages of the restoration. 

 So... here we go!

Meeka Van der Wa

Boots Standing Guard at Meeka's House

A CLASSIC RE-IMAGINED... Over the next couple of months Design Farm Group will take you on the amazing transformation of this Tudor/Arts & Crafts style home. 
The home has 3 bedroom 2 baths. It was was built in 1925 and is located in what was known as Tappan Heights NY.

Electric being installed on ground floor

sun room electric being installed 

As pictured above the electricity at Meeka's House is undergoing a service upgrade. The upgraded electricity will combat all of today modern appliances and gadgets.  Four women in a house with two of them being teenagers, makes bringing this house's electrical system to the 21st century a must. With the help of our team of skilled electricians who partner with Design Farm Group none of the ladies in Meeka's House will worry about blowing a fuse. 

Construction Team bringing in fresh Sheetrock!

Sustainable Eco Friendly Insulation Being Installed

A Peek through the kitchen to the Living Room Pre Dry Wall

Sheetrock up!

Dining Area with vintage window that will be restored

A View from the Kitchen

Sun room

Kitchen and Dining Area

From a shell of a house to the beginnings of a home, Meeka's House as been outfitted with a sustainable Eco-friendly blend of recycled batting. This form of insulation keeps in warmth in winter months and helps keep out the heat in the summer, which here in New York is crucial for living in comfort, all the while being Eco-Friendly and reducing our carbon footprint. Now with sheet rock in place this space is really starting to feel like a home!

Upstairs Bedroom primed

Master Bedroom Primed

The walls in Meeka's House are prepped and primed. This house is in the home stretch and is ready for the finishing touches!

 Click here for the full Inside view of Meeka's House

Keep a look out for updated photos and other Blog posts from Design Farm Group


NEXT NEWSLETTER...Summer Happenings !



Friday, May 2, 2014

Meeka's House... A CLASSIC RE-IMAGINED : Demolition





Meeka Van Del Wal
Design Farm Group

"This is Meeka, the Design Principal at Design Farm Group. She has recently purchased a cottage that she will be renovating over the next few months. 
She would love for you to get a sneak peek at the weekly progress and witness the restoration and transformation of the new space." (CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR LAST BLOG POST)

 So... here we go!

Here is what happened while you were away
  • Interior stripped down to the studs
  • Electrical has all been updated
  • Replaced the steam heating system to hot water
  • Replaced damaged beams and framing


Fashionably dressed for the demo party and braving the elements! 


 Front Door + Living Room

Rounded Archways and the Craftsman wood detailing are big features in this home. All architectural details will be kept, reinforced and restored. 

We are down to the studs. Beams and framing were redone as needed











Upstairs Bathroom Makeover:

The Bathroom will be designed with Carerra marble and a seamless glass shower. Completing the space will be a Mid-Century media cabinet converted to a vanity topped with a trough sink. 

I know its hard to see that now but boy just you wait!!!

This is the Carerra marble that I like. What do you think?!

Framing and plumbing all roughed in and ready to go!














Upstairs Bedrooms:

Boots standing guard and supervising!

This is where the Freaky built-ins drawers were removed in order to make room to remove the ceiling joists and cathedral the ceiling downstairs.

Reclaiming Space:

The brown door concealed stairs going to the attic is now GONE! They have been replaced with pull down stairs to give the bedroom on the left some breathing room. 

Attic Stairs Replace with Pull down
















Click here for the full Inside view of Meeka's House

Keep a look out for updated photos and other Blog posts from Design Farm Group



We can Rebuild her!