Interior/Exterior designer Karen Stefonick of Karen Stefonick Design has completed her project on their funeral home and chapel landscape renovation on Bellevue’s Sunset Hills Memorial Park. The project took over one month to complete.
“I think the project turned out very well overall,” said Stefonick, “I was able to get them a low maintenance and aesthetic design that added a great deal of character and will have visual longevity as well as mind its manners while growing over the next couple of decades.”
The historic cemetery, which opened in 1950, had landscape surrounding the chapel and funeral home that, according to Stefonick, was overgrown and over pruned. While working with the original architecture of the buildings as well as the tranquil setting, Stefonick envisioned a setting that could maintain that sense of peace and serenity for people paying last respects.
Along with Miller Brothers Landscape Company, who handled installation on the project, Stefonick started by taking advantage of the two glass atriums outside of the chapel and viewing areas. Her goal was to give funeral attendees the view of a peaceful and restful garden as well as the soft, soothing ethereal tones of flowing water. A five-inch tall three- stone Basalt water feature with a pond-less basin was added as a focal point to the garden. The atrium’s acoustics help focus the sounds of the falling water towards the chapel; which can be heard indoors. This part of the project brought Stefonick much satisfaction.
“The atrium is very tranquil and peaceful, and I hope everyone who sees and hears it will find solace and hope,” she says.
For the exterior gardens around the Funeral Home, Stefonick complemented the long low classic lines of the late 1960’s structure, using the architectural structure of plant materials. A blue-gray Weeping Atlantica was specifically added for architectural interest and “continuity” of design. The plant can be trained to run along the long walls of the structure in very artistic forms. Weeping Alaskan Cedars were planted at the corners of the building.
Overall, Stefonick is well-pleased with the project. “I was able to get them (the funeral home) a low maintenance and aesthetic design that added a great deal of character and will have visual longevity as well as mind its manners while growing over the next couple of decades”, she says.
Karen Stefonick has been Principal and lead Designer of Karen Stefonick Design since 1996. She has won many awards for her design work, including Sunset Magazines ‘Western Living’ Award. Stefonick has also participated in the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle Washington since 2002, winning top prizes each year since. After moving away from it for a while, she has recently returned to her interior design roots.
About Karen Stefonick
Karen Stefonick is a local, award-winning multi-talented designer, who has managed to marry her breadth of landscape knowledge with her background in interior design to create incredibly appealing indoor and outdoor living spaces all over Western Washington. She is Principal and Lead Designer of Karen Stefonick Design since 1996; designing functional, quality landscape designs as small as a town house garden to 5-acre country estates.
Stefonick designs to the homeowner’s sense of style and their requirements for use. Her designs are fresh and innovative, under the philosophy of “it’s not how much you put in, but what you put in that makes a great design” as well as linking the interior and exterior as one flowing and cohesive look – from the front gate to the front room.