How a Bucks County Landscape Architect Created a Sunroom in the Trees

This vaulted room in Bucks County makes entertaining effortless and working from home relaxing.

A seamless sunroom in Bucks County. / Photograph by Jason Varney

David Fierabend, principal of Groundswell Design Group, the firm behind Spruce Street Harbor Park and Independence Beer Garden, brought his expertise as a landscape architect to the renovation of his New Hope property. Fierabend and his husband aimed for a “treehouse effect” with the addition of their multi-purpose three-season sunroom, providing more space in which to entertain, work from home, and feel connected to the landscape.

The topography of the house, elevated above the surrounding landscape, gave the living spaces the unique appearance of being situated in the trees. Fierabend emphasized this connection to nature by adding glass-panel walls, vaulted ceilings and rustic accents to his new sunroom, which expands on the home’s existing living room, for convenient entertaining.

“We wanted to stay true to the green colors and natural wood tones of the exterior,” Fierabend says. “Anyone that sees the room can’t believe it wasn’t there before.” He brought in green velvet from France and added warm leathers to restored and repurposed furniture. He went to Provenance in Kensington for some of the wood treatments on the walls and the lighting. He added plants that thrive year-round and asked friend Christine Edmonds, owner of Newtown’s Trove, for help sourcing vintage items. Fierabend, who loves vintage and flea-market shopping, found treasures at the Golden Nugget in Lambertville and Porte de Clignancourt in Paris, the site of the largest antiques market in the world.

A seamless sunroom in Bucks County. / Photograph by Jason Varney

Fierabend loved having a tranquil spot to work during the early days of COVID. Now that the world is opening back up, the space has been ideal for dinner parties. And on Sunday mornings, Fierabend loves nothing more than to sit with a cup of coffee and the paper, his four rescue dogs at his feet, enjoying a front-row seat to the changing seasons.

Published as “Room to Grow” in the December 2021 issue of Philadelphia magazine.