The front yard brings together sustainable landscape practices creating a planting that is inviting, colorful and vibrant. The front yard design strategy was to move away from a traditional lawn to a perennial, native palette of drought tolerant, wildlife promoting plants. The traditional lawn was replaced with a drought tolerant alternative, dymondia silver carpet ground cover that requires only supplemental water in summer months. The dymondia lawn is slopped to a catchment burm to collect rainwater onsite. This catchment helps promotes the regeneration of groundwater for the water friendly plants. The use of drought tolerant plants coupled with rain collection helps to minimize the use of water, a scarce resource in Los Angeles. In addition, the use of native and Mediterranean shrubs create a lush landscape that is vibrant in colors, textures and shape while maintaining water conservation. Using native plants also creates a microhabitat for local birds and insects adding excitement and character to the residence. Furthermore, the specific plants chosen allows for a micro drip irrigation system that replaces overhead sprinklers, a direct contrast to typical Southern California lawns which require and waste large amounts of fresh water.
The Design goal with the backyard design was to create a modern space that also harnesses the sustainable goals of the front yard landscape design. A secondary goal in line with the first was to bring the family in harmony with nature in the backyard environment. With such a vast space we began partitioning the yard into functional spaces designed for a specific use for the family. This design strategy created an outdoor space that allows the residents to utilize the backyard area to its fullest potential. The first designated area repurposes a two car garage concrete driveway as a dining and Barbeque space with permeable concrete pavers. This new permeable patio acts as an extension from the kitchen to the outdoors. The new pavers seamlessly merge as part of the landscape and add value to the outdoor dining experience in additional to recharging groundwater. The dining and barbeque area remains elevated and overlooks the second designated area, a seating area and fire pit. Modern floating stairs descend into contemporary two by two pavers that outline the edge of the fire pit area. This custom fire pit with adjoining seating brings friends and guests to a place of refuge and contemplation overlooking the fire into the expanse of the rest of the yard and vast native planting around the perimeter. This gathering area is finished with decomposed granite. Decomposed granite is a local material that is used to also promote the regeneration of ground water and reduce urban storm water runoff by allowing rain water to filter into the soil below. A custom redwood cover was built for the fire pit cover so that the fire pit could second as a coffee table in daylight hours making the space usable day and night. This fire pit/ coffee table serves as the main focal point anchoring the space. True to the first design goal the area around this gathering area is landscaped with a rolling pallet of native plants that match the pallet used in the front yard. Keeping in line with the second design goal, the backyard has three designated vegetable planters for the residence to grow their own produce.