Tranquil Gardens


Los Angeles


  • Modernist Hardscape and Planting
  • Custom Seating
  • Elevated Landscape


A modernist yard in its theory is an outdoor living room. This residence landscape design follows this mantra and creates a series of rooms using geometric horizontal and vertical lines along with elevated elements guided by a central visual and circulation line. The emphasis on hardscape rather than plantings creates a clean and uncluttered feeling throughout the yard. The clean finishes and tight grid of the pavers is the base for this modernist layout. A detached garage is across the yard and faces the adjacent alleyway. Direct access is required on a daily basis for the residents of this home. Turning an access problem into a design feature installing a series of two by two pavers interlocked by gray pebbles creates the predominant circulation in the backyard. Beginning from the homes deck area and moving along to bordering lawn area on these two by two pavers, one arrives at the base of custom built floating stairs that elevates to the car garage. While the pavers are laid on a tight grid, the floating stairs play within the grid system and are interlocked with planting areas. This allows for the step system to become a sculpture in the landscape. The adjacent plantings of bronze baby New Zealand flax and ornamental sweet potato vine compliment this modern grid layout as a vertical feature. Subtle half walls rise from the ground to define the edge of the upper and lower rooms. This wall has a custom built in concrete bench that serves the observers of the large lawn area. In line with the bench and rising above all the other landscape features is the focal planter complete with a evergreen pear specimen tree. This vertical wall, planter and seating bench divide and define the upper and lower outdoor rooms. The upper room serves as access to the garage as well as a children’s play area. All rooms are visible from one another so that no matter where you, the family can all be together in the backyard outdoor space.