In this project the clients disclosed a desire for a modern outdoor space for entertaining guests that would also serve the youngest members of the family. Additional constraints of the design were the small amount of outdoor usable space in close proximity to the homes rear exist. The design solution to this small space problem was to implement minimalism. As the design developed, we used a minimalist layout with modern materials. By putting these two concepts together, minimalism and modern design, we created a backyard space that maximized the usable space while having the desired modern flare. Driven by these two design goals, the space was first partitioned into two separate rooms, an outdoor living room and a play area. In addition, there was a desire to have a seamless transition from inside the residence to the exterior. A floating cool gray deck level with the interior executes this transition effortlessly. In adding this transition a third seating area was created. Upon arriving to this deck the requirement of a focal point became apparent so those that exit the rear of the building area aware of the other outdoor gathering patio to the rear of the yard. A custom plexi-glass water feature with 3 spillways, which light up at night was design to solve the issue of direction and to pull those inside, out to the entertaining patio. The water feature was built with a disappearing water fall to add interest. Continuing with the modern theme, the waterfall catchment seamlessly becomes part of the hardscape design by being the same size, shape and color of the adjacent two by two pavers. There is an expanse of these modern two by two pavers that pull from the deck to the rear entertaining patio. This expanse of pavers also services as an area for tall bar cocktail tables in larger gatherings. The pavers are spaced out and planted with a vibrant succulent that grows from between the monochromatic stone accents. The final destination for guests is the outdoor living room. The outdoor living room is hardscaped with a contemporary patterned multicolor blue stone that is framed with a modern open air pergola. Beyond this entertaining space you will find the execution of the second design parameter, the kids play area. The children’s play area is designed with minimal lawn flanked with water friendly pygmy date palms and a minimalist planting. Sitting on the minimalistic furniture on the entertaining patio, tranquil sounds of falling water and the playful chirping of birds nesting in the surrounding foliage make this patio a relaxing destination. Experiencing this landscape will show those who enter a minimalistic designed planting with an emphasis on hardscape can still be considered a place of leisure and relaxation. The space is open, balanced and uncluttered. The landscape finds peace by using less and doing more.
The front yard was redone with the same modern materials and methods as the backyard. The desire to bring all the materials from the backyard installation to the front gave us a unique challenge. The repetition of size and form became an underlying theme as well since this was mimicked in the backyard installation. The stepping stones and architectural relief wall are examples of this repetition. The Architecture relief wall repeats the shape of the windows in the newly installed modern entry door. The entry pavers also repeat size and shape. The reuse of materials is realized from front to back with the expansive cool blue composite decking level with the entry of the residence is transverse. Another reuse of material is the multicolor random flagged blue stone sunning patio that flakes the deck. Two by two pavers flank this intimate sunrise drenched patio. Finally, a clean minimalistic mass planting of native and Mediterranean plants line the front property line to give privacy and soften the hard lines of the deck and adjacent brunch patio.