Ocean Parks, California
Inspired by the client’s love of the Sonoran desert, we transformed the outdoor of their recently remodeled coastal home into three distinct and usable rooms.
Streetside, the front yard was initially unusable due to the sloping terrain. A corten steel retaining wall was fabricated and installed to level this area. With an existing blank canvas, I wanted to convey a sense of the desert and worked to emulate that with a coastal palette of plants. I added a Chilean thornless mesquite tree to soften the façade of the house and provide privacy from the street for the children’s bedroom. Wooly bush, kangaroo paw and drought tolerant plants play up color and texture and provide year-round interest, as well as attract birds. African boxwood on the same plane as the wood fence, contrasts with the stepped planes of the corten and concrete block walls and creates additional visual interest.
Between the back of the main house and garage is an outdoor entertainment room. The dining table, set inside of a no-mow meadow of rough textured grass chosen for ease of maintenance, is defined by a steel edge. The blank wall of the garage is used for projecting films to view at night. A bamboo screen creates privacy from the shared driveway with the adjacent neighbor, while the board-formed concrete lounge and firepit add texture and additional seating in this room.
A meandering path of decomposed granite mimics the desert floor and passes through a collection of grasses and perennials. A large organic vegetable bed teaches the children about gardening and provides farm-to-table vegetables for family meals.