In our last newsletter, we discussed the Diablo Ranch residence's front yard transformation (see article here). However, the front yard was not all we transformed on this property. We also overhauled the area around the pool (side yard) and the backyard. The yard really needed to compliment the completely remodeled home.
Since this is a ranch, we did not have to adhere to traditional rules for where entertaining zones "should be". Instead, we were able to create a beautiful fire pit seating area in the front yard, where my clients can enjoy the views of their ranch in the distance. Relocating the fire pit relaxing area to the front yard gave great views from the house as well as creating a larger entertaining area around the pool area.
Previously the pool area was drab. A worn down pergola cut off the space, making the pool feel cramped and uninviting. In addition, the pool equipment was located in an awkward position that made the area feel cramped. An aged out hedge bordered the site and was the main sight line for the family room. The area definitely did not encourage or invite my clients to go for a dip. Needless to say, some drastic changes were needed.
The first thing we did to the pool area was remove the aged pergola and relocate the pool equipment. This allowed us to create a much larger entertaining zone. Since the pool deck's hardscape was in good condition we extended the space by using concrete in a complimentary color to blend the two areas. A new, more open pergola that matches the front entrance was also added to create a designated dining area. Additionally, a horizontal fence, painted in black, was added to border the pool area. The fence not only provides a great backdrop to build upon but also hides the new pool equipment and trash cans.
Since the family room looks out to the pool, we wanted to create a beautiful view for the family when they were inside. So we incorporated three lattices (painted black) set out from the fence line to add dimension and interest along the perimeter. Espalier orange, lime and lemon trees intertwine in the lattice to create a vertical evergreen softness. Layered plantings in green, purple and white provide the final touches for the plantings zone. When choosing seating for this area, we wanted to add some texture and cozy accents. Gray rope chairs, unique pillows, a vintage crate and lanterns draws the homeowners out to this inviting seating area.
In the backyard portion of the yard we built four garden beds. These beds are located right off the kitchen so the homeowner will be more aware of when to harvest their bounty. This back area is also where the BBQ is since my clients wanted it close to the kitchen. We refinished and expanded the back patio to accommodate a bar table and stools so visitors can hang out with the homeowners when they BBQ. The back area is also where the grass went. My clients have three kids, all of whom play sports, so they needed a spot where the kids could play. To finish the backyard off, we updated the plantings on the hill to add color and interest to the back since it is seen from several windows of the home.
As the photos show, this yard has been completely transformed from dull/drab to inviting &cozy. However, the best part of my job is when my clients rave about how much they love their yards and how much they are getting outside to enjoy it. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED :)