This ultra modern remodel called for an ultra modern landscape entry plan. Cast in place concrete pavers form the walkway, while a series of Acer palmatum ‘Sangu Kaku’ trees add to the repetition and rhythm of the walk. Low maintenance turf keeps the entry space tidy and pristine, while boxwood globes in varying sizes add structure to the architectural form of the house. Pea gravel as mulch keeps it simple and clean.
Kentfield Modern Farmhouse
This beautiful modern farmhouse remodel in Kentfield began with a blank slate as the landscape. Eco friendly yet timeless and inexpensive pea gravel patio spaces and driveway are in keeping with the modern farmhouse look. Locally sourced stone is used for the wall and stairs and creates an architectural focal point for the front yard while allowing for a flat lawn area. A Mediterranean plant palette of dwarf olives, lavender, and lambs ears create the scene, while finely textured lomandra grasses blow in the breeze. In the back yard, white roses climb on an outdoor bar and additions of the succulent echeveria add a modern touch.
Stinson Beach Sustainable
This Stinson Beach second home called for a beautiful yet sustainable and low maintenance landscape. Large boulders and Blue Agaves saved onsite from the previous home were salvaged and reused in the new landscape. Native dune grasses were added as well as other natives such as Ceanothis and Myrica Californica for screening. Because Stinson Beach is a frost free coastal area, succulents like senencio, agave attenuata and echiveria varieties were also added off the patio spaces for a tropical modern feel. Patios are cast in place concrete (designed by architect Steve Wisenbaker) and a meandering path to the entertaining area is ecologically sound permeable pea gravel.
This project was awarded Luxe Magazines Gold List for 2018
Beachy blues and greens.
San Rafael Hillside
This San Rafael back yard had an unusable small concrete patio and then sloped steeply up toward the back of the yard. By creating a series of terraces a gracious patio was created off the living spaces. The terrace above offers a place for the kids to play on the trampoline. Beyond that is a bocce court on the third terrace. The plantings are low maintenance and water wise: Dwarf olive, Ceanothus “Diamond Heights”, Sunset hybrid variegated Lavandula, Lomandra and Agave Attenuata.
For cost savings, the retaining walls were done in pressure treated wood. On the patio level the retaining wall was clad in a synthetic wood chosen by the owner and used for the deck and stairs. The upper retaining was inexpensively painted a dark charcoal grey to hide the fact that it was pressure treated wood. The paint really helped to make the plantings pop in contrast to the dark grey.
A clean, yet layered planting plan at this meticulously remodeled traditional home in Larkspur was just what the house needed to enhance it’s curb appeal. The main bluestone walkway was in place, then we added secondary walkways to the driveway where the home owners park and another to the side yard. Thoughtful reuse of existing bluestone already on site paired with pea gravel kept costs minimal.
Plants were carefully selected to pair with the traditional style of the house but also to have a fresh and clean modern feel. They also needed to be low maintenance and deer resistant.
At this transitional modern home we added a very modern Corten steel retaining wall to lesson the slope of the front planting area and give more space for on street parking. Corten steel gracefully patinas into a beautiful rusty orange and has a very modern vibe. To marry the modern steel wall with the more “transitional” modern home, we used a mix of traditional plants and modern plants in a clean and simple way. Some added boulders and small rock retaining walls soften the strong lines of the retaining wall and tie the space to the existing rock walkway.
This is probably my most complimented project and it was the one with the smallest budget. What I love about this project was that I was able to showcase that it doesn’t take a big or even medium sized budget to have a transformational experience. In the front yard we removed a fire hazard conifer tree and made what was a dirt patch into a modern no maintenance front yard by adding plantings with a palette of soothing shades of green. Pea gravel as a mulch is modern and low maintenance - it’s also fire safe.
The back yard was also nothing but dirt. For a couple hundred dollars we added pea gravel as our ground treatment. Steel headers defined planting spaces. Recycled bluestone treads added some formality and poise to the patio doors.
The driveway is very long and narrow and was not useable in the back adjacent to the garage - however this was the only sunny spot. So, again for a couple hundred dollars, we purchased a turf remnant, six ace hardware $20 chairs, as well as a wood fire pit and transformed the unusable driveway into a sunny fire pit “lawn”. The added bonus, the carriage doors open and a big screen TV inside is great for watching big games while chilling outside by a fire. Additionally, since this area is so sunny, we added two galvanized planters and made this the veggie/herb garden.
Small, inexpensive details can make a bid difference. We swapped out the old brass front porch light for an inexpensive black modern farmhouse light from build.com. This house is just too cute to not having beautiful seasonal hanging planters on the front porch. We also purchased cozy chairs and throw pillows with a pop of color from target for porch time lounging.