This project presented the challenge of creating usable active spaces for a young couple and their children in both the front and back yards while maintaining privacy. In the front yard, a lawn play area was created by raising the topography and retaining it behind a low wall, in front of which are planted native California sycamore trees and groundcovers. This provides a safe, private play area while animating the private-public interface. Opposite a long wood bench, a water feature acts as a focal point at the main entrance to the house.
In contrast to the more public feeling of the front yard, the back yard is focused inwards, with its lush plantings and screens of bamboo on three sides of the garden. Existing palm and dragon trees are incorporated into the new landscape, which evokes a resort atmosphere of seclusion and relaxation. An existing pool and spa were renovated, and a new soaring wood arbor creates a shaded outdoor living room for family gatherings. Unifying the backyard, strips of grass break up the plane of the concrete patio. An intimate deck on the side of the house provides a serene space for outdoor showers.