Archive for the ‘project profile’ Category

Modern Family

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Had a blast working on this mid-century home for a young family on the Central Coast. With a toddler and infant in tow, play space was at a premium for this 1,200 sq. ft. house. At the same time, we would all prefer our houses didn’t have to look like a play space 24/7. To solve this, many spaces take on multiple uses:

Sandbox by day:

Fire Pit Lounge by night:

Other play activities in disguise included a race track front yard, “walk the plank” and tunnel / seat wall, and an adventure meadow complete with boulders to jump from and climb on.
I actually owe the tunnel detail to my three-year old son. We enjoyed a fun morning together, with him on my lap, and helping me style the SketchUp model with the appropriate sand toys, tricycles and play opportunities. Best design collaborator ever!
Check it out, the “Walk the Plank” Seat Wall looks way better (and more fun) with a tunnel through it:

 And no race track is complete without a race car!

Major, existing concrete decks were left in place and amended with modern detailing. Wood decking was selected as an easy DIY solution to improve the usability and character of this landscape. At the end of the day,this landscape will make a great place for everything from play time to large parties for entertaining.


Small Garden, Big Fun

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Play lawn, kitchen garden, cutting garden, built-in bar and bar-be-que, fire pit, green walls, lounge and dining area… yes! You can have it all in 600 square feet.

The secret here was to first relocate the rear gate in order to minimize circulation paths and keep larger function areas from getting chopped up by pathways. The same way you might want to minimize hallways in a house– by aligning pathways with compatible functions, we were able to maximize our available square footage. By using concrete steppers through the lawn, we were able to make the lawn feel larger but still have an all-weather pathway. Near the rear gate, bar stools are allowed to encroach into the pathway, but can easily be pushed aside for intermittent access.

A small space can also be maximized with multi-use and built-in furniture. A built-in bench seat means you don’t need room to pull out chairs or walk around them and results in a smaller space requirement for the dining area. The built-in bench seat can also quickly transform to a second lounge area by sliding the table away and replacing it with a portable fire pit. Instead of having a full chaise lounge, use a chair and ottoman combo so you’re ready for sunbathing with a friend or a fire side chat for two couples.

When finding the perfect spot for all your favorite amenities, don’t forget to save that sunny spot for your raised kitchen and cutting garden. Vertical plant and architectural accents complete the privacy requirements and this backyard is ready to host a party!