This contemporary pre-fab home and studio were built on a flat city lot. The landscaping was inspired by the clean, simple lines of calligraphic Asian painting and aimed to incorporate light, movement, lots of pretty views and a strong connection between indoors and outdoors.
The grounds of this Santa Barbara home were badly burned in the Tea Fire and needed to be redesigned. The new gardens incorporate outdoor living areas with walkways and colorful plants; the plan also reduced water usage and made the property's slopes more stable.
The ocean bluff side of the house is a narrow strip designed and installed with strictly low impact uses. A cantilevered deck, native plants, dry-laid pavers and a bocce court bring the living outside. On a clear day, the homeowners watch pelicans fishing, hang gliders drifting by at eye level and surfers in the white water from their breakfast table.
The goals for this home's extensive outdoor space: Keep it sustainable; include spots for entertaining and quiet reflection; and evoke the Iowa prairies, the homeowners' native terrain. Grasses are a low-maintenance choice and lots of shade trees temper the sun and glare.
To maximize the views from inside the house, the majority of the outdoor living space was placed on the street-side front yard. A pool was a must for the clients. The existing 60-year old Dragon Tree on site was carefully protected throughout construction and formed the inspiration around which the house and garden were designed. The tree shaped the garden and planting palette, while providing the depth and age a new home may lack.
The landscape design for this contemporary home strived to tie the house to the grounds while seamlessly blending the architecture with the neighborhood's venerable historical homes, some dating back to the late 1800’s.
For an estate that recently went through a catastrophic fire, this unique pool provides a refreshing dip on hot summer days and is also designed to be used for back-up fire suppression if the municipal water supply were to fail.
The glass fence creates soft screening between the front yard, pool, house and the public sidewalk. It also provides shelter from the salt-laden wind for the veggie beds and a couple of small fruit trees. Salvaged grape stake fencing keeps dogs out of the veggie beds, without discouraging a neighborly chat or exchange of produce.