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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Native grasses and wildflowers were used throughout the landscape design of this home in Santa Barbara. The result is gardens that are low water, full of color and harmonious with their natural surroundings.