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Pacific Palisades, CA

The clients, a couple with young children, bought their home for its third-acre lot, which initially was squeezed by a freestanding garage. Willing to trade the garage for active, usable landscape, they requested a pool, a fire element and space for outdoor entertaining. Once the garage was gone, the home’s Asian-feeling Ray Kappe addition inspired my design for raised walks of sustainable ipe wood that connect the house to the pool area. These meander, like a Japanese “broken bridge,” through beds of ornamental grasses, anemones, coast rosemary, and bamboos that create scrims allowing glimpses of scenes ahead and creating a counterpoint to a small lawn nearby — a contrast of wild and refined that is a landscape theme. Around the pool, I paired the clean shapes of custom built sofas with a wall of rough Willow Creek stone. A gas-fed concrete cube doubles as a coffee table and provides nighttime heat; smooth sand-colored concrete edges the pool, and trees and shrubs cast reflections. The grasses plume from summer to winter, the anemones bloom in fall, and in spring, wisteria flowers around the outdoor lounging spaces.

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