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Mid-Century Redux

A Bel Air home’s Mid-Century Modern spirit is recaptured. A classic mid-century modern home with a lengthy expanse of glass doors opened to the three tiered grounds. Closest was a flat area of fussy curvilinear high-maintenance planting beds with water-hungry annuals and a wide swath of lumpy lawn. Down-slope, neglected mature pines and fruit trees were chocked by vines and in decline. Beyond, the wild canyon was a mass of exotic invasive /fire-prone plants.

Design Challenge
The design challenge was to accentuate the crisp architecture of the house, repurpose materials to avoid landfill, introduce native/climate appropriate plants, and begin restoring the property’s neglected trees. A yearlong collaboration between architect, interior designer, and homeowner begins.

Design Solution
The new landscape design emphasizes the architecture and ecology on all levels. Throughout the entire home a span of glass doors looks to the garden. The rooms’ age-worn carpets are removed exposing concrete that together with the span of patio and walkway concrete are refinished in similar tones to unify indoors and out and expand the space. On each side of the patio the damaged walkway is repurposed into large chunks and relaid with stone joints. The lawn is reshaped, downsized and now meets a newly created pervious pebble "lawn" delineated with bunch grasses and small trees. On one side of the lawn a circle is constructed from stones gathered on site and filled with the transplanted roses and backed by a young row of screening trees. To other side, the 1950's kidney-shape pool is fronted by a micro-farm of stacked upcycled concrete pieces. Along that fence-line a new hedgerow will soon shield the overbearing house next door. Perpendicularly a thinned bamboo grove offers song in the wind. Rustic steps lead down-slope to the second tier where the ivy and morning glory are cleared from the pruned and nourished significant trees. Beyond, the third tier canyon’s exotic invasive plants are removed and replanted with native and climate appropriate species to provide habitat, check erosion, and help deflect fire hazard.

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Before
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2010
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Side Slope Before
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Side Slope 2010
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Wide Lumpy Lawn
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Shrunken Lawn 2010
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Fussy Beds
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Bunch Grass Geometry 2010
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2nd Tier Before
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2nd Tier 2010
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New Heritage Rose Circle 2010
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Upcycled Concrete 2010
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Urbanite Micro-farm 2010
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Bamboo Grove + Dragon 2010
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Side Entry 2010

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