Our clients loved their sprawling ranch estate for lots of reasons: a cooler coastal climate, beautiful views, & quiet evenings away from the city. A number of years ago, we were privileged to help them redesign the landscape surrounding the property’s main residence. We installed thousands of square feet of lush synthetic turf, dozens of beautiful Oak trees & created a series of meandering walkways around the property for daily exercise & walking their many dogs. One area of the property that was left undisturbed by the previous project was our clients’ old swimming pool. At the time of the first project, our clients were unsure whether or not they were ready to part ways with the pool.
Now, our clients were wanting more entertaining space on the property & knew that the pool had outworn its use. For their new landscape design, they envisioned a large, open-floor plan space that could accommodate 50-plus people for large parties & gatherings. They wanted there to be a shade structure of some sort to keep the sun out on hot summer days. They also wanted a large outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven because both of our clients are extremely passionate about cooking. We set out to design a space that would feel at home with the very natural surroundings & environment.
After we had completed removing the pool, backfilling & compacting the space, we began with our hardscape choices for the landscape design. Again, we wanted a texture/style of concrete that would not feel out of place with the rural, ranch setting. We introduced our clients to a beautiful wood-plank concrete stamp. This was the perfect pick to tie-into the ranch environment & gave the entire space a very warm & inviting feel. Our next big task was the massive patio structure.
We opted for Aluma-Wood for the construction of the patio structure for a number of reasons. First & foremost we did not want the tedious maintenance & upkeep that true wood invites. Also, we like the deep, rich coloring that the Spanish Brown tone of the metal would create in the space. We always prefer the look of lattice for our patios, as opposed to solid top patios, simply because we feel they have a more attractive look & feel.
Next on our to-do list was the design & construction of our clients outdoor kitchen island. Once again, we took our cues from the existing landscape & architecture. Our clients’ residence had a very unique stucco finish that gave it an old mission-style feel & had just a touch of natural aggregate/stone incorporated into it. We loved this look & decided to mimic it on our outdoor kitchen island. This way, our outdoor kitchen island would feel connected to the original property. We installed a massive Santa Maria Grill along with a towering pizza oven to meet their cooking needs. We also created an expansive bar/countertop space for use during large events.
Although our clients wanted the majority of the space to have an open floor plan, so they could be flexible during events, they did express an interest in adding architectural seating somewhere in the design. We accommodated this by adding a few large benches that were built into the patio structure so guests could relax in the new space. We also added mini-bar tops to a few of the exposed columns so guests could rest their drinks during a party.
Our final area we had to address was just beyond the property itself. Our clients wanted us to create a wind-break that would stifle the roaring winds that often pass through the Valley. We used a heavy drift of Pinus Eldarica to buffer the tough winds & give the property of lush green-way along the main drive.