Before: Concrete LetdownGerry Cornell leads a very busy life in Long Beach and has remodeled his home into a chic, cool urban hangout. However, he ran out of inspiration when he got to his back patio. Host Matt James turns the patio into an extension of Gerry's home.
Starving for plants but not wanting for hardscape, this backyard is nothing more than a shaded concrete pad. Gerry has understated, minimalistic tastes that are reflected in his home's interior, and he wants to bring that style outdoors in the new garden. Because space is rather limited at this California pad, the homeowner wants to make the most of this outdoor area for entertaining and relaxing.
The Plan: Outdoor RoomThe new plan fuses the architectural style of the funky 1960's-era house with a modern flair so that the interior rooms flow easily to the new outdoor room. Because this small outdoor space will be used for entertaining, a minimalist, uncluttered design is key. A new water feature creates a focal point and breaks up the monotony of the long fence. Matt incorporates hard lines and angles into the design by using low retaining walls and rectangular planting beds cut into the concrete. However, he softens the edges and lines with plants and gravel mulch in the ground and planters along the length of the back of the house.
After: Contemporary HangoutOnce a bland and boring eyesore, the backyard has been turned into a contemporary outdoor room. Gerry's funky outdoor furniture fits right in and provides comfortable seating for his guests to relax in the space. The greenery in the planter boxes soften the hard angles and hardscaping. Strategically placed nighttime lighting creates a soft ambiance to be enjoyed in the evening.
After: Architectural PlantingsA modernist planting scheme reflects Gerry's clean and simple aesthetic sense. Two key plants, dragon tree (Dracaena) and mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria), are used throughout the garden to create a unified "green" look with an architectural feel. A combination of cedar fencing and a stucco wall creates more privacy while providing a contemporary backdrop for the plantings. The concrete pad has a fresh coat of paint.
After: Water as a Focal PointThis space lacked purpose and function, but now it features a focal point, a wall fountain that can be enjoyed inside and out. It adds the soothing sound of running water to the patio.
water feature pump and lights - Pond and Fountain Pros