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Backyard & No-mow lawn front yard in San Jose, CA

The Clients wished to transform their un-inspiring, sun-baked backyard into a beautiful, welcoming and functional space that could be used by the whole family to relax, dine and entertain.


They wished the style to be modern, with clean, simple lines, and materials in harmony with the recent remodel of the kitchen and living space.


Other priorities were to save water and keep maintenance low.

So the lawn size was reduced and CA natives and other Mediterranean drought tolerant plants were chosen.


We kept a simple palette of materials: wood, concrete and pebbles softened by planting material mulched with wood-chips to prevent weeds growth and help retain water.


The different areas - dining, seating, lawn and raised bed for growing vegetables – were laid out diagonally to the house to make the yard look deeper and the design more interesting.


From the kitchen-dining room, a sliding door takes one out to the decking. Here is the dining area with room for a portable grill with prep area.


The deck transitions to the seating area through the grass via concrete stepping stones; the wooden planter that separates the deck from the lawn, will serve as vegetable garden.


The path continues to the side yard, leading to an IPE gate opening onto the front yard. Along the path there is room for a lean-to shed partially hidden by planting.


In the front yard, the Clients wished to continue the clean, modern lines used for the backyard.

So we used again concrete slabs in geometrical shapes, with pebbles in between, both for the path and the driveway.


The water-thirsty lawn was removed and replaced in part by low-water plants, in part by a no-mow lawn; a versatile grass that can be maintained as a turf lawn or left un-mowed to create a meadow-like appearance; it requires less water and maintenance than traditional lawn.

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