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Modern backyard in Santa Clara, CA

The owners of this spacious backyard wanted to make a better use of the space while making it more welcoming; reducing water consumption was also high priority.


They wanted a more contemporary style, with clean, modern lines, that would still be in harmony with the more traditional house. We used 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, hot tub, lawn and raised beds 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 new Thermory decking (a thermally-modified wood). Here, closest to the house, is the dining area and built-in grill with prep area (awaiting installation; a portable grill is being used in the meantime).


Enveloped by the new deck, the existing hot tub enjoys a nice view of the whole garden;

nearby sun lounges complete the spa-retreat atmosphere.


The deck transitions to the seating area through a concrete path; the low concrete wall that separates the two areas can double as seating.


A fire-pit extends the use of the garden into the evening cooler hours.


The concrete path continues through the lawn toward a water feature that acts as focal point; nearby a simple bench, shaded by the tree, enjoys the view of the garden and the tranquil sound of the water feature (neither has been installed yet).


Except for the area next to the hot tub, where existing magnolia and camellias dictated the planting, the rest of the yard is mainly low-water California native and other Mediterranean plants.

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