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Al fresco dining in Palo Alto, CA


The recently renovated kitchen / family room of this Craftsman-style home in Palo Alto, opens onto the backyard, creating the opportunity to make the latter feel like an extension of the house.

The owners wanted to maintain the same modern look of the interior without clashing with the more traditional exterior; their other requirements were:

- A patio for dining near the house protected by a waterproof pergola with lateral shades, to shield them from the hot    afternoon sun.

- Heaters to allow the use of the area during the colder evenings.

- A kitchen / bar area, with room for a stand-alone wood-fired pizza oven and BBQ.

- A seating area.

- A shed to store the BBQ and the pizza oven.

- A vegetable garden.

- Space for bike sheds.

- Drought tolerant planting and an olive tree.


To keep an harmonious look we used a simple palette of materials that were repeated throughout the design:

- IPE for deck, shed, bench and the lower raised beds (vegetable garden).

- Poured-in-place concrete for the paving and the other raised beds.

- Pebbles to break the expanse of concrete slabs.

- Light colored Quartzite for the kitchen/bar countertop.

- A strip of glass mosaic, that recalls the blue house trim, along the bar cabinet and the taller raised beds.

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