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Encino Backyard

Encino Backyard

Opening your mind to undefined possibilities is what they call thinking outside the box. My friends reached out to me last-minute; they were starting a project in the backyard — installing an outdoor kitchen and a new hardscape. When we met, I knew that what they were about to do was not going to be much of an improvement; it lacked clarity, was way too obvious.

Their trusted contractor set out to rip out the existing stamped concrete paving material and replace it with an updated version of the same thing but leave random pockets for planting “to break up the monotony.” In addition, he was planning to install a traditional concrete-block backyard outdoor kitchen in the middle of the existing lawn.

Thankfully, my friends were comfortable with a short delay and a new design approach. Envisioning their backyard as a place to relax, enjoy good food with company, and take in the view, we were able to search for the inspiration, restate the problem, set new parameters, work backwards, and pack the design with personality.

Thoughtfully responding to the demands and taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the environment meant weaving together multiple areas under one roof of a minimal steel structure floating in the landscape. We extended the home’s living spaces by introducing a covered pavilion with functional areas for cooking, entertaining, and relaxing near the “new” and improved pool. We chose a neutral, calming palette with strong emphasis on comfort and livability.

Read full story here.