Location: San Diego, CA
Room: Outdoor Space
Size: about 2/3 acres
In San Diego, we visited with Amy, who needed some help outside. With a lot of land to work with, she wasn't sure where to start.
Amy and her family moved into this San Diego home a year ago, and while the inside is lovingly decorated (no help needed there!), the outside could use some love. "It's a blank canvas, and with me working full time, a toddler and my husband recently retired from the USMC, we simply haven't had the time to address it," she says. "The grass is mostly dead and there are weeds everywhere, and the poorly laid flagstones are flipping up and we can't use that part at all. In SoCal we could totally be doing the whole indoor/outdoor living thing but we need HELP. HELP!"
Maxwell has been doling out design therapy since 2001, but this is his first yard! Up for the challenge, he starts by assessing the bones, breathing, heart, and head of the space. Basically, it's a blank canvas as Amy pointed out, and it all needs work.
Bones: The grass is dead and the flagstones are unusable, so we need some fixes here.
Breathing: With so much space not broken up into zones, energy just zooms on through, so the flow could use some thought.
Heart & Head: There's not much in the way of decor or personal touches out here. Amy has achieved these beautifully on the interior of her home, so we'll focus our prescription on the first two and leave these to her to fill in after.
At two-thirds acres, this is the largest challenge yet! The key when dealing with any large space, indoors or out, is to break it up. Maxwell proposes three zones: the deck and entertaining space, the the nature-focused yard, and the play area. Here's what they'll look like:
A sizable deck will give Amy and her family ample area to relax, entertain, and grill in true indoor/outdoor SoCal style. Since the slope of the lower yard makes it hard to utilize, extending the deck outward will maximize the usable area.
Area B requires the help of a landscaper, but some greenery and ground cover that's a mix of native plants and drought-tolerant grasses would make a great place to enjoy nature, and let the dogs to run around.
The play area (seen in the lead photo above) is staying put, but with a better path installed along the side of the house that will connect it to the side doors, and the deck in the back. The current flagstone is flipping up, and needs to be removed.
We left Amy with a copy of Complete + Happy Home so she can continue her refresh. Thanks for letting us into your home (and your yard)!