Finishing Touches

aug_7aa_007You may remember my post from July 21, Renovation Part II, a discussion of what finishing touches were yet to come in this project.   If you missed that, I will recap.  This beautiful Mediterranean house was in need of a landscape renovation; the new owner is a designer herself, and what she had, she knew would not do.
I did like the U-shape of brick here, although it seemed too small, and had been installed without attending to the grade issues first. That idea was the one thing worth saving.

dsc_0003We removed all the plants, and brick, and graded out to the edge of the house; it is too awkward to step down in the middle of a terrace.  In other words, we started over.

july2_020The new and larger granite and brick terrace stepped down into the lawn; a new stucco wall made for extra seating for guests, and made the suggestion of enclosure.

may_10_006The new rear yard landscape made much of the repaired and repainted stucco wall .  A grove of trees in the lawn, a formal arrangement of trees mulched in granite, and grass.  Simple and striking.

may_10_012But what else did this landscape need in the way of finishing touches?  Inspired by the Spanish flavor of the architecture, I thought some ironwork might be in order.july21_064

One iron pergola would have been a little overpowering.  Two smaller matching iron pergolas, which would eventually support grape vines, seemed like a great way to warm up the space, and give that terrace a more room-like feeling.

july22_025I especially like how the terrace will have two shady cool areas, with a sunny space in between them.   

aug_6a_002Finishing touches like this can make all the difference in the world; this space looks inviting and comfortable.  A place to have dinner, a place to read in the shade, a place to entertain-all good things to plan for.

aug_6a_008The last touch – a self-contained fountain jar.  The reservoir to recirculate the water was installed underground.  My client opted for a water jet barely visible. Lighting was unobtrusively installed in the pergola roof, illuminating the fountain at night.   I can imagine how it will look and sound once there are grapes overhead. 

aug_6a_004A new umbrella is on the way. Maybe there will be holiday lights this winter.  Maybe next summer there will be some pots.  The finishing touches phase transforms the designed landscape into a landscape for living.


  1. I have been waiting for this post since July 21st and it was well worth the wait. The outdoor rooms are more than inviting. Not sure I would ever go inside.. perhaps only when weather dictated and then reluctantly.
    I absolutely love the water fountain with the stones around the base and the pergolas, with or without the grapes. The pots will be a great addition along with a copy of your previous are a teacher at heart!
    Hope this Renovation PartII will be on the 2010 Cruise.

Leave a Comment