Suburban Ranch House Redefined, Orinda

On this secluded site we gave a modern facelift to a classic ranch house and our team created three separate gardens on this large property.

With a palette of materials that included large monolithic slabs of granite, exquisitely finished sandstone for paving, and smooth troweled integral color stucco, we helped create a more cohesive feeling that ensured a seamless style throughout the project.

Entry courtyard: This area was previously dominated by a view of the driveway. Through careful planning, we designed a front entry courtyard and steps built from single monolithic slabs of granite, some weighing up to 4,000 pounds each.

Each step was made of single piece of stone and the benches were out cut from a single slab of granite. The granite was hand-pounded to produce a finish reminiscent of the skin of a lychee fruit which, combined with the outside banding detail created using an adze, gives this massive material the feeling and look of a fine piece of fabric. Softened with plantings of Japanese maples, this modern courtyard now offers contemplative views from the kitchen, home office and master bedroom.

Dining courtyard: A tired looking brick fireplace was updated and given a facelift with a beautiful smooth trowel stucco finish that ties in all of the other vertical surfaces with the rest of the property. Brick steps were replaced with large slabs of granite that lead up to the swimming pool. And the courtyard was paved in sandstone that included two types of finishes for a subtle contrast in the paving pattern.

Swimming pool garden: An existing swimming pool was renovated to include new granite coping and a new pool cover. In an effort to control costs, we used integral color concrete with an attractive scoring pattern around the main body of the pool. A shaded seating area under contemporary pergola was built as an overlook to the pool, with a nicely detailed outdoor shower. To complete the picture, a grove of crepe myrtles, roses and cat-mint creates a four-season backdrop for the lawn adjacent to the pool.

Collaborators:
Architecture: Patricia Motzkin Architecture
General Construction:  Jetton Construction