A Modern Makeover












Modern Makeover 

Following the renovation of this ’60s-era home, its backyard also got an updated look. 

Photography by Matt Vacca 

The homeowners requested a low-water-use and low maintenance space in which they could entertain. David Papanikolas of Alta Constructors, Inc., created a design that married the mid-century modern feeling of the home to the yard, which had seen years of neglect. The few remaining plants — misplaced queen palms, Texas ranger shrubs and fan palms — were choked by weeds. The original rectangular pool required renovation, and the cool decking was beyond repair. The slump block patio walls, cast in yellow-colored concrete, clashed with the new exterior.

The layout of the yard was completely reconfigured into a series of three zones, resulting in more functional space. The first zone was designed for entertaining. Light-gray concrete patios were poured to provide dining and seating areas, and a minimalist steel water feature was added. The pool was repaired and replastered, with new decking offering space for sunbathing. The second zone was dedicated to low-maintenance faux-lawn areas for children and pets. The green created a visual oasis, which extended to the third zone at the far end of the yard, which was developed for cacti and other desert plantings.

Large steel planters, fabricated by local metal artist Chris Nast, were planted with desert-adapted species (such as the Mexican fence post cacti closest to the house). Ipe wood slats in steel brackets form a railing. Decorative rock ties into the new hues of the home’s exterior. Dwarf olive, gazania ground cover, agave, palo verde and pineapple guava were added throughout the landscape. HG

Designer: David Papanikolas, Alta Constructors, Inc.,
Metal Designer: Chris Nast, Chris Nast Metalwork & Ornamental Ironwork,