Before + After: Santa Cruz Surf House Backyard

AFTER: French doors were added to the house to provide direct access to the backyard.

AFTER: French doors were added to the house to provide direct access to the backyard.

This might be my favorite Before + After for 36th Ave, so I'm excited to finally share it! As you can see below, the backyard was a pretty sad place filled with mulch, a few stepping stones, and some random plants. It was also very inconvenient to use as there was no direct access from the house. You had to enter the backyard from the front of the house and walk down the sides to get to the back. 

BEFORE: The backyard.

BEFORE: The backyard.

The client had several goals for the updated backyard:

  1. Maximize usable square footage.
  2. Provide ample seating for a fire pit and space for a hammock.
  3. Use concrete.
  4. Create direct access to the yard from the house.

I made extensive use of concrete and designed a low concrete wall enclosure (the perfect height for setting down a drink) and concrete pavers. Pea gravel was used in between the pavers and provides great drainage during rainstorms. A low and deep custom redwood bench was built to hug a corner of the concrete wall. Moveable chairs, hammock, side tables, and fire pit were added for maximum flexibility in layout. To contrast with the hardness of the concrete, I added several potted palms and a built-in concrete planter for a lemon tree. Take a look!

AFTER: The backyard's fire pit and custom built-in bench.

AFTER: The backyard's fire pit and custom built-in bench.

AFTER: Another view of the bench and fire pit.

AFTER: Another view of the bench and fire pit.

AFTER: Hammock and lemon tree. 

AFTER: Hammock and lemon tree. 

AFTER: Transitioning from the pea gravel side yard to the paved backyard.

AFTER: Transitioning from the pea gravel side yard to the paved backyard.