This 1950's ranch house, reinvented by architect Nick Noyes of San Francisco, takes advantage of the sites dynamic views, exceptional climate and location in the foothills of the Santa Barbara Riviera. When the clients purchased the home the architecture had already been redone and there was an existing courtyard that the home opened up to. Being recent transplants from Connecticut and avid gardeners, the clients fell in love with the climate of Santa Barbara and the extensive plant palette they noticed throughout the area, but found the multitude of options overwhelming. In a climate that can grow nearly everything well, where do you place limits? The client had stressed to us that they wanted something that spoke of their east coast roots but also took advantage of the views of the Santa Ynez mountains yet invoked the feeling of being an ultimate California experience, hot tub included.
In order to provide the client with an east meets west Santa Barbara retreat we had to first create a larger patio area which complimented the architecture. Since the site dropped off near the properties edges a retaining wall was added towards the property line to give us more level room for outdoor space. A deck was also added off the guest bedroom and office where a secluded redwood hot tub was integrated for that ultimate spa feel. Santa Barbara sandstone was also used extensively throughout the site to tie back to the geological history of the area and was also used to create the focal point fire-pit which adds a rustic quality and helps to create an indoor-outdoor experience and sense of timelessness to the new landscape.
Another major challenge of the site came from having to retain the view corridor downhill for the neighbors above the property and also preserving the views of the mountains for the client while trying to create a private atmosphere and feeling of seclusion. This was accomplished using a staggered planting of a smaller Mexican weeping bamboo which was an extension of a large existing stand of timber bamboo. The lawn was incorporated into the design as a request by the client as it reminded them of their home in Connecticut, and the patio pavers were merged into it for a seamless feel. Finally, the site was tied together using a rich plant palette which included Agave attenuata ‘Nova’, mixed succulents, evergreen Miscanthus, and a Mediterranean palette indicative of the surrounding area. As if this weren’t enough, a secret vegetable garden placed in large galvanized feed troughs hides behind the rosemary hedge providing year round fruits and vegetables for the family.