It is remarkable to imagine that this 10-acre estate was once a bare hilltop. Yet, through an intense collaboration between the owners and the design team, DTLA developed a natural landscape design that feels both established and spontaneous.
The prominence of the property along the ridge top as well as the seasonal extremes dictated both the house and landscape design. In its central location on the peak of the hill, this elegant craftsman home and its surrounding landscape merges with its environs when viewed from a distance. The enveloping landscape is a comfortable but continuously surprising space that reveals itself only in parts as one travels through it: the pool area with its infinity edge pool mirroring the site’s contours and offering a panoramic view of the Lafayette valley; the edible garden; and, the outdoor kitchen and entertaining area shaded by a canopy of oaks.
Our landscape design is inspired by the surrounding native oak forest and grasslands and draws on their palette and their natural solutions to seasonal changes. The repopulation of the ridgeline with coast live oaks dictated a planting palette that could accommodate both hot summers without much water and winter rain. Primarily using California natives, we emphasized vibrant color and texture to delight both the homeowners and the site’s wildlife. Rockeries, bioswales and careful grading maximize water retention and allow continuous site usage during the existence of seasonal waterways
Photography: Treve Johnson