Take a look at this contemporary home set above the ocean in Orange County, CA. The low-slung horizontal planes, light-hued, flat, stone walls, and dark-stained pergola set on stone plinths all add to the drama. Rather than installing a minimalist landscape, the designers chose instead to warm up the front. Juxtaposing the linear structure with tough shrubs clipped into jaunty balls and a "lawn" of junipers used as a groundcover. Then added a cottage-style romance with beds of lavender and pillars clad with climbing roses. Created by the Santa Monica firm m. elle design. It’s a good example of how to mix metaphors in a landscape to get a look that works. (While breaking all the rules.)
Staggered steps are a genius way to slow the journey from curbside to front door. Therefore the landscape can be fully appreciated. Urns stuffed with succulents add interest, color, and texture. They also help to define the outer boundaries of the stone stairs.
Get the Look
- Get the scale right. Nothing here is substantially taller than the roof line of this house. Therefore the impact of the strong horizontal lines is uninterrupted
- Don’t fight the modern vernacular (you chose it because this is your style, right?). Warm it up if you like. However, resist the temptation to add lots of billowy, colorful plants to soften the neutral, hard surfaces
- You know to mass at least three of each plant for impact. Although these outcrops comprised of large clusters of sheared shrubs dotting the landscape add real oomph and movement. It shows that quite often, more is more. Oh, see TDF interiors here.