Magazine article Sunset

It Was "A Dog Run of a Back Yard"

Magazine article Sunset

It Was "A Dog Run of a Back Yard"

Article excerpt

Yielding ideas for making the most of tight outdoor spaces, this patio remodel on a tight budget created two distinct outdoor rooms (see plan). Starting with "a dog run of a back yard," Los Angeles architect Kaye Secomb reworked the sliver of level ground behind her 1950s tract house. A scant 9 feet separated the house from a 3 1/2-foot-high concrete-block retaining wall at the base of a steep bank. A 3-foot-high diagonal wall defined an elevated gravel pad. Secomb set to work refacing and recycling. First she removed the old patio paving-gray concrete tiles and red bricks-and set the materials aside. To give access to the elevated section, she poured concrete steps in the center of the diagonal wall. Below the steps, she laid new 6-inch terra cotta squares parallel to the house walls. Above, she laid tiles parallel to the diagonal wall; their lines stretch away from the house, giving an illusion of greater distance. Tiles stop short of the uppermost wall to create irregular planting pockets. …

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