The New Front Porch?

Photo credits: Linda Jassim; Brian Ten
Every week, the Los Angeles Times Home and Garden Blog features a cool landscape re-do, and most recently showcased this fun frontyard makeover. I love everything about it, but most of all like how the design and details promotes the spirit of community. The family apparently wanted a place where their kids could play and hang out, but also a venue to share with friends and neighbors. Just like the old front porch!
Photo credits: Linda Jassim; Brian Ten
This was their front yard before, looking from the house in Culver City to the street, before Mark Tessier Landscape Architecture worked its magic.
Photo credits: Linda Jassim; Brian Ten
This is the old frontyard looking from the street to the house. Note this project is also a great way to lose a water-hogging lawn!!
Photo credits: Linda Jassim; Brian Ten

This is the new front of the yard, where a concrete fountain spills out outside the fence, and then again inside the fence. Apparently, it is a great conversation piece among neighbors and passers-by. 

Photo credits: Linda Jassim; Brian Ten

The understated, simple style of this project is what makes it so inviting, I think. Instead of paving a patio, they used concrete pavers so that water could drain through to the ground instead of run-off into the street and ocean. Good move!!

Photo credits: Linda Jassim; Brian Ten
Not to mention how the family grows edible and medicinal herbs between the cracks!!
Photo credits: Linda Jassim; Brian Ten

They also used decomposed granite, which is a fabulous way to create a usable, draining patio. It’s hard to see, but the family included a sandbox along the fence, which is covered at the moment and to the right of the fountain.
Photo credits: Linda Jassim; Brian Ten
According to the blog post, the family wanted the fire pit to have a wide surface so it could double as a working surface, either to put plates or drink on or whatever you want. You can also sit on the edge of the bench-high fountain. I love things that have multiple uses. (That colored fire pit glass is on my ick list, but I think it works well here because it’s just about the only color and the design is so understated, clean and could use some texture.)

Photo credits: Linda Jassim; Brian Ten

Lots of native plants to attract birds, bees and butterflies. It’s hard to explain how wonderful it feels when butterflies float over your head while you are outside, or a curious hummingbird hovers next to your face for a fleeting moment. Okay, I can try: It’s divine!!

Photo credits: Linda Jassim; Brian Ten

How cute is this family? Nothing more beautiful than kids reading!! 
Although it’s not native, bamboo is my favorite screening plant, and gives an instant feel of serenity. Somehow it manages to soften concrete and make the wood feel like it’s still alive. (Notice that fire pit tabletop in use?)

Photo credits: Linda Jassim; Brian Ten

Another corner of the yard, adding color and lush plants.

Photo credits: Linda Jassim; Brian Ten

The family loves to invite friends–and sometimes the neighbood–over to watch movies outside with them. (We had neighbors who projected movies on the outside of the front of their house, served popcorn and became a neighborhood hit for several summers.) 


Here’s how the Times‘ blog describes their set-up:

During summer, a canvas goes up on the garage wall, heat lamps are put in place, the glass fire pit is lighted and the neighborhood film festival begins.”
  
“Movies are projected onto the FAVI 16:9/200-Inch Electric Projector Screen (HD-200), which was bought online and assembled in a few hours. The screen is mounted to the side of the garage with two large screws and a sheet metal housing (made for less than $100 and painted to match the house). This housing protects the screen from the elements and hides it when not in use.”


Read the entire post by clicking HERE.

2 thoughts on “The New Front Porch?

  1. i want, i want!!
    p.s., how'd they get their kids to read quietly instead of fight noisily? i must be doing something very wrong…

  2. This front yard makeover is inspirational. I love the streamlined look and the use of concrete without being overbearing. Special mention to the water feature, love it!

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