The Rhee home in San Diego’s Kensington neighborhood presented several challenges. A 60’ Cottonwood tree loomed over the humble single-story house, unnecessarily shading too much of the house and threatening to undermine the structure with its invasive root system. The tree’s roots infiltrated ever square inch of the property, destroying the porch, driveway, and creating a constant mess. The porch was arguably out of scale with the rest of the house, and a rusted iron railing was equally uninviting. The 8’ wide driveway proved to be too narrow for vehicle and pedestrian access. The new landscape was designed and built to fit the specific needs of the client. The front yard landscape was addressed by removing the overgrown tree and giving the home a facelift, with a new paint color and a new entry off the sidewalk. Two offset Olive trees now frame the entry. Plantings of ornamental grasses, Yucca rostrata, Agaves, and specimen Aloes compliment the subdued color palette and house color.
In the rear courtyard four separate doorways opened up to a modest – but little used – space. The client wanted a seamless indoor-outdoor experience with a wish list including a deck space, fire-pit, water feature, increased privacy, and integrated seating. Ipe, a Brazilian hardwood from the Tabebuia tree was used for the decking and privacy screens. Syndecrete tiles (www.syndecrete.com) make up the fascia of the small pond. The fire feature is constructed out of poured in place concrete juxtaposed against black polished concrete. The space is punctuated with fiber cement planters by Green-Form (www.green-form.com) and an outdoor grill by Fuego™. The bench is a Falling Waters design.