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It was "a dog run of a back yard".

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. Here she installed a fountain made of a terra cotta urn and saucer with a drilled center hole. To open the house to the rear patio, French doors were added to the kitchen and an adjacent study. Tiles left from remodeling the kitchen and bath returned as risers for the patio steps. Secomb ran terra cotta tiles alongside the kitchen, then down two steps toward the other side of the lot. Built over these steps, a new archway and gate define the second outdoor "room" a lower patio outside the bedrooms. Here Secomb relaid concrete squares striped with old brick. Stuccoed and painted a rosy tan, the retaining walls and archway now harmonize with the terra cotta tiles. Merging the created landscape with the natural, Secomb planted the first 3 feet of bank above the walls with begonias, bougainvillea, impatiens, marigolds, star jasmine, and vinca. 1-1
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Title Annotation:patio remodeling
Date:Sep 1, 1990
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