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Privacy for them, filtered shade for thier plants.

A stucco-walled patio adds privacy to a front corner of this house in Napa, California. Two sets of glass-paneled doors open onto the patio, letting owners Mary Louise and Karrick Collins enjoy the view. In warmer months, the doors are left open to let fresh air into the adjoining dressing room and bath.

Centered in the long outside wall, a false fireplace mantle adds a touch of formality. Lanterns flank the mantle for night lighting.

The 6- by 13-1/2-foot patio is canopied with greenhouse shadecloth, which is secured with wooden stringers nailed to a slight overhang. Its 50-percent mesh diffuses the harsh summer sun, making a healthy environment for tender, shade-loving begonias and a Ficus benjamina, as well as hardier azaleas, geraniums, and ivy. The mesh is fine enough to keep out flying insects. Planters rest on a concrete floor incised with a tile pattern. Architect Robert Keenan of Yountville, California, designed the house.
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Date:May 1, 1985
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