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Private and stone-paved now, it used to be their driveway.

Adding a flagstone courtyard dramatically improved the livability of this ranch house in Brentwood, California.

Before, a large oil-stained parking area wasted space and was really more of an obstacle than a path to the pool. Because of the steep driveway, the owners used the back door as the main entry--but it wasn't very welcoming or efficient.

Architects Marc Appleton and Tunde Garai, working with Richard MAcDonald, solved the problem with a 30- by 60-foot courtyard that provides a more appealing entryway as well as a pleasant place for entertaining. The house forms two sides of the courtyard; simple lattice screens form the other two.

The screens are 8 feet high, matching the house eave line. To echo the posts along the house's covered gallery, 6-by-6 posts were placed 10 feet apart. A grid of 2 by 3's sits between the posts, and 6-by-8 beams top them.

Palos Verdes flagstones match those by the pool. A welcoming portal leads to driveway and guest parking.
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Date:Jul 1, 1984
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