Subtle threshold: Despite the relatively small size of the yard, landscape architect Joseph Huettl wanted to divide it into multiple, distinct usage areas without causing a claustrophobic feel. These two facing waterfeatures, made of cast-in-place concrete walls with stainless steel spouts falling from the sides, were offset from each other and built to different heights to subtly separate the covered dining and sunbathing areas. “We looked at having them lined up, but we wanted it to feel a little more dynamic as you’re walking through, so it’s not so rigid in its organization,” says Huettl, president of Huettl Landscape Architecture in Walnut Creek, Calif. “We didn’t want it to be too much like a literal gate.”
Repeating theme: Saw-cut bluestone squares were used for the floating stepping pads. “It’s a nice passage to walk across the water,” Huettl says. They were repeated throughout the yard, often in grid patterns set on a field of crushed rock, as seen underneath the chaise lounges, or concrete. “We were designing everything in this yard in a rectilinear fashion, so the grid was a nice look,” Huettl says. “It provides interest and a bit of visual structure and design strength. The repetition is not readily apparent until you walk around the yard.” The pond was kept 17 inches deep and stocked with small mosquito fish that can better evade predators than can goldfish or koi. The 8-inch-thick pond walls were flared in at the top few inches, so only 2-1/2 inches show at ground level.