Tichenor & Thorp Architects

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Dream Backyard Design at a Los Angeles Estate

When Tichenor & Thorp began working with the owners of this Los Angeles estate, the family was in the process of moving back to California from New York. The family needed a home that was functional for their young children, but they also wanted one that was beautiful, elegant, significant, and inspired by English and French traditions.

Their property’s incredible location posed some significant challenges. The most pressing design issue was how to realize the owners’ ambitious dream of a substantial house plus a pool, outdoor living and dining areas, pool house, freestanding pavilion, and lush gardens—all within the confines of one acre.

“This was a project where the gardens and the pool had to be imagined before the house, and they needed to be given the same importance as the building throughout the design process,” states Tichenor & Thorp principal Raun Thorp.

Fortunately, the lot’s slope allowed for a series of descending terraces filled with various destinations and features. In addition, the lot is adjacent to a well-landscaped golf course with mature trees. This provided an opportunity to borrow distant views and blur boundaries, making the entire property, but particularly the garden, feel as if it extends well beyond the lot lines.

To underscore their cohesive vision, Tichenor & Thorp designed the ground-floor interiors to extend into the landscape and outdoor living spaces. “It’s easy for houses like this to grow, but it is infinitely more luxurious if space is left, in the right locations, for well-proportioned garden rooms,” comments principal M. Brian Tichenor.

The property’s many outdoor spaces include a covered dining terrace with fireplace just outside the family room. That terrace flows into an open-air dining area adjacent to the kitchen; a neighboring kitchen garden overlooks the pool. Steps from the dining room, a garden on the pool house roof takes in the entire panorama.

“This project was a true collaboration with our clients, who had a vision of what they wanted this house and its gardens to become,” they add. “Our hope is that we achieved a dreamscape tailored perfectly for them.”

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