Creative Landscape Design for a Renovated Eichler in California

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photos by:
March 28, 2014
Originally published in The Great Outdoors
as
Concrete Jungle
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  • 
  Usha and Mike Kreaden had a virtually blank slate when it came to the garden outside the 1958 Joseph Eichler house that they bought in Silicon Valley two decades ago.
    Usha and Mike Kreaden had a virtually blank slate when it came to the garden outside the 1958 Joseph Eichler house that they bought in Silicon Valley two decades ago.
  • 
  Landscape designer Bernard Trainor’s creative use of poured-in-place concrete pavers—such as off the living room, where they break up a low-maintenance lawn of June grass—give the irregularly shaped lot a sense of order. Foxtail ferns and blue chalk sticks, a succulent, lend dashes of color to the entry courtyard, while thyme makes for a fragrant accent between the pavers.
    Landscape designer Bernard Trainor’s creative use of poured-in-place concrete pavers—such as off the living room, where they break up a low-maintenance lawn of June grass—give the irregularly shaped lot a sense of order. Foxtail ferns and blue chalk sticks, a succulent, lend dashes of color to the entry courtyard, while thyme makes for a fragrant accent between the pavers.
  • 
  An ipe fence and a neon-yellow resin screen fashioned from recycled acrylic panels draw visitors toward the entrance to the Kreadens’ renovated Eichler house.
    An ipe fence and a neon-yellow resin screen fashioned from recycled acrylic panels draw visitors toward the entrance to the Kreadens’ renovated Eichler house.
  • 
  In the back, ferns and other shade-friendly plants thrive beneath the home’s deep overhangs.

    In the back, ferns and other shade-friendly plants thrive beneath the home’s deep overhangs.

  • 
  A gravel path leads to a guesthouse, where Trainor supplemented an existing garden of yuccas and palm trees with succulent aeoniums and flowering euphorbias.
    A gravel path leads to a guesthouse, where Trainor supplemented an existing garden of yuccas and palm trees with succulent aeoniums and flowering euphorbias.
  • 
  “Eichlers aren’t very big—that’s why so much emphasis was on the outside. The house had to look like it extended out.” —Bernard Trainor, landscape designer
    “Eichlers aren’t very big—that’s why so much emphasis was on the outside. The house had to look like it extended out.” —Bernard Trainor, landscape designer
  • 
  A contractor drilled holes in a boulder, creating a fountain that he placed in the backyard outside the master bedroom, where the sound of water lulls the Kreadens to sleep.
    A contractor drilled holes in a boulder, creating a fountain that he placed in the backyard outside the master bedroom, where the sound of water lulls the Kreadens to sleep.
  • 
  Their daughters, Annapurna, left, and Siddartha, play with their dog, Anouck, beneath the kangaroo paws in the entry garden courtyard.
    Their daughters, Annapurna, left, and Siddartha, play with their dog, Anouck, beneath the kangaroo paws in the entry garden courtyard.
  • 
  Behind the resin screen is the property’s centerpiece: an entry garden that Trainor recast as an outdoor living room. Sparta stacking chairs, a deep-wicker Baia sofa, and matching Baia armchairs, all by Mamagreen, are arranged around a custom concrete fire pit. Orange kangaroo paws lean in from the sides, creating a sense of privacy without sacrificing views. It’s a welcoming space that serves as a casual gathering spot when the weather cooperates.

    Behind the resin screen is the property’s centerpiece: an entry garden that Trainor recast as an outdoor living room. Sparta stacking chairs, a deep-wicker Baia sofa, and matching Baia armchairs, all by Mamagreen, are arranged around a custom concrete fire pit. Orange kangaroo paws lean in from the sides, creating a sense of privacy without sacrificing views. It’s a welcoming space that serves as a casual gathering spot when the weather cooperates.

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