Collection by Allie Weiss

Japanese-Inspired Backyard with a Tiny Studio in Portland


Howells Architecture + Design converted an unremarkable Portland backyard into a modern space for relaxing and entertaining.

For more outdoor design ideas, consult our June 2015 issue.

A 2,500-square-foot backyard off a Portland home was completely overhauled by architect Michael Howells.
Since Portland is at roughly the same latitude as Sapporo, Japan, Howells was inspired by minimalist Japanese gardens.
The client initially asked for a garage rebuild, but during construction decided that he wanted to use the new space as...
A blend of Scotch moss and Corsican mint fills the space between pavers, adding a pleasant scent to the yard.
Board-formed concrete planters hold species fitting for the Pacific Northwest, including conifers and moss.
The cedar fence that surrounds the yard was custom-designed to ensure privacy from all vantage points.