Big Borello Ranch Backyard: Morgan Hill Landscape Design Challenge
Last year, we shared with you a series of in-process designs for homes in the beautiful Borello Ranch neighborhood. Now, as construction for all of these homes begins to wrap, we are returning to share the finished results.
Today’s feature is one of the largest Borello Ranch properties we worked on. These clients were excited about maximizing the potential of their outdoor living space. From a mini putting green, to a custom pool, covered living space, and basketball court, every inch of this backyard has something new to offer.
Before we jump into the final photos, we want to take a second to remind you where this project started.
Introducing The Space
Because these Borello Ranch properties were largely new builds, the lots themselves were blank slates. This meant no existing hardscaping, landscaping, or previous design attempts. Working with an empty canvas is an advantage as there is no demo needed, and imagination can really run wild.
This particular Borello Ranch home had a massive amount of outdoor space. Most people we talk to believe that the bigger a backyard is, the easier it is for us to execute a design. And while it is always great to have enough space, having too much space can present its own set of issues.
There are very real challenges when designing in larger spaces as well—particularly when it comes to managing the budget of the project. Naturally, the more space you have to work with, the more material and design elements you will need in order to fill it. Under-design the project, and the backyard can be left feeling empty or unfinished. Let your imagination run away with you, and you can create a design that comes in way over the homeowner’s expected budget.
The challenge then becomes using and filling the space beautifully, without disregarding budget parameters, timelines, and overall cost. When we set about designing for this large backyard space, that note was at the forefront of our mind. Our client’s had a budget, and were careful to work with it as we filled the space.
Due to Water and Earth’s emphasis on client collaboration, the design of this project evolved several times, before settling on the final design direction pictured below.
In the aerial rendering above, you see the huge scale of this finished project. The right side of the fame shows the paver pathway that leads homeowners into the yard past a custom putting green before opening up into the larger patio. Centered in the new patio is the custom pool with integrated spa, and a new covered living space along the rear of the property. To the right is the finished outdoor fireplace.
From the vantage point above, you see the new outdoor kitchen positioned beneath the home’s original overhang. Next to the outdoor fireplace, an L-shaped seat wall in composite wood is accented by a funky array of concrete pavers that break up the rectangular pattern. From here, you see the spa integrated into the pool, as well as a look at the living area beneath the custom steel and wood slat pergola with a privacy screen.
Last but not least, this home maximized entertainment and function with a complete basketball half court. Bordered by a sleek line of plantings, this court manages to serve a functional purpose for recreation without taking away from the sleek, modern appeal of the overall design.
The Final Space
Finalizing designs is great, but nothing compares to finalizing construction. We couldn’t be happier with how this Borello Ranch backyard turned out, so let’s get into the finished space.
As you can see, the finished space has become a dead-ringer for the initial design renderings. From the putting green in the background of the frame, to the basketball half court, custom pool, and covered living space this big backyard has something for every member of the family.
Stepping out of their home, the clients find their existing overhang transformed into a full functional outdoor kitchen. From this vantage point, they can look over the pool, putting green, and covered living space. Stainless steel and stone countertops give this space a sleek, modern feel that offers true indoor/outdoor appeal.
Looking back at the home, you see the bar top of the kitchen fitted plenty of additional seating. The pool features an integrated spa with accent tile, and an automatic cover that sits flush with the pool's sleek coping. As the sun goes down, strategically places pool lights transition the pool from day to night.
Behind the pool, the new covered living space offers the best of outdoor living. The steel structure is fitted with a wood slat ceiling and privacy screen. Beautiful Restoration Hardware outdoor furniture surrounds a custom fire pit. Above, a modern chandelier brings the comfort and ambience of a traditional living room into the outdoor space.
To the left, the homeowners step down into the second outdoor living space. Here, they step down into a sunken patio area, framed by a huge outdoor fireplace. Beautiful Restoration Hardware outdoor couches and tables create a cozy area to chat with friends.
Behind the couch and fireplace, additional seating in the space takes the form of an L shaped bench. Perfect for larger gatherings, guests, or just relaxing in the sunshine, this bench is fitted and then lit from below for use day or night.
On the opposite of the pool, the paver patio opens up to accommodate additional seating. Here, two Restoration Hardware loungers create a cozy tanning space perfect for a nap or dedicated sunbathing. Behind, you see the large sprawl of lawn, accented by additional auxiliary seating in the corner of the property.
Rounding out the space, of course, is the finished basketball half court. Lined by manicured planting beds and lit around the length of the perimeter, the homeowners can play a quick pick up game, or use the space for other recreational activities.
When construction wrapped on this Morgan Hill landscape design challenge, the homeowners left with their dream outdoor living space. With multiple spaces for entertaining, recreation, and relaxing, this big backyard has plenty of room for gatherings of any size.