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  • Writer's pictureWELD

Borello Ranch Outdoor Living Design - Project 4

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

Introducing the Space

For this fourth Borello Ranch Estate property, we found ourselves designing another longer, linear shaped space. Interestingly enough, this property shared a fence line with our second Borello Ranch project!

A view of the unfinished yard, looking right from the property’s fence.

While our other projects were blank slates when we got involved, this particular backyard came with a bit of a backstory. Previous to reaching out to Water and Earth, the homeowners for this home had been involved with a swimming pool designer and builder who had drawn up design plans for their space.

A view of the unfinished yard, looking right from the property’s fence.

However, when they took these plans to the Borello Ranch Homeowners Association, they were denied. Many communities, such as Borello Ranch Estates, have HOA’s that have very strict guidelines for what you can and can not do on your property. After this initial rejection, the homeowners felt discouraged.

They had spent valuable time approving a design, only for it to be outside of the parameters of what they could do in their space. Ultimately, they decided to end their relationship with this designer, and reach out to us, with faith that we would take our time and create a design that would be approved by the HOA.

Concept A

Concept A

Concept A begins with the homeowners stepping out of their loggia into a shared spa and fire feature area. Both features are covered by a closed pergola roof, and the spa is elevated from the rest of the space by wooden steps. To the left of the spa and fire pit is the pool, which is fully outfitted with a baja shelf, wrapping bench, and laminar jets.

In keeping with what can be seen in some of our other Borello projects, this concept also includes a sunken living area in the patio space, located between the house and the pool. Looking closely at this area, you’ll notice another detail specific to this design.

Water and Earth think it’s important to produce designs that serve everyone who lives in the home, including our furry friend. With that in mind, between the sunken area and the home is a gated dog run, which creates a path directly to a large, dog friendly area around the side of the home. This area blocks access to the rest of the living space, reducing wear and tear to the rest of the property’s finished landscape.

To finish Concept A, we rounded out the hardscaping with two softer, green areas to either side of the patio. To the left, you see a sloping berm and walkway. To the right, we included more grassy space, as well as an insect garden and meandering walking path.

Concept B

Concept B

Concept B included many of the same major elements as the first. The designated dog run, berm, and grassy areas are still located in the same positions as seen in Concept A. We did, however, make some changes to the patio design.

In this rendering, you see the covered spa has been moved left, to the far end of the pool. The fire feature which was formerly in the covered space, has been moved down to the corresponding sunken conversation area, which has also been taken left. In the place of the spa and sunken area are large steppers, which bridge the dog run and the pool.

After presenting both concepts, the homeowners felt the first layout fitted their needs more accurately. They liked the idea of walking out of their home and stepping up onto the spa area. Still, there were a few final tweaks to be made before the design was approved.

Revised Renderings

In the 3D renderings, we made a few revisions to the space from what was shown in Concept A.

A rendering, looking from the left side of the yard. The covered spa is visible in the background, while the sunken conversation pit is just noticeable in the foreground.

A closer look at the raised, covered spa, located off the loggia of the home.

Though the covered spa and seating remained in the same spot off of the home, the sunken area has been moved to the foot of the pool, and serves as the new location for the fire feature.


A rendering of the sunken space, which now includes the fire pit. In the background, you see the walking path and raised berm, as well as fruit trees lining the left corner of the yard.

The space freed by moving this sunken area to the left opens up more patio space for tanning and relaxing next to the pool. The dog run and fenced off area remains in the same location throughout each design.

A rendering of the dog-friendly area, fenced off from the rest of the living space.

These final renderings show the raised berm and walking paths brought to life. The homeowners can use these spaces to get away from the center hub of the space, and relax or be alone with their thoughts. Flanking the pool and patio with this natural space helps to give the design balance, as well as allow it to serve multiple purposes.

An aerial view of the insect and butterfly garden, located to the right of the covered spa off of the home.

For homeowners spending a good deal of money on their dream backyard, multi-functionality is incredibly important.

An aerial view of the yard, encompassing the pool, sunken living space and berm. The covered spa and dog run are seen just out of frame.

After presenting these designs, our clients were thrilled, and so were we. Sometimes, such as in our third Borello Space, multiple rounds of revisions are needed. And sometimes, everything just clicks. At the end of the day, both processes are equally as rewarding.

To Be Continued!

This project is currently coming to life. Construction is underway, and we plan to have the space completely finished by April, 2022. We are excited to share the finished results with you.

In the meantime, if you are eager to see more of our design transformation, check out the blog for more complete design write ups, or give us a follow over on Instagram. We love hearing your feedback.

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