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Modern Backyard in Borello Ranch: Morgan Hill Landscape Design Challenge

At the beginning of last year, we delved deep into the design for a then in-the-work project in Borello Ranch. Today, we’re excited to dive back into this incredible project, this time taking a closer look at the finished space. For those who haven’t read the previous post discussing this Borello Ranch property, here’s some quick background information to get you up to speed.


These homeowner’s had seen our work on Instagram, and were excited to work with us to create a modern, funky, forward thinking design for their outdoor living space. Must haves on their list included a custom swimming pool, outdoor dining area, covered living, and kid friendly, green space.


The Renderings

As discussed in our previous post, this project went through several rounds of renders before arriving at the final design. Before we take a look at the finished space, let's take another look at some of the renderings that guided the final product.


One of the most notable elements of this space is the round spa. This spa is unique in more than one way. Not only is it round, a step away from the more geometric designs we typically favor, but it is actually a perimeter overflow spa as well. This means that the water in the spa is level with the top edge, and flows over into the catch below where it recycles into the pool. This design was made possible due to the ability for the water to recycle into the pool despite its separated appearance. If this had not been possible, a tank would have been necessary to allow water to cycle–a very expensive process that would have made this detail seem less feasible.



Another stand out design choice in this project is the funky, patterned hardscaping. We showed this in our initial blow post, but we think it is worth revisiting here. We often like to mix patterns and pavers to create texture and visual interest within the design. In this space, lines of pavers set at a 45 degree angle run throughout the space.


The lines are composed of alternating colors of pavers and decking, and then picked up once more across the pool in alternating lines of paver and turf. The overall effect is a design that has continuity without falling flat, or becoming too loud.

Taking a look from the other side of the pool, you look back at the rendered design of the steel frame pergola. This structure creates a large outdoor living space, finished with inset lighting and a rotating fan. The large privacy screen creates sleek, modern coverage for the home’s pool equipment. The decking below continues to create a plank that runs in front of the pool’s water feature wall.

Looking out from the covered living space toward the rest of the rendered yard, you see a complete outdoor kitchen, arbor with string lights, and space for kids to play in the back of the frame.

While our team was extremely excited about the renderings for this project, nothing compares to the real, finished space.


The Finished Space

When all was said and done, the finished space looked incredible. There are a lot of special touches in the original design that shine even brighter fully constructed than they did in the renderings. From the circular spa to the tile pattern and more, we’re so excited to share these pictures with you.

Looking over the pool at the finished space, you can see just how true the final images are to the original renderings. Above, you see the long pool that divides the long, alternating stripes of pavers. The large, steel pergola hangs over a breezy deck and living space. The outdoor kitchen and arbor create a twinkling patio space to relax and have dinner with friends and family.

One of the pieces of this project that we were most excited for was the circular overflow spa. The finished version is everything we hoped it would be and more. The beautiful blue, dimensional tile finishes not only the body of the spa, but is seen again on the pool’s feature wall and waterline giving a repeating pop of color and shine as seen in the image below.

The pool’s feature wall works to link each side of the pool together. The plank walkway carries the decking from the covered living space across the pool to the other side of the yard. Three scuppers create dynamic movement, while the aforementioned tile has another chance to shine.

Beneath the covered living space, you see the recessed lighting and the fan. The far side of the space is fitted with a privacy screen that not only provides the homeowners additional coverage from neighbors, but blocks the unsightly pool equipment. The dark, warm wood of the structure's ceiling and fence are a dynamic contrast with the lighter, composite decking underfoot.

On the other side of the yard, just outside the home’s back entrance is the new fire pit and outdoor kitchen. The patio is finished in sleek, hexagonal pavers. The new fire pit provides plenty of room to gather beneath the string lights overhead, anchored to the arbor. The finished outdoor kitchen features a beautiful grill and plenty of counterspace, and is capped off with a floating waterfall bar for plenty of extra seating.


Looking at the space from another bird’s eye view, you see that there is still plenty of green space for kids to run and play. Along the perimeter of the yard a new landscaping bed has been installed, and a finished paver pathway leads the homeowners around the side of their space toward the front of their home.

It’s always exciting to share renderings, but there’s no better feeling than sharing the finished projects that result from those renderings. For these Borello Ranch homeowners, we were able to stay faithful to all of our original design plans. From funky hardscaping to a custom overflow spa, every element of this outdoor space looks even better in real life than it did on paper.


For more final project reveals like this one, visit our blog! For day to day updates on all of the latest Water and Earth projects, follow us on Instagram.

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