Modern Pool and Hangout Space for Eichler Home: Sunnyvale Landscape Design Challenge
In today’s landscape design challenge we visit the neighborhood of Sunnyvale to walk through another modern backyard living space for one of our favorite kinds of properties–an Eichler home. Every time we discuss an Eichler property, we feel like it’s important to make it clear how much we love these homes. Both for their enduring design that compliments our own style, but also for their iconic, historical importance.
As time has gone on, we’ve been lucky enough to work with an ever increasing quantity of Eichler properties. At this point, we’re happy to say that we specialize in bringing the design and functionality of Eichler backyards in line with the homes themselves.
If today’s home looks familiar, then you may be a frequent reader of the Water and Earth blog as this home was previously featured as a pending design. Today, it is finished and we are so excited to share the final results. But before we get to those final photos, let’s revisit where this property started.
The initial space above was largely a blank canvas, and wasn’t doing much to compliment the classic architecture of the home itself. Additionally, despite the overall empty appearance, there were a few existing aspects at play in this space that we knew would impact the process of this design.
The first and most prominent was a now filled-in swimming pool, seen above where turf has been laid. While the homeowners were told the pool had been removed entirely, the remaining coping made it pretty clear to us that the contractors had simply drilled holes for drainage and filled it in.
Looking from the old decking, you can clearly see the coping, surrounded by the old brick pool deck. The homeowners were looking to build a new pool, so this old patch job would need to be corrected during construction. In addition to this, we needed to account for the raised elevation along the back of the property.
After problem solving and discussing the options with the homeowners, we settled on a design direction that addressed all of these main conflicts and left the clients with a backyard that matched the beauty of their historic home.
Once we decided on the layout, we moved forward with rendering their design. In the aerial view of the space below, you see how the previously empty space with a haphazardly filled in pool has been transformed into a modern getaway fitting for a historic Eichler home.
Stepping outside, the clients find themselves on a large, Techo-Bloc patio. Running the length of the back of the home, it wraps around the house and is punctuated with concrete planters which catch the water from the home’s existing rain chains. Dividing the space, the patio extends through the center of the yard to form an L shape, creating a tanning plank with plenty of space to lay out and bask by the new pool.
Rendered below is the new, sunken fire pit space. Finished with concrete slabs and interlocking pavers, this cozy space is perfect for gathering with friends and family. Below, you can see how the elevated grade of the property has been addressed with sleek, concrete planters acting as a retaining wall. This addition runs the perimeter of the property for a seamless finish.
In the next rendering, the space is a dedicated turf area for the dog. The feature wall has been fitted with a series of industrial pipe style scuppers and funky, modern tile. Nestled between the tanning plank and the wall is a dog-friendly pool entrance. The entire backyard living space is finished with lush, green landscaping.
When we last visited this property, this is where we left off. Now, the project is wrapped and we are excited to be able to share the beautiful, final outdoor living space for this classic, California Eichler home.
The Finished Space
Looking at an overview of the space above, you see the renderings brought to life. From the yard’s new lawn, you look over the custom, L-shaped pool and tanning plank back toward the patio and sunken fire pit. Rain chains usher water into concrete planting beds below, and the clean lines and modern color palette keep in step with the classic, clean lines of this Sunnyvale Eichler.
From an aerial vantage point, you see the custom layout of the pool brought to life. A Techo-Bloc tanning plank mimics a classic wood grain while providing the durability of concrete pavers. Between the plank and the feature wall, you see the dedicated dog-friendly pool entrance, with wider stairs and a seat bench on the opposite side.
Small details are what bring spaces to life, and many of these details can be found in material choices. Here, you see the concrete pavers mimic a classic wood grain. This design originally included composite decking, but the homeowners were looking for a solution that would stay cooler while offering a similar effect. This Techo-Bloc paver offers the best of both worlds.
Along the back of the pool, you see the feature wall finished with funky, pipe-style scuppers and geometric tile in a clean, neutral palette. These modern industrial touches are picked up in the finished styling of the space, and help tie in the property with the timeless yet modern feel of the Eichler home.
No hardscaping is complete without beautiful landscaping. In this project, raised concrete beds house native plants and grasses. Not only does this design provide beautiful visual contrast, but it also helps to break up the space. Along the perimeter of the property, a raised concrete planter acts as a new retaining wall.
This retaining wall, seen above, accommodates the high grade at the edge of the property and spans nearly the entire perimeter. In front of it is the new, sunken fire pit area, finished with interlocking pavers and nestled into a new, concrete patio space.
At the end of the day, we believe that every homeowner deserves an outdoor space that elevates the architecture and style of the home itself. Historic Eichlers, with their clean lines, large windows, and funky, timeless appeal are a perfect match for Water and Earth landscape design. When all was said and done, this Sunnyvale Eichler gained a backyard living space that is not only functional and beautiful, but acts as a compliment to the property’s iconic architecture.