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Poolside Living

Linda Erfle painted in the grotto-like courtyard

With impressive attention to detail, award-winning landscape designer, Joni Wilson of Inside Out, has enhanced the gardens of Brian and Lynn Sanford’s South Davis home. The Sanford’s residence was featured in this year’s Pence Gallery Garden Tour. Guests of the tour approached hand-carved Mexican wood gates and a private courtyard at the front of the house, and a meandering, grotto-like pathway brought visitors to the resort-inspired backyard. During the garden tour local artists were painting “live” at each of the featured homes. Linda Erfle, an accomplished artist who uses watercolor and oil, had the pleasure of painting within the ivy-covered courtyard. The soothing water sounds from two fountains created a wonderfully inviting entrance for all of us to enjoy. The paintings created from each of the artists during the garden tour will be displayed at the Pence Gallery from May 18 – June 30, select paintings will be available for purchase.

An inviting seating area overlooks the pool

 The Sanford home’s Italian-inspired exterior is the perfect backdrop for the pool design. Surrounding this focal point are several seating areas providing a desirable setting for outdoor entertaining. These different spaces, or “rooms”, add interest and definition to the yard. Joni created differing elevations and groups of plantings, adding color and new foliage. This residence has been featured previously in the book Gaining Ground Dramatic Landscaping Solutions to Maximize Garden Spaces, written by Michael Glassman and Maureen Gilmer.  Glassman, a landscape architect, worked on the Sanford’s home in 1993.  In 2008 the Sanfords worked with Joni on a landscape re-design and developed plans to resurface the pool, add new plantings and establish new outdoor seating arrangements.

Thoughtful placement along a rear pathway

The new landscape design is surrounded by 40′ tall redwood trees. This dramatic perimeter offers privacy and shade to a lush rear garden and pathway. New plantings of Japanese maple, nandina, birch, agapanthus, hydrangea, iris, carpet rose, camellia, lavendar, sage, thyme, ferns, boxwood, gardenia, bacopa and vinca minor were incorporated into the existing garden. New lighting systems and an outdoor sound system were included in the re-design to add ambience and function to outdoor entertaining. Walking through this yard one quickly imagines its address could easily be a destination-type of resort, not a suburban home.

The outdoor living room is a welcome landing spot after a long work day. The overhead fan and comfortable seating arrangement overlooking the stunning pool – an ideal location to converse and relax. One of the homeowners’ favorite features is the pool fountain light.  The beautiful illuminating effect can be appreciated from the interior and exterior. The outdoor kitchen is fully-equipped and the design aesthetic is the gold standard for outdoor entertaining. Joni’s experience with both interior and exterior design are obvious, and the Sanfords were wise to enlist her talents. Again, the visual impact of this landscape design is very impressive and inspiring.

The gold standard of outdoor kitchens

One of my personal favorite “extras” Joni included is the sunken seating area with fire pit. This outdoor niche has use day and night. The homeowners enjoy morning coffee and newspaper-reading here, as well as starry-night marshmallow roasting and s’mores building. The plantings in this area are all shade-lovers, and in Davis we all know how seeking shade during the hot summer months is a must! The grove-effect of the redwoods and ferns here create a cooling refuge to steamy temperatures.

A sunken seating area with fire pit is a favorite spot

It isn’t hard to imagine a wedding in this lovely yard, and the Sanfords did in fact have a relative’s wedding ceremony and reception at their home last summer. Poolside living has never been better in Davis. Be sure to visit Joni’s website to learn more about the services of Inside Out. She is a respected professional and her work was a beautiful addition to the Pence Gallery Garden tour.

Special thanks to Joni Wilson for the images of the outdoor kitchen and fire pit areas.

Read more about Diana’s interior design work and current projects at http://www.thedesignpartner.com/ and follow her on Twitter.

If you are interested in advertising your business on the Welcome Home blog, please contact, diana@thedesignpartner.com

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