When a client called from Malibu wanting to bring the essence of Montecito to their new home along the coast of Malibu, our interest was peaked. This sounded like fun. The estate turned out to be a run-down property, every inch in need of updating.

The entry was simplified with the addition of crushed stone, matching trees on both sides and mass plantings of Mexican Sage. A bridle trail was constructed from the barn and hidden by the layers of plantings.

An extensive outdoor living space was constructed at the back of the home with travertine tiles, fireplace, kitchen and eating space. The two existing plum trees were allowed to remain.

Constructing a “dry stream bed” complete with a footbridge not only solved a drainage problem but created a beautiful counter point to the rest of the gardens. A meandering grass path and plantings of drought tolerant color were the final touch.