Ultimate Home Tour: The Backyard

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When your house sits on the beach, having a pool is often redundant. A fire pit to ward off the evening chill becomes a more practical, and dramatic, proposition. Enchanted with their beach location, the owners of a Malibu, Calif., house snapped up the adjacent lot with the intention of expanding not their home but their coastline view. “Lots in Malibu tend to be long, but not very wide,” says architect Richard Landry. “They don’t allow for much extra yard space, so the owners’ foremost desire was more room for them to take advantage of their great location.” Except for the addition of a garage with a gym above it, the remaining land was left open. “We always ask our clients a lot of questions. Our concern is always about giving them exactly what they want,” says Landry. “However, I don’t think they were expecting this. All they asked for was for a way to stay warm while enjoying their backyard.”

Landry devised an entire outdoor living and dining area, with a pizza oven, fridge, wine cooler, and barbecue, shaded by a teak trellis. He installed a wood-burning fireplace faced with thick glass. But the centerpiece of the backyard lies at the end of a serpentine path. Overlooking the ocean, the custom fire pit features a stainless steel tube core with a central gas fire, surrounded by a cascading water fountain that is enclosed by a hand-cast glass brick wall. WET Design, best known for its water fountains at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, helped with the fountain, while the clients contributed the design of the custom teak bench. To complete the sensory experience, water glides over Arizona flagstone steps, reproducing the sound of a river.


Landry Design Group, Inc.



WET Design




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