Contemporary Mediterranean

This small yard was modeled around existing fixtures
Lauren Bonar Swezey

Garden remodels can be especially challenging when you have to work around existing fixtures. In this garden, now owned by Nancy and Michael Alexander, Trutza retained a huge, beautiful old cork oak that dominates one side of the yard. But a glaring white-bottomed spa surrounded by white decking created a bigger challenge, and behind the spa was a plain block wall bordering another yard.

Since the spa was so prominent, Trutza decided to turn the eyesore into a handsome focal point by adding a fountain, covering the spillway with tasteful gray green tiles, and refinishing the bottom of the spa in black pearl Pebble Tec.

 

Behind the spa, Trutza installed a new raised planter and filled it with a mix of gray-leafed and flowering plants. He covered the block wall with stucco and applied an ocher-colored lime wash to play off the gray foliage.As a finishing touch, the Alexanders paved the patio with manganese-colored Saltillo tiles, laid upside down to create a nonslip stonelike surface. "The new paving provides the perfect connection to the house's interior, where the same pavers are placed right side up," says Trutza.