Stylish courtyard

A retreat with a twist
Lauren Bonar Swezey

Santa Fe. This downtown refuge brings a refreshing new twist to traditional adobe gardens. Using an earthy Southwest color scheme, Catherine Clemens and Elizabeth Robechek transformed a blank space into a contemporary retreat. All the elements are custom-built, from the black-bottom spa surrounded by stained concrete coping to the polished granite table with wood-and-metal chairs.

The plantings are spare, in keeping with the area's minimal rainfall. A grove of aspens, set in "pools" of river rock, provides four seasons of interest. "A brilliant manipulation of a small space," noted a juror.

DESIGN: Clemens & Associates, Santa Fe ( www.clemensandassociates.com or 505/982-4005)