This Pocket Patio Is a Masterclass on How to Maximize Space
Let two designers show you how to fit everything you need in less than 400 square feet.
When Saffron + Poe shop owners and designers Fiona Bronte Burr and Johanna Vente Anderson saw the tiny 330-square-foot patio their new clients wanted to use for hot tubbing, entertaining, grilling, and more, they looked at it not as an impossibility, but as an opportunity.
After all, their clients are surfers, and their house is right across the street from their favorite surf spot on Ocean Beach in San Francisco. That means they had big waves and big ideas on their minds. “Our clients really wanted a space where they could shower off the sand after surfing and warm up in the hot tub,” Burr and Anderson say. “They also love cooking and entertaining, so it was important to have an outdoor kitchen space complete with a grill, sink, refrigerator and Kegerator for nice cold beer on tap.”
The first step was to measure carefully; then the designers started playing Tetris to see what would flow best in the space. They knew they wanted the shower to be the focal point “since it allowed for such a fun opportunity with color.” The tile they chose is green Field Tile from Heath Ceramics, while the vintage brass and copper hardware came from Hydra Plumbing in New Zealand. An extra touch: There’s an additional showerhead so their clients can not only rinse off themselves, but their surfboards, too.
Once the shower was locked in, they needed to find a place for seating. Since there’s no room for a table and chairs, Burr and Anderson designed the radial sunburst steps that lead up to the cedar hot tub; they do double duty as a place to sit.
The cedar they used for the stairs then became the visual glue that holds everything together. A raised cedar cabinet next to the hot tub provides extra storage and houses the Kegerator. Cedar also runs along the rough black waterfall countertops in the outdoor kitchen, where there’s a custom barbecue unit. More cedar on the surrounding walls unifies the space.
With careful planning, Burr and Anderson were able to include everything on their client’s wish list. The result? Their clients say they love it, and the patio has become a part of their everyday lives.