Like many landscape designers, Kate Wiseman showcases her work on Houzz, where those searching for inspiration or someone to hire for their project can view work completed by her firm, Sage Outdoor Designs. Of all the questions she is asked by Houzz users about this project, the most popular is regarding the hardscape material. "It's integral colored concrete. That's all," she says with a laugh.
Like many landscape designers, Kate Wiseman showcases her work on Houzz, where those searching for inspiration or someone to hire for their project can view work completed by her firm, Sage Outdoor Designs. Of all the questions she is asked by Houzz users about this project, the most popular is regarding the hardscape material. "It's integral colored concrete. That's all," she says with a laugh.

Kate Wiseman, principal of Sage Outdoor Designs in San Diego, recently was invited back to a home in the prominent area of La Jolla, Calif., where she had previously designed the backyard landscape. The client's request this time was simple: transform the home’s modest, grass-covered front exterior into a welcoming and usable space fit for the family. There was only one real specification: It needed a modern, beach vibe.

What was once an understated, grassy front yard now is a modern and sophisticated outdoor beach retreat. Simple lines, light colors and integral colored concrete provide the perfect backdrop for the various amenities often reserved for the backyard: built-in flat screen TV with retractable cover, fire feature, water element, multiple seating areas, even heat.

With this home's location off the coast of San Diego, glares from the sun made installing a TV outside more functional in the North-facing front yard. The entertainment center is accompanied by built-in heating and three glass-enclosed flames that provide ambiance and a serene escape. A sleek fence and stylish door offer just the right amount of coverage to make the street-facing yard private while still achieving a unique look.

Projects such as this are becoming more commonplace, notes Wiseman, who says more elaborate front yards will continue to grow as a trend, particularly in areas where the homes have limited space and high property value, as well as where there is a push to conserve water.

Should one of these projects land on your roster, make sure you follow the letter of city code perfectly, warns Wiseman.

"When you are dealing with a front yard everyone is watching what you are doing," she observes.

Check out the slideshow over at sister publication Pool & Spa News, and see how Wiseman gave the ordinary space a major face lift that incorporates all things outdoor living for some major curb appeal.

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