For the past 18 years, Pacific Outdoor Living has worked with the Pasadena Showcase House of Design to transform homes and lives through the power of music. We are very proud to have been a part of such an amazing organization for so many years, and for the chance to work with such a dedicated and talented group of individuals.

The Pasadena Showcase House of design is one of the country’s oldest and most esteemed home and garden tours. It is an annual event hosted by the Pasadena Showcase House of the Arts, a non-profit group dedicated to improving lives through music programs and support.

Each year, Southern California’s most talented landscapers and interior designers come together to completely renovate an estate. Each designer adds to the home’s significant architecture with modern design concepts. The proceeds from the event go towards funding programs such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Walt Disney Concert Hall and educational programs for students.

Over the past 18 years, we’ve worked on 3 swimming pools, custom driveways and water features, patios and more. We hope you’ll visit the Pasadena Showcase House of Design and tour the area. Each year, it’s open for a month in April and May. This year’s home tour will start on April 23rd and go until May 21st. You can purchase your tickets here.

Our Years at Showcase

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The Front Yard Garden

The front yard garden had been designed to enhance the beauty of this classic home and capture the start character of the existing grove of statuesque trees.

The focal point of the garden is the stunning four tiered fountain with cascading flowers set in a patio of intricate stonework, and cantered on the main front door of the Showcase Home. Benches and flowering urns surround the fountain inviting anyone to relax in a perfect place to delight the senses. A winding pavingstone pathway meanders through the garden allowing visitors to take in the lush surroundings. In the broad rolling lawn, topiary deer graze on the carpet of thick green grass, while splashes of color placed at the entrances invite passers-by to enjoy the seasonal flowers set off against the lawn.

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The Medallion Entry

This area was designed to combine an Old World feeling with New World technology. tones were “tumbled” to give a “watered” look from an old Italian villa and set by hand in a circle with a border design that adds to the overall beauty. By interlocking and hand-placing the stones, an old Italian villa feeling and ambiance were created. Multiple tons of grays and browns were used to reflect the rustic tones of this Italian villa. One could only imagine back in time when life was so simple.

showcase-cover-2002

The Front Yard Garden

The front yard garden had been designed to enhance the beauty of this classic home and capture the start character of the existing grove of statuesque trees.

The focal point of the garden is the stunning four tiered fountain with cascading flowers set in a patio of intricate stonework, and cantered on the main front door of the Showcase Home. Benches and flowering urns surround the fountain inviting anyone to relax in a perfect place to delight the senses. A winding pavingstone pathway meanders through the garden allowing visitors to take in the lush surroundings. In the broad rolling lawn, topiary deer graze on the carpet of thick green grass, while splashes of color placed at the entrances invite passers-by to enjoy the seasonal flowers set off against the lawn.

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Country Cobble Driveway & Motor Court

The winding 10,000 for driveway that creates the grand entrance to this palatial estate is woven with “Country Cobble” interlocking paving stones in a variety of hand-placed, tumbled and watered stones in muted colors of limestone brown and tan brown. Paving stones are able to withstand weather, time, and cracking from the occasional earth movement for which California is famous. These sturdy and beautiful stones add warmth and Old World charm and compliment the timeless beauty of this year’s Showcase House of Design.

A California Water Garden

This beautiful lagoon and water feature create a graceful setting for the garden go this majestic home; the soothing sounds of cascading water welcome you to this tranquil oasis. The natural looking koi pond has a filtration system especially designed to maintain a biologically balanced eco-system. The fish, water lilies and a variety of other beautiful flowering aquatic plants maintain the balance of this water paradise and create a peaceful ambiance.

The patio is created from European type paving stones, that have been distressed to make them appear older and then laid in a random pattern which matches the character of the Estate. The flagstone bridge that appears to be floating leads the island and the disappearing fountain.

The landscape around the pond is designed to blend with the Moorish architectural style of the house. Graceful, willowy “Shoestring” acacias from a backdrop for the waterfall. The planting around the pond includes foliage in various hues of burgundy and reds including the dramatic and showy “Kangaroo paws” and New Zealand flax. Mass planting of grasses, perennials and annual color are also features.

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California Water Gardens & Terrace

The terraces uses muted paving stones in earth toned colors to blend with the existing native stone wall. The Kingdom Cobble stones (accented by “Sandstone” and “Tan” Country Cobble stones) have been tumbled to give them a “distresses” or old world feel. The semi-formal terrace cantilevers over the Koi pond, creating a dramatic effect that further compliments this majestic Georgian manor.

Paving stones were originally developed and widely used in Europe where cobble stone streets and walkways are commonplace. The beauty, strength and economy of paving stones are a pleasing alternative to concrete or asphalt. The stones are set on a specially formulates compacted base that allows them to expand and contract with temperature and environmental changes. The base provides excellent drainage and prevents erosion, seismic distortion and cracking common in other hardscape surfaces.

The California Water Garden is designed to harmonize with the lush surrounding of majestic oaks. Following the contours of the existing rock, the stream flows from several sources to give it a natural appearance. River rocks and boulders laced with moss and accent plants embrace the pond and create the feeling of natural spring in the forest. Aquatic plants, Koi fish and the biological filtration of plants; including White Lace-Cap Hydrangeas, Silver Leaf Ferns, Red Cut Leaf Maples and colorful perennials and flowers.

The two “Disappearing Fountain” water features nestled in the garden add to the tranquil ambience. Stop by, sit a spell and linger in this restful retreat while your mind recalls a gentler age.

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Vista Dell’ Acqua

Take advantage of the vista as the cascading waterfall invites you to relax to the soothing sounds of water flowing down the stream into the garden oasis below.

The surrounding rocks and boulders laced with moss and accent plants embrace the pond and create the feeling of a natural spring. Aquatic plants, Koi fish and the biological filtration of the water maintain a crystal clear pond. “Vista Dell’Acqua” is lavishly landscaped with a variety of plants; including Calla Lilies, Silver Leaf Ferns, Red Cut Leaf Maples, and colorful perennials and annuals.

A semi-circular paving stone vista point provides the perfect spot to stop and enjoy the pond. Complimenting the motor court, we have used subtle earth tones of Tuscana Blend in Bergerac pavers that have been tumbled to look like pavers you would find in the streets of Italy.

Strada Pravita Ed Entrata

The entry to this year’s Pasadena Showcase House is designed to harmonize with the formal Italian architecture. The motor court features paving stones in subtle earth tones of Sierra Blend. The Bergerac pavers are installed in a circular pattern and have been tumble to give an old world feel to the strada privata.

Paving stones were originally developed and widely used in Europe where cobble stone streets and walkways are commonplace. The beauty, strength and economy of paving stones are a charming alternative to concrete or asphalt. Each stone is set on a specially formulated compacted base that allows them to expand and contract base that allows them to expand and contract with temperature and environmental changes. The base provides excellent drainage and prevents erosion, seismic distortion and cracking common in other hardscape surfaces.

The entry terrace is lavishly landscaped with fragrant Lavender, Rosemary and White Roses captivating the senses as you stroll toward the threshold. Italian Cypress trees flank the main entrance giving it a stately feel. The private drive is surrounded by boxwood hedges and adorned with annual flowers that dance with color.

Topping off the design, a “Disappearing Fountain,” nestled among the garden, greets you with the relaxing sounds of trickling water. A complete sight, smell, and sound sensory experience awaits you.

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Water Garden Walk

Welcomed by a meandering natural spring designed by California Waterscapes, guests approach the entrance of this classic Monterey Colonial home along a walkway designed by Pacific Pavingstone. The stream flows over small rills and continues on the other side of the walkway. There it spills into a serenely beautiful Koi pond, which can be seen from the balcony above. The Water Garden Walk entries Showcase visitors with expectations of more delight to come.

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Sunset Boulevard

“Sunset Boulevard,” the entrance to the historical Body House, has been completely transformed by replacing the existing asphalt with close to 4,000 square feet of paving stones in Sierra color for generations to enjoy. The intricate oval cut-out was also strategically designed to match the oval facade in the home itself, blending the indoor and outdoor living spaces.

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La Cantina

Transforming the rear of this year’s Showcase House, a new paving stone patio adds a touch of elegance to the house’s exterior.

The paving stones, in a subtle sandstone color, have been tumbled to soften their color and give them an Old World feel. A seat wall overlooking the pool has been added at the back of the patio to accommodate  guests visiting “The Cantina.”

The medallion in the center of the patio reflects the Moorish architectural style of the house and adds to the area’s charm.

This shady colorful retreat is nestled just steps down the arbor covered stairs. Awaken your senses with the soothing sound of the double waterfall cascading down the hill to the pond below. As you descend down the stairs take a detour on the flagstone path leading you to the pond where the water lilies and exotic Koi reside. As you relax on the bench at the base of the stairs enjoy the magic of the waterfall bringing the hillside to life.

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Forecourt

Your journey through this magnificent Italian Renaissance Revival estate began with a walk up the distinguished paving stone forecourt into the porte-cochere which welcomed you inside. Each paving stone was hand set into an Ashlar pattern with stones reminiscent of cut natural slate found in prestigious architectural projects where money was no object, and quality and craftsmanship was the highest priority. The rich surface texture which mimics natural stones and the tricolor blend is inspired by Southern California’s natural landscape enriched with hues of moss, gray and charcoal. To incorporate a material which would both support vehicular traffic and be aesthetic enough to dine on, we chose these slate paving stones to transition from the Forecourt to the patio and garden areas. This seamless flow between the spaces and continuity in materials creates the perfect compliment to the home.

Yeah House Terrace

Follow the flowing stream down from the Tea House to this beautiful zen-inspired garden, where ornamental plants and a collection of bonsai trees are waiting to soothe all your cares away. Here you are able to take a moment to relax on the unique seating wall and listen to the sound of cascading waterfalls. Practice your golf game on the putting green, which has been softened by a natural grass fringe. Overlooking the rest of the gardens of this magnificent estate, the trellised vines and beautiful flagstone patio will inspire and transform you. Although some of the space had been set up as one of Showcase’s dining areas, one can imagine it set for wine and cheese with friends or an al fresco dining area.

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Grand Entrance

Because the Grand Entrance is the first impression visitors will receive of the Cravens Estate, the designers’ goal was to restore the large open area in such a way that visitors instantly feel like they’ve been transported back to a historic chateau in France… and they’ve succeeded admirably at this goal!

But since this estate is now the home of the San Gabriel Pomona Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, the paving stone entry is adorned with a Red Cross Medallion built of custom cut paving stones. The perimeter of the entrance is planted with rich texture and a touch of color to soften the edges of the area. Planting include New Zealand Flax, Liriope and Lavender.

Terrace Garden

The designers have created an exciting, functional outdoor place for visitors to enjoy.

“The dynamic checkerboard design of turf and pavers creates a fun visual experience,” says John Montgomery of Pacific Outdoor Living, “while the two water features provide a soothing and cooling effect. All together, these elements make a lunch break or party a memorable experience.”

The water features are simple, below grade rectangles with water bubbling up at the centers. The simplicity is reminiscent of fountains from the Cravens Estate era. Plantings of shade loving plants such as tree fern, Liriope, Dianella, Vinca, Roebelenii Palm, Durant and Loroptalum- selects for their lushness, color and texture- provide the finishing touch.

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Across the Pond

Inspired by the timeless, ornamental architecture of Paul Williams, the pool area has been completely renovated and transformed into a modern-day oasis and retreat. As you stroll down the rolling, sloping hill from the main house, you come into this breathtakingly beautiful waterscape setting.

The original pool has been updated with the highest-quality contemporary materials and is elegancy lined with carefully placed mosaic tiles. In one corner of the swimming pool, you can hear the cascading waterfall, which adds to the peaceful setting of this marvelous space. A newly installed pavingstone deck surrounds the oversized pool and leads to a large pergola- an elegant respite on hot summer days.

Revived, using a combination of modern technology and the natural ecosystem of the flowing waterfall, this outdoor recreation are invites you to pass the day away and enjoy the tranquility of the water, Across the Pond.

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Waterfall

This innovative and breathtaking design showcases the brilliance of combining magical wonder with usability. The area was completely renovated to create a beautiful place to relax with the sound and beauty of nature.

The pond and stream have been completely restored along with the gorgeous landscaping to make the area a true outdoor oasis. With the addition of two patios the space can now be used as a seating area where guests can relax to the tranquil sounds of flowing water.

The new pergola added to the upper patio his made from a material designed to last a lifetime to make the area virtually maintenance free and more inviting. Finally the placement of unique art from local Valley artists adds a touch of magic to the already mystifying beauty of the home.

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The Enchanted Entry

As you enter the from grounds, you are suddenly enveloped in the marvelous sounds of rushing waters grin the 80 foot long, babbling brook coursing along the eastern perimeter of the great lawn. Surrounded by woodland rocks and plants, the steam looks as if it were carved out by natural processes over hundreds of years and the home built around it. Dappled sunlight, filtered through two giant Sycamores and an Oak, forms patterns on paved and grassy pathways leading into hidden gardens hosting sculptures, disappearing fountains and one-of-a-kind art works. A central plaza provides a seating area where one can sit and admire the lush gardens. The Enchanted Entry strives to transform the mood of all who visit this magnificent home to one of peace and tranquility.

The Driveway

The tour ends on The Driveway on the west side of The Enchanted Entry. The circular driveway has been redone using an elegant paving stone that enriches the architecture and compliments the new landscape. Done in a gray cobblestone the new driveway repeats the material of the pathways. The woodland area continues with rocks to echo the stream on the east and naturalistic plantings if lavender, ferns, gardenias, boxwood and white r roses. A new lawn has been installed to create a lush and fresh backdrop. The large Sycamore and Oak trees add to the tranquil ambiance of the area. The striking texture and color of the plants, the stately appearance of the hardscape combined with the soothing sound of the water make this charming garden a hard place to leave.

The Pool

In keeping with the English Arts and Crafts style of the residence, a growing arbor was installed at the entrance of the pool area, providing an immediate sense of the English Countryside.

The pool shape was remodeled to create a more semi-formal style, including raised platforms with container plants at each corner and a raised spa at the back end to serve as the focal point of the whole area. The warm hues of the interlocking pavestone decking and patio perfectly match the coping and ribbons, as well as the clear blue waters of the pool.

Additionally, the entire pool was raised to create a floating effect and a sense of drama. It also contains a Baja step along the front entrance to sit and enjoy the calmness. Along the perimeter of the pool are carefully placed large urns containing patio trees giving a wondrous, natural feeling to the space.

Step down into the sunken fire pit area to unwind and enjoy an evening’s conversation. A covered lounging space by the rear of the pool, features a custom stone fountain.

The Pool

This updated design keeps with the Tudor-Craftsman heritage of the residence while creating a more inviting and usable space to relax and entertain. Upon entry into the pool area, visitors are welcomed by a unique wrought iron, leaf inspires gate that accents the lush plant life throughout the design space. The addition of floating concrete pads with brick ribbon tie in with the original brick coping that surrounds the pool and spa.

A hedge borders the entire space and connects the original brick columns, creating a natural division from the rest of the yard while maintaining an open, airy feel. Overall, this design not only adds form and function, but is also a great example of a modern take on the classic look and feel of the Tudor-Craftsman home.

The Pool

The main theme of this year’s Showcase is Whimsy. This Estate home calls on its Italian heritage and blends it with a California feel. The patio areas are large and expansive, showcasing inter-locking pavers that will withstand decades of use. The area created is truly an entertainer’s paradise with chaise lounges, potted plants and colorful umbrellas.

The pool has a raised spa with a regal and hand wrought tile for the waterline. It makes a statement of both a relaxed informality while keeping an aristocrats edge. The pool is also punctuated by three water spouts from the adjacent decking, splashing into pool.

There is a large outdoor kitchen with a spacious grill and counter space for catering events. The upper terrace area next to cook center is set another area to both lounge in and take in the views of this spectacular back yard. With a tropical Mediterranean palette, we are mixing in larger than life glass sculptures of otherworldly flowers. This further enhances the sense of whimsy and a magical attitude that this home should portray. The landscaping continues with a mix of Olive trees, Citrus trees, palms and various succulents.

The Patio

The side yard near the pool is a sleek, modern outdoor space that seeks to portray an extension of the interior space. Bamboo woven panels and a stylish overhead canvas roof simulate the enclosure of the area with clean-cut porcelain pavers underneath. The centerpiece is a concrete water table that brings several different elements together. The sound of water flowing from the table into the pond envelops visitors and adds a dramatic effect. The focus is both to create a perfect transition from the the house to the pool and to serve as a gathering area in which to relax, eat and play. Lush California-friendly plants and warm nighttime lighting soften the edges to create an inviting oasis for this beautiful Pasadena home.

The Olive Court

The design concept for the Olive Court showcases the existing majestic old tree. A meandering stream arcs around the tree, setting the stage for a lushly planted backdrop. A water feature enlivens the space with both sound and movement: a rock waterfall establishes the stream source, and groupings of boulders, with water spilling and bubbling, create a soothing, contemplative atmosphere. Travertine squares laced with grass strips stylistically connect garden to house, inviting the visitor with a tantalizing look and feel they will want to experience underfoot. Aligned with the kitchen wall, the travertine squares become diagonal at the dining room wall, creating a pattern with energy and interest. Two large ceramic pots, planted with topiary junipers set on the new landing, frame the Dining Room entrance. Overhead, pendant lights strung in the olive canopy add charm and whimsy.

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