Before & After: Stephanie’s Modern Hillside

before and after garden makeover

Hillsides can be tough projects and for a designer, It can be particularly difficult to re-sculpt the space, carving out useful areas and conveying the design to a client.  The extra complication of the hillside can be hard for people to imagine and buy into.   That is why I find this particular project so successful.

before and after garden design

From designer Stephanie of SB Design in Southern California:

Working with the existing “vintage” brickwork, sloping topography, and a yard full of mature trees, we carved out a multipurpose living-dining-cooking patio and a large play yard. Ample built-in seating encourages lively parties, warmed by the fire pit and fed by the built-in kitchen unit.  Custom details include concrete countertops with an integral, poured-concrete sink, Nelson-style wood-and-metal benches, and cast-resin cabinet doors.

Water spills down a rill and cascades over a wall into a small pond. We created benches around a grassy area to define a play yard. And at the lawn’s edge, the grass becomes a meadow that extends down the hill where a bamboo hedge screens out the street.

The part I find particularly thought ful about this design is the meadow.  When confronted with a steep slope, mowing can often be difficult if not dangerous and opting for a beautiful ground cover that doesn’t need this type of maintenance is a very smart idea.

See more details of the design in the gallery.

Photos by Andrew Takeuchi & Karena Dacker

Spread the love

Get My Free Newsletter

Connect with Nature.

Get Inspired.

Make Change.


Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Join the 10-day Garden Design Challenge

container garden collage by rochelle greayer

Let's get your garden in shape so you can enjoy peaceful & nourishing time in your own piece of the great outdoors.

Sign up below to get started:

rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.

1 Comment

  1. Tracy Zeltser on March 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Wow, what an excellent and successful project! Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.