July 29, 2019by Monica Perrone

Maria and Matt’s Turlock family home’s contemporary interiors and story book exterior (based on the 1927 Tuck Box, Carmel-By-The-Sea) were ready for entertaining and living stylishly, but the rest of the one-acre property fell short. The existing stamped concrete, spotty-dotty landscape lighting, tired pool, squiggly lawn expanses, and single steps galore were uninspired and inaccessible to Maria’s wheel-chair bound father. While initially assessing the property, I tried to be conservative about the existing conditions relative to the desired result, but ultimately it was determined that everything, except the mature trees, had to go.

Throughout this renovation, I had designed garden spaces, the driveway/basketball court, a pool remodel, custom Corten picket fencing, planter boxes and edging in contemporary ways with kindness and regard for the traditional architectural leanings. Custom-cut travertine rectangular paving stones run north-south and natural stone walls frame romantic plantings. All of the steps were eliminated and an expansive parking court allows for raucous play for these Warriors fans. Raised planters are a home for Kumquat, Bay Laurel, and culinary herbs. Slot drains manage pavement runoff with grace and a pivot entry gate adds interest and intrigue.

Linda Fish designed the efficient irrigation system and P & F Metals provided the engineering and fabrication of the Corten elements. Danny Hall managed a masterful demolition and then landscape installation after arbor care from Grover Landscape Services. Shane Fernandes provided the natural stone to be crafted by Unique Masonry. Together, Maria and I chose complimentary furnishings from San Francisco’s Janus et Cie.

Through hard work and careful planning, we were able to completely transform Swan Park Contemporary from its somber beginning to a new, vibrant state. The formerly bleak property now showcases the livelihood of the family that resides there. Rather than solely adding beauty to Swan Park Contemporary, the new designs set into place also offer a new level of functionality to help meet the practical everyday needs of the owners, such as increasing accessibility to ensure that all family members are able to fully enjoy the new improvements together.

Monica Perrone

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Monica Perrone is a Professional Landscape Architect with over thirty years in her industry. She has lived and worked in various regions of the United States with diverse experience including urban planning, landscape contracting, and event design.


With excerpts from Gardens Are for People by Thomas D. Church.

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