Logo: Laura Morton Design Fire pit with blue flame
Full concept exteriors, horticulture & landscape
Exotic retreat

An exotic retreat...

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Back Courtyard


Vasan Courtyard - before

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Vasan Courtyard - after

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Hollywood Oasis

2008 APLD Gold Award Winner —
Residential Design

This small residential back and side yard was transformed into a restful entertaining space using imported arches and doors, dramatic lighting fixtures, water, and fragrance to create an enticing, romantic escape from the day-to-day.

The antique Indian arches were mirrored, stretching the illusion of space while creating a backdrop for bold tropical foliage. Central to the design is a structure that assembled built-in banquettes, as well as a reflecting pond with sheer-drop waterfall on the upper level that appeared to flow into the natural-gas fire pit completed with clear glass to resemble crushed ice.

Plantings of purples, mahogany, blues, and whites repeat the blue/purple tile combination, while adding fragrance and low-maintenance color throughout the year. Fine upholstery and a rich collection of antique pots add polish and a sense of age to the space.

Thick slabs of chocolate sandstone ground the space and seem almost “edible” with the white creamy plaster of the house and masonry. With a flick of a switch, the evening lighting transforms this space into an exotic oasis.

In 2008 this project received the Gold Award in the residential design category from the international Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD).

To learn more about this project — which was featured in an L.A. Times article — please visit the Image Gallery and Before-&-After pages, or read the client’s testimonial.

(NOTE: All work was performed by licensed landscape contractors.)

Moroccan tile detail

The transformation of this Hollywood Hills property earned its creator, Laura Morton of West Hollywood, a gold medal last year from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. For Vasan, the thoughtful design was proof that tiny details and a vivid imagination could turn a prosaic space into a pretty and practical retreat.

— Los Angeles Times

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Project blueprints

Project design sketch