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A Coastal Jewel
Opportunity for Opulence in Crystal Cove, Calif.

Kirsten Lynn Challman for Mark Scott Associates

A Coastal Jewel

With its 180-degree scenic view of the coastline, this luxury house, located in Crystal Cove, California, presented Mark Scott Associates an ideal opportunity to develop an idyllic outdoor living space, which included formal and casual entertaining areas. The lowered pool terrace was designed to emulate a tropical lagoon and the pool was accentuated with a natural border waterfall. A clipped hedge delineates the upper formal terrace that contains a covered pavilion, fireplace, complete outdoor kitchen and bar.

Located in the exclusive Newport Coast community, this Santa Barbara inspired vacation home boasts a 180-degree scenic view of the Southern California coastline. Challenged by the owners' desire for both formal and casual entertaining areas, Mark Scott Associates employed every element - earth, air, fire and water - in this fully functional, dynamic outdoor escape. The firm employed artist renderings to convey the grand, elegant designs to the client. Attention to detail throughout this entire project ensures every single space is utilized to its fullest offering as a relaxing distraction, a place of overwhelming beauty or a purely functional home.

Originally, the property was approximately a half of an acre of dirt with no real challenges arising from the terrain. The most important goal was to address the clients' desires and to ensure that the natural view was enhanced by the landscape architecture.

This semi-custom home previously had the entrance as a concrete straight path from the street in an uninspired plan. By designing a transitional walkway, a welcoming front courtyard was created to set the tone for the home as a calming oasis. The entry features a specially selected wrought iron bench with powder coating and a special zinc coating for additional protection against the ocean air and occasional rain. Diagonal travertine tiling in a checkerboard pattern, which was used throughout the project to maintain a theme, provided contrast to the arched windows and doors of the home.

A Coastal Jewel

This lagoon-inspired pool acts as a representation of a tropical island getaway. Surrounded by native Californian plant life and hosting a boulder waterfall that flows gently into the pool, this refreshing hideaway fulfills the clients' wishes of a landscape that compares with the natural beauty that surrounds the property.

A Coastal Jewel

The entry area for the property was transformed from a boring path to a colorful walkway that offers dynamic colors and textures. As the first feature that is seen by guests, the plantings and checkered tiles offer a sense of elegance upon arrival.

A Coastal Jewel

An enclosed dining and social space allows the owners and guest to enjoy respite from the warm California sun while enjoying a television and fireplace. The area extends the home into the landscape ensuring that all who are at the residence can be comfortable and taken care of in any section of the property.

California native plant materials were chosen for the entryway. The different textures and colors of the flora complement the architectural style and palette of the house. Large specimen trees create a strong balance to the intimate details of the other plant life. Custom iron light fixtures helped give a stately effect to the entrance.

Behind the arched front door is a catwalk leading to the main house. It overlooks an element-protected enclosed courtyard.

Upon entering the residence, the formal dining room is directly on the right with large arched windows that capture views to a custom water feature of imported hand carved Balinese limestone as well as different types of plantings. The view from every window and door of the home offers beauty.

A Coastal Jewel

Fire and water features combine to enhance an already spectacular view of the ocean. This extravagant display of beauty encapsulates the aesthetic of the property, which relies on both the natural and completed landscape to fill visitors with a sense of both excitement and relaxation.

A Coastal Jewel

Continuing with the theme of extending a home into the landscape, this fireplace sets the mood for an outdoor sitting room. It provides warmth as well as a focal point for the space, resting atop the checkered tile that can be seen throughout the outdoor areas on the property.

In the backyard, manicured hedges frame the upper formal terrace upon which the homeowners can host elegant get-togethers. A covered pavilion houses the entertainment center complete with fireplace, electronics, complete outdoor kitchen and bar. It was specifically designed for guests and hosts to enjoy the spectacular vista while providing a chef-ready BBQ and kitchen for maximum enjoyment. The clients wanted a space that would offer beauty as well as functionality both when entertaining guests and relaxing alone.

Off the living room, one can find another separate seating area for intimate gatherings. A firepit is located at the optimal viewpoint for the site. All of these small seating vignettes offer different moods and attractions for the clients' guests and family. Visitors simply have to look around to find the perfect spot for whatever mood strikes or activity commences.

A Coastal Jewel

A cabana sits on the edge of the property overlooking the shoreline, just a few steps from a courtyard. The placement allows loungers to feel completely entranced by the ocean and the nature of the coast while in reality being only moments away from the luxuries and ease of the home.

A Coastal Jewel

Elegant details, like this carved water feature, are added throughout the design to lend touches of true luxury to the residence, elevating the space beyond simply functional and making it one of a kind. It also emphasizes the theme of combining elements that is embedded into the landscape.

A Coastal Jewel

The combination of several elements creates a dynamic space that is fit for all sorts of purposes. Water, fire, hardscape materials and plant life contrast and blend for a functional, aesthetically pleasing space.

The lowered pool terrace was designed to emulate a tropical lagoon. To get the full effect, appropriately lush plant material was selected to border the curvilinear edges of the pool. It is accentuated with a natural boulder waterfall that adds a sense of movement to the area. The upper pool terrace features fire bowls that were imported from Spain and findijets that allow for an elegant water show to complement the view further. Though dueling elements such as fire and water might compete and make a landscape seem, in theory, messy and complicated, the dramatic effect of the features at night, coupled with colorful sunsets, makes for a beautiful sight.

A custom chaise cabana perches over the grassy terrace at the edge of the property. It takes advantage of the southernmost views from the property, so visitors can relax comfortably while taking in the magnificent sights surrounding the home. A very high-quality synthetic turf was used throughout the yard. Rugged and functional, it is low maintenance and can handle all of wear and tear caused by the clients' grandkids without suffering much damage.

A Coastal Jewel

This firepit provides light, warmth and beauty, going beyond basic physical needs to serve as an aesthetic piece in the landscape. Overlooking the ocean, plant life and other residences, this section of the courtyard provides a social space to sit and enjoy company as well as the property's surroundings.

A Coastal Jewel

Serving as both a lighting and water feature, this fountain combines the draw of fire and water in a less literal sense than other areas of the site. While the water shimmers as it moves, the light also washes over the plantings in the area, allowing for optimal viewing at night.

Whether lounging in the draped double chaise with a good book, seated around a cozy firepit with a glass of wine, dipping into the extraordinary pool or throwing a football party in the full kitchen - every comfort of life exists in this outdoor getaway.

Richard Cohen deserves credit as the landscape contractor, realizing the architectural plans and designs.

As seen in LASN magazine, November 2018.

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November 12, 2019, 5:16 am PDT

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