Waterfront Landscaping

Waterfront landscaping requires using flora that is in harmony with the ecology of the waterway while being sympathetic to the overall design of the property. And the design and construction of the outdoor remodel also must be in attunement with the benefits and challenges of living near water while creating an outdoor space that is as inviting as the interior of the home.

Alameda Project

Before we started, the backyard was mainly a decrepit patio that was buckling and falling towards the lagoon. In addition, the original design made poor use of this potentially magical area. To take full advantage of the outdoor space we added patios, a private boat dock, and a deck that cantilevers over the lagoon.

Redwood Boat Dock and Feeney Wire Deck Railing on Lagoon

Because this space is about water and sky we sought to maximize those elements when thinking about the overall aesthetic of the project. For example, by using transparent Feeney wire and then creating a cantilevered deck, the design invites the lagoon into the home and into the senses. From their living room the clients now have an unobstructed view to the waterway. The sense of connection to the outdoor living area is enriched through a fountain that accents the water-based theme of this project.


Feeney Wire and Redwood Deck on Lagoon

Water was also the focus when we sought to create an outdoor room that serves as an extension of the interior of the house. In this case, the patio and deck are really an extension of the living room. The kitchen patio is an enlargement of the kitchen. The side yard deck system is an addition of their home office. All of these patio areas allow the indoor living environment to flow into out to the garden, helping to organize the space in a way that added a significant amount of habitable area to the home.


Back Patio and Redwood Deck

Creating a habitable outdoor space in this unique environment requires knowledge of flora that will thrive in close proximity to the waterway. When designing and building this waterfront landscaping project we followed the Homeowners Associating recommendations for planting and easement requirements. We used low maintenance species that do not require a great deal of fertilizer so that their spillover wont enter the waterway and adversely affect the lagoon’s ecosystem, which in turn connects to the Bay.

Patio and Redwood Deck on Lagoon

In addition, a dock was built for the homeowner’s boat. Outdoor lighting was also added so the backyard patio and deck could be utilized for entertaining, relaxing, and playing after dark.


Redwood Deck with Feeney Wire Railing
Driveway and Front Entry Remodeled

Like the back yard, the front yard was in terrible shape and in serious need of remodeling. There was no continuity of design, and in fact no clear entrance way. In addition, the driveway was old, cracking, and poorly graded so that excess rainwater was running into the garage. We regarded the driveway and installed Sierra granite pavers. We also re-landscaped the entire front yard, bringing in fresh plants and reorganizing the front entry way. We even added a little seating area near the front door.

Front Yard Entry Niche
Driveway Pavers and Front Yard Landscaping
Remodeled Driveway with Sierra Granite Pavers
Sierra Granite Pavers

The overall design sought to incorporate colors that were understated and elegant, and yet still popped, which delighted not only the clients but their neighbors who loved the newly remodeled yard. This waterfront landscaping project transformed an unsightly problem into the envy of the neighborhood.

From Waterfront Landscaping to Landscape Design Portfolio

Sarah Ray Landscape Design home