A Mediterranean Oasis
in Stevenson Ranch
April, 2012 - Issue #90
photography by Ted Dayton

The Stevenson Ranch home of Vince and Lesley Gervasi is beautiful, but that's not why the family's friends and team members clamor to host events there.

Yes, the house is lovely - but what people really want to see (and hang out in) is the backyard.

You can't blame them. The large expanse, single-handedly designed and executed by Ramirez Landscape (255-1102), possesses a real "sit and stay awhile" feel. "It's cozy and warm and turned out perfectly," says Lesley Gervasi.

The same can be said about how the homeowners feel about the remodeling project. "We wouldn't do a thing differently. We were able to use local, family-owned small businesses and we enjoyed the process immensely," she says.

LEFT Umbrella and seating were purchased from Oasis Garden & Patio (255-9909).
LEFT Umbrella and seating were purchased from Oasis Garden & Patio (255-9909).

ABOVE Pretty pendant lights selected from Valencia Lighting & Design (254-9070) illuminate comfortable bar seating thanks to all-season chairs from Oasis Garden & Patio (255-9909).
ABOVE Pretty pendant lights selected from Valencia Lighting & Design (254-9070) illuminate comfortable bar seating thanks to all-season chairs from Oasis Garden & Patio (255-9909).

Fresh Outdoor Construction Trends
With winter on its way out, it's time to start thinking about what you'll do with your outdoor space come spring and summer. Each year there are new construction trends to help you create that perfect space for outdoor living. Like any home improvement, outdoor projects can range in price and scope; keep in mind there is something to fit every budget. Here are a few of the many trends that can add value to your home and create an outdoor space that you will want to spend time in. Outdoor lighting is a necessary but simple way to enhance any outdoor space. Proper lighting can provide added security and safety. Outdoor fire pits and fireplaces continue to be popular additions to any backyard. Whether you just like relaxing by a fire at night or need a year round heating element, a fire pit/fireplace can get the job done. Some fireplaces/pits can even be fitted with a grill so they can be utilized as a secondary barbecue. Many of Randal G. Winter Construction, Inc.'s (799-8089) customers this year are installing Trex decking. This composite decking is versatile and long lasting.

Have a Seat
The patio set in the cabana was purchased from Oasis Garden & Patio (255-9909). "They chose a set that was both comfortable and functional," says Chris Boswell, owner of Oasis. "Instead of choosing a traditional dining set, they picked a chat-height table and club chairs. This grouping allows you to put food and drinks on the table to enjoy, yet the table is low enough so the focus is on your company, not what is on the table. The chairs are not simply dining chairs, they are wide, comfy club chairs which also suggest that you are offering your guests a place to sit back and relax after dining. The manufacturer of the chairs is Tropitone. Tropitone has the patent on the 'relax-plus' cushion system. There is a level of comfort that can only be achieved by this cushion system that is heavenly. You won't believe that both the material and cushion are specifically designed for outdoor use. Purchasing your set at Oasis Garden & Patio will allow you to create your own oasis like the Gervasis did."

Ramirez Landscape (255-1102) is responsible for nearly every element in the Gervasi backyard.
Ramirez Landscape (255-1102) is responsible for nearly every element in the Gervasi backyard.

New Bergammo Stone Paver Line Now Available
Paving stones define beauty, elegance and durability for driveways, pool decks, walkways and patios. Current trends for outdoor flooring are the beautiful and timeless look that only pavers can provide. Stone pavers can be made of Travertine, Marble and Slate to name a few. They are available in many sizes, colors and textures. There are endless patterns for laying the pavers, always creating a custom look. Stone paver colors never fade, unlike manmade bricks and other pavers. They do not retain heat like concrete patios and asphalt. If stone pavers ever become stained, they can easily be replaced with a matching paver so you will never know the difference. Surfaces USA (775-9404) offers professional designers and installers who have many years experience working on thousands of homes. The new Bergammo® stone pavers will add the element of elegance and luxury to any landscape.

Create your own Outdoor Oasis
by Tami Smight

As springtime nears and the weather warms, our attention naturally turns outdoors. We are very fortunate, as Santa Clarita residents, to enjoy outdoor living almost year 'round!

One of my specialties as an interior designer is creating outdoor rooms. Follow my design tips to create your outdoor living space that will become a family favorite.

The first step to designing your outdoor space is creating a flow from indoor to out. People want to feel connected to the outdoors when inside. To lead the eye and your guests outdoors, design your space with these elements:

• Use the same flooring material inside and out
• Carry your color palette to the patio from the closest interior room
• Maintain the same level from your doorway to the patio

Keep the party going long after sunset with an outdoor lighting plan. When you light everything with one overhead ceiling light, it is flat and unappealing. Instead, try multiple indirect light sources such as wall sconces, candles, lanterns and landscape lighting.

Outdoor seating must compete with indoor furniture if you want your family to be drawn outdoors. Select furniture with the same creature comforts you enjoy indoors: deep cushions, proper scale for all family members and fabric that is weather resistant yet beautiful.

For an outdoor room that stands above the rest, create a focal point in your design plan. I suggest you choose from two of nature's most powerful elements: fire and water. Fire engages the senses, provides beauty for the eye and warmth for the body. The sound and shimmer of water in a fountain, pool or pond offers a calming element to your design. The elemental opposition of fire and water will elevate your design to new levels.

If you need help creating your outdoor oasis, a professional design is a wise investment.
Tami Smight, ASID, has been gracing Santa Clarita homes with her warm, functional designs since 2004; 430-0127

Be Water Wise
Contest Seeks Innovative Approaches to Using Water Wisely

What's your H2O solution? That's what Castaic Lake Water Agency is asking residents via a contest in which citizens of all ages can submit imaginative ways to use water efficiently and get a chance to win prizes including a front yard sustainability makeover worth up to $5,000. Entering is simple: Create a solution that enables people, institutions or businesses to use water efficiently. Entries will be judged by focus groups and CLWA staff, and residents will be invited to vote online. Entries can be submitted at starting March 1, and the deadline is April 15. Entries can also be mailed to: What's Your Water Solution? Castaic Lake Water Agency, 27234 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91350. The contest is open to residents of the CLWA service area. Winners will be announced May 5 at the CLWA Open House and a list of winners will be posted on Prizes will be awarded in several categories: grades K- 6, grades 7-12, adults, families and seniors. The grand prize is a sustainability makeover for the winner's front yard.

Water-smart Beauty
"Landscapes that use water very conservatively can be vibrant and beautiful," says Jeff Brown, owner of NV Landscape, Inc (286-8888). "It comes down to this: When you combine drought-tolerant plants that are acclimated to the area with smart watering solutions, the result can be excellent - saving both water and maintenance time and money." Brown uses the newest watering technology, including sprinkler controllers that sense the temperature, humidity, automatic rain shut off, and all of the other factors that need to be taken into account for proper watering. "We offer free consultations with award-winning design specialists. It becomes very clear to most people that it really is possible to create gorgeous scapes while conserving natural resources."
- What is the sum of 8 + 8?
This is a required value
to protect against spam
community events