Tract Home Treasure
photography by Mel Carll
June, 2014 - Issue #116
The home of Don and Jamie Miod can be found in a tract, but there's nothing cookie-cutter about their backyard.

"Here's my advice for a happy marriage: Don't ever STOP massaging your wife!," ~ Don Miod
A labor of love that began nearly 30 years ago, the yard has been transformed into an outdoor spa oasis with classic columns, tranquil colors, hidden speakers, a salt-water pool and more.

Located in Valencia behind Granary Square in the unassuming Heritage collection of homes, the Miod backyard is the exception to the rule - and so is the relationship that inspired it.

ABOVE: Inspired by spas near and far, the Miod family's outdoor space includes quality elements - like a professional massage table - to ensure that both family members and guests feel pampered. The 20-foot by 40-foot salt-water pool includes a swim lane and shallow-end "shelf" for sunning and playing. The stunning stamped concrete was constructed with rebar to provide a seamless look, then finished with an ashler pattern and three variegated colors for shading. "In this environment, all concrete cracks," says Miod. "This way, when the inevitable happens, the pattern and coloring will make the flaw much less obvious."

"My wife and I have been together for over 43 years. Here's my advice for a happy marriage: Don't ever stop massaging your wife!," shares homeowner Don Miod, who made sure to install an outdoor speaker system so that he could play spa-themed music in the essential-oil-scented massage area.

"Rain gutters feed into the columns, DIRECTING water out to the street."
Miod put his critical skills to work when determining what he wanted out of the space. "I went to the internet and found a software program that I thought would serve my needs. The program allowed me to draw in 3D. I could not only 'walk through' what I had created, it allowed me to 'walk through' at any time of day or night. I needed this, since my wife cannot visualize anything. In addition, I was able to show potential contractors and it was already drawn for them to scale."

The covered patio's columns are more than just an aesthetic boost. These beauties, which support roofing materials that mirror those used on the house, are steel-and-concrete constructed inside a two-foot by four-foot trench for maximum support. "The look is cleaner, and untraditional in Santa Clarita," says Miod.

"The Miod backyard is the exception to the rule - and so is the relationship that INSPIRED it."
In his words, he went "all out," using new technology and a clear idea of his wants and needs in mind. "I knew I would not be moving from this tract home and I realized I would be on this planet for only another 20 years or so. I wanted to create something that was special with a resort feel," says the homeowner.

It was energy well spent. "We love the result. I have a stunning sound system which I control with my iPhone or iPad; two pop-up televisions with their own sound but that can also be heard through my six great speakers, too, which is nice for Super Bowl parties; and I can get the spa heated remotely so that it's ready by the time I get home. And, now that we have a grandchild, we have someone to dance and play here, too. Life is good," says Miod.

"The Miod backyard is the exception to the rule - and so is the relationship that INSPIRED it."
RIGHT: The pool's "shelf" is a cool spot for Don and Jaime to relax, read or play with the couple's grandchild. BELOW: A granite top from Brazil with sparkle to spare glistens under overhead lights. A smart strip of LED lighting highlights the Sparkstone glittering below. INSET: Don Miod dons a custom chef's jacket when preparing meals for family and friends. It reads: Miod Resort & Spa.
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