This welcoming entry patio in San Francisco includes an outdoor kitchen, a dining area and a relaxed lounge.
The space originally was occupied by a large in-ground koi pond and a tangle of overgrown ivy. Neither served much of a purpose for the home’s residents — a working professional who’s a longtime San Francisco resident, and her 21-year-old daughter. The pair employed the designers at merge studio to reimagine the space.
Patio at a Glance
Who lives here: A longtime San Francisco resident and her 21-year-old daughter, with their cat and dog
Location: Presidio Heights neighborhood of San Francisco
Size: 1,850 square feet (172 square meters)
Designer: merge studio
Creating a place for cooking, dining and hosting friends topped the residents’ wish list, as did cultivating a stronger sense of arrival to the home. “The original space was generally for reflection, to look at,” says Amy Bush, a horticulturist and landscape designer at merge studio. “The new space needed to be experienced, not just gazed upon.”
After six months of renovation, which included removing the pond and finding new homes for the koi, the outdoor space can now be actively enjoyed year-round.
A generously sized patio, an outdoor kitchen and a cushy outdoor lounge set greet visitors upon entry. The open center of the patio enables unrestricted movement from the yard’s entry to the home’s front door, which sits at the top of subtly lit stairs.
The setback that gives the courtyard privacy made for an access challenge for the construction team. “Everything had to pass through a 3-foot-wide door from the garage hallway corridor, and up an 8-foot flight of stairs,” Bush says.
Four-burner gas grill with infrared smoker, rotisserie and side burner: Alfresco
Cor-Ten steel panels attached to the base of the fence conceal the cutout for the former koi pond’s pump and controls. The design team filled in the Cor-Ten panels with bedding soil and planted tassel fern (Polystichum polyblepharum), bougainvillea and trailing Latin American fleabane (Erigeron karvinskianus) to soften the space.