When LA-based landscape designer Judy Kameon of Elysian Landscapes first visited the Studio City property her clients were planning to buy, she looked past the scruffy conventional lawn and saw potential. There were sweeping views of Los Angeles and more than half an acre of land for a garden. “And there was a history of someone who loved plants here,” she says. “There were agaves we saved, and an amazing tree, and a hedge we could keep for privacy.”
Her clients Sarah Lambert and John Dolan (she’s a pastry chef and he directs commercials) brought Kameon to the site while they were still in escrow—”it was our second project together,” she says—because they wanted her to design the garden in tandem with a planned remodel of the ranch-style house. “The intention was for there to be a very fluid connection between the interior and the exterior spaces,” says Kameon, who worked on the project with architect Barbara Bestor and interior design firm DISC Interiors. (See the interior on Remodelista.)
“The change is extraordinary,” says Kameon. “Before, it was a classic California ranch-style house and a bit warren-like. Barbara Bestor did a brilliant job of making it open and light-filled and of getting it to where it always should have been.”
Photography by Laure Joliet, except where noted.
“As I often say to people, if you have the great fortune of living in a house often the backyard is the biggest room of your home,” she says. “The patio replaced an old one that was a very sort of stingy patio and had a cramped feeling.”
The Front Garden
“The biggest challenge of this project is the site is really up an incredibly steep driveway, so the access was challenging,” says Kameon.
See more of Judy Kameon’s work in Required Reading: Gardens are for Living and Spring Comes to Manhattan, Upper East Side Edition.