Garden Design'Mendel has a Northwesterner’s reverence for woodlands and a SoCal transplant’s appreciation of sunny, arid Los Angeles. When he works at home — in the music studio/office/guest pavilion designed by architects Elissa Scrafano and Gus Duffy, who also renovated the house — Mendel needs to wander outside for inspiration. Before a single plant went in, Mendel and landscape architect Mark Tessier spent hours walking the long, narrow lot, discussing options. “Mark was good at tactfully shooting down my unworkable ideas,” Mendel remembers, smiling. “Then he’d tell me what would work and still capture the feeling I was after.'
Both saw the house’s siting as a guide. Facing the street to the southwest and the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains to the northeast, it suggested two distinct outside spaces, one woodsy and sheltered, the other bright and panoramic, with a lawn surrounding the pool. Doors and windows on the home’s four sides dictated the scale and location of garden zones. The kitchen now overlooks a spacious covered lounge, a media room links to the swimming pool, and a play room opens onto a sitting porch that’s cool on blazing afternoons."
Written by Susan Heeger