Casually Serene: California Coastal Retreat in Cayucos by Jeffrey Gordon Smith

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“Serenity” is how the designer labels this simply elegant patio and garden setting in Cayucos, CA, by Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture. From the meandering concrete-square walk bordered by variegated blue stones, to the modern sculpture pointing the way to a beach trailing as far as the eye can see, this outdoor living space invites you to take a breath, relax, and let your hair down. The patio stones become a path to a weathered piece of driftwood; native grasses wave in the ocean breeze as succulents bloom in a rocky corner. And, at the end of the path, is a welcoming red-brick patio with a casual alfresco table and chairs of white beneath a matching umbrella.

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Seating is informal and plentiful: additional white loungers, redwood bench seating supported by brick, a porch swing in shades of muted rose and beige. The patio includes raised beds of greenery in terraced planters, rising steps of visual interest over wood slats. Behind them, a row of trees forms a neat privacy fence that still allows for great views. A square of brick holds a bed of flowering plants that overflow into round pots below; the outdoors and indoors blend effortlessly through open doors. Finally, as evening falls and the breezes cool, the fire pit becomes more than merely a source of light: it adds an additional level of warm welcome to this serene haven: an oasis amid sand, tall grass, and sky, Coastal Serenity is a space well-deserving of its name.

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