SOUTH BAY DIGS | Digital Edition Online

August 1, 2014

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8.1.2014 | SOUTHBAYDIGS.COM 51 sweet digs How do you get two high-energy boys to relax before their bedtime? If you're Mike and Tammy Winn, you give them Jacuzzi time in the family's backyard "spool" (spa-pool). This is the second summer that the Winns are enjoying their backyard oasis, which, Tammy says, reminds her of a French-influenced spa retreat. On a quiet street in Manhattan Beach's Hill Section, the Winns' Mediterranean-style home evokes the grace and elegance of a French Riviera getaway, but with a custom-designed backyard equipped with technology and other modern comforts. "The backyard of our old home is the reason we moved," explains Tammy. The family was living in a house in another part of Manhattan Beach, but as their 11-year-old daughter and 9- and 7-year-old sons grew and became more active in sports, the yard was no longer a good fit. "It wasn't a big backyard, and it got no sunlight. It would turn into a big mud area," she recalls. To placate their kids, Tammy continues, "We would tell them, 'The ocean is your backyard.'" One of the things that drew the Winns to their new home was the size of the backyard and the privacy afforded by grown hedges and mature trees in their neighbors' yards. The fact that the backyard was south-facing ensured that the family could take full advantage of sunny days and the South Bay's year-round mild climate. But the yard was mostly grass with some landscaping, so the Winns began searching for a professional who could help them transform it into a more practical space. A friend recommended Jim Walsh, owner of Outdoor Hardscapes in Lawndale. "Jim was really easy to work with," Tammy says. "He was fair and honest, and he did a great job." Walsh designed the backyard to maximize every square foot of space. An outdoor living and dining area is adjacent to the home's interior living room, and Nana doors slide open to create a seamless flow between the two spaces. Travertine flooring on the outdoor living room adds a touch of refinement and distinguishes the area from a typical backyard. Walsh added a pergola above the space to further enhance the transition between indoor and outdoor living areas, and to offer some shade and additional privacy. The outdoor living room is equipped with a fireplace and a plasma television. The TV screen is placed in a protected niche above the fireplace and is covered by metal doors when not in use. Tammy worked with Birdie Designs to source furniture and decorative items for the outdoor living and dining rooms. A cement-top dining table with slipcovered chairs in a neutral palette seats 10 comfortably. Outdoor wicker chairs in a contemporary oval shape surround a coffee table. W R I T T E N BY PA M E L A C O R A N T E - H A N S E N P H O T O G R A P H Y BY PAU L J O N A S O N

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