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An Uninspired Los Angeles Yard Became a Lush, Wheelchair-Ready Landscape With a Saltwater Pool

an-uninspired-los-angeles-yard-became-a-lush,-wheelchair-ready-landscape-with-a-saltwater-pool

The couple who own the house filled their outdoor space with winding paths and fragrant plants.

Fragrant blooms, such as the jasmine that climbs the studio/guesthouse, fill the garden.

Sasha and Rachel Klupchak were completing graduate programs in Berlin when they decided to realize their dream of relocating to Los Angeles. Searching online, they fell in love with a 1923 home in the Larchmont neighborhood. Needing to buy the house without seeing it in person didn’t deter them, nor did the pro-spect of renovating. Reality struck when they arrived in California. “I thought, What have we done?” Sasha recalls.

An Uninspired Los Angeles Yard Became a Lush, Wheelchair-Ready Landscape With a Saltwater PoolLarchmont neighborhood of Los Angeles.“>

Rachel and Sasha Klupchak’s 1920s home in the Larchmont neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Photo: Justin Chung

The couple had underestimated how much work was needed to make the property viable for Sasha, an anthropologist and filmmaker who has used a wheelchair since becoming paralyzed in a 2008 accident. “Accessibility-wise, it would have been easier to move into a new place with an open plan,” admits Rachel, a therapist. “But we have a soft spot for older things.”

Rachel and Sasha relax in their backyard garden.

Rachel and Sasha relax in their backyard garden. 

Photo: Justin Chung

To transform the uninspired backyard into a modern oasis, they called Neive Tierney, founder of Nectar Landscape Design and a longtime friend. It took time to find a builder they liked who had experience with universal design, but the couple eventually met Joan Barton of Dirty Girl Construction, who was immediately on board with Rachel and Sasha’s brief.

“They didn’t want it to look like an accessibility project,” says Barton. “There would be two people living in this house, and we had to make it work for both of them.”

An Uninspired Los Angeles Yard Became a Lush, Wheelchair-Ready Landscape With a Saltwater Pool

“The big question was how to get from the house to the garden with ramps and make it beautiful,” explains landscape designer Neive Tierney, who sourced sustainable wood decking from Kebony for new boardwalks. Pacific wax myrtle, euphorbia, saucer plants, and lavenders border the front entrance ramp.

Photo: Justin Chung

See the full story on Dwell.com: An Uninspired Los Angeles Yard Became a Lush, Wheelchair-Ready Landscape With a Saltwater Pool
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