Here is a follow-up to a previous design post of a new entry way in Mill Valley. The entry featured an open pitched roof Redwood arbor with custom dual gates to match the existing and new fencing. Hardware for the gate was a twist lever from Rocky Mountain Hardware (the best for gates), with lighting from Barn Light Electric.
We are working on a couple of interesting projects in Larkspur and Petaluma right now. The Larkspur project focuses on a new back yard to create a more usable patio and entertaining space. It features a large bluestone patio and outdoor kitchen.
The Petaluma project is a larger yard that integrates new concrete patios, a large painted pergola, seat wall and stone accents.
We just wrapped up this front and back yard installation in West Petaluma (see progress photos here). The project featured a lot of interesting custom woodwork- new pergolas, all new fencing, and custom Cedar accent gates. These complimented all new paving- a new colored concrete driveway, paver seating area, and rear paver patio. Accent lighting and a polished granite water feature served as accents, while a backyard BBQ included a new grill, fridge and Big Green Egg smoker.
California real estate is expensive…that’s why expanding our living space outdoors was so critical to my husband and me. We hired O’Connell Landscape to basically overhaul every square foot of our yard. This included hardscape, plantings, outdoor kitchen, water feature, drainage, lighting, fencing, gates and more. The end result exceeded our expectations and is a true example of craftsmanship you just don’t see that often. Michael was meticulous with the details and was a real pleasure to work with. Backing him up is the most respectful and hard working team we’ve experienced. At the end of every day, we walk out into our yard and pinch ourselves! Bottom line, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend O’Connell Landscape.
-Cindy Jepsen, Petaluma
We are in construction on an extensive landscape project incorporating all new front and back yard work in West Petaluma. The design incorporates new fencing and paving throughout, with the back yard featuring a new pergola, patio and outdoor kitchen.
Last year brought more interesting and beautiful projects in both Marin and Sonoma Counties. Below you’ll find a gallery of some of our 2015 highlights.
The spring seems to be coming early this year with all of the warm weather this winter. Here are some images from four different design projects in different stages of conceptual development.
-Novato Concept- Back yard patio and synthetic turf installation
-San Anselmo Concept- Back yard patios, walkways and garden area
-Cotati Concept- Back yard terracing, vegetable garden, steps, and paths
-Tiburon Project- Hardscape layout and retaining wall plan
For this ranch house in Cotati we are working on new concrete patios and walkways in the front and back yards. These new walkways create a new sense of entry to the front of the house and modernize the landscape.
Winter’s slower pace provides more schedule flexibility to fit in smaller projects. These two projects, one in Mill Valley and the other in Corte Madera had two things in common- small spaces and new Indian Sandstone. In Corte Madera we installed a new Navajo Brown Indian Sandstone patio. This created a more elegant and usable space, with screening achieved with Bamboo in concrete pots. In Mill Valley, we installed new Navajo Dusk Indian Sandstone over an existing concrete path, making an attractive new entry.
“Our project was a rather small one involving our front entry, so initially I was concerned it was too small for O’Connell to be interested. But when I explained our budget constraints to Michael, he was very responsive in designing a project that met our needs within our budget. He incorporated existing elements so that the work was focused on the things that needed changing. The old and new were blended very nicely.
The project itself was on time and on budget and we are very pleased with the results, both Michael’s design work, selection of materials, and the quality of the work done by the crews. Throughout the project Michael and the crew were very response to our questions and suggestions. Crews showed up on time, worked diligently, showed an amazing variety of skills, paid attention to detail, and did a good job of cleaning up at the end of each day.
Needless to say, we are pleased with the result and enjoyed working with O’Connell.”
-J.W. Mill Valley
This past year brought some interesting commercial and residential projects to O’Connell Landscape. We worked on a variety of jobs large and small in Marin and Sonoma Counties. See the gallery below for examples of our construction work in progress from 2014.
We started from scratch on this Kentfield back yard, with a complete removal of the unusable existing yard. The client wanted a back yard that would be a kid friendly play space, while at the same time good for entertaining. In its place we installed a new patio area, kid friendly synthetic turf and a new seating area. These elements were tied together with integrated perimeter plantings. See below for the before picture and after photos following installation.
This home in Adobe Creek next to the golf course had a small back yard with lawn that was unusable. We designed a new plan to better use the space with custom vegetable boxes and secondary brick patio. A bluestone pathway and low maintenance colorful plantings fill out the landscape.
This project in San Rafael started with a yard that hadn’t been worked on in years. Working with the owners we installed phase 1 of the project- building a new fence to enclose the back yard, installing landings at a couple of sets of doors and clean up, grading and drainage for the whole site.
We have been very satisfied with O’Connell Landscape, and are planning to contract with them again for future phases of our landscaping project. Michael O’Connell was responsive, detail-oriented, and flexible throughout the proposal and construction phases. We asked for multiple changes and additions throughout the process, and he responded quickly and documented changes thoroughly. When minor hiccups occurred, he responded quickly and made it right. We needed mostly the “infrastructure” completed (demo, grading, drainage, gravel walkways, redwood fencing and landings, irrigation, small lawn), and plan to do much of the planting later ourselves. Despite this not being in their scope, Michael has been very helpful in recommending plantings based on our style and level of watering desired. He definitely understands customer service, and their crews are highly skilled.
-Amy & Tim Gilleran, San Rafael
This large corner lot in Petaluma needed a complete makeover in the front and back. Colorful low maintenance plantings, accent boulders and gravel mulch were installed to give a new character to the front yard. While in the back yard a new shade arbor, paver patio, flagstone pathway and matching plantings, and gravel mulch were installed to complete the landscape.
This project in Petaluma situated on a large corner lot was more or less a clean slate after the initial clean-up. The front yard layout focused on a low maintenance installation featuring grasses and flowering perennials, accented with Sonoma Fieldstone boulders and Trinity Gravel Mulch. The back yard, which is still in design development, has a series of linked spaces and patios, with a more formal planting layout.
We are working on finishing up this project in Petaluma, a re-landscaping of a back yard and pool deck. The old layout was not very usable with a small lawn; the design incorporated a new dry laid bluestone patio, fencing and gate upgrades, new plantings, and a resurfacing of an older cracking concrete pool deck.
This project in Petaluma was in need of some help, with a large cracked asphalt driveway and a front yard that was being dominated by Juniper. We removed the old driveway and an RV parking area and installed a new stamped concrete parking surface and entry pathways. The junipers were removed and replaced with low maintenance groundcovers and grasses. Lastly, the old nondescript drainage at the front of the property was regraded with boulders, cobblestone and California native Juncus patens.
We installed this back yard garden in Petaluma last year, which won a CLCA North Coast Chapter award. The plantings have really started to grow in with the massings of plantings become more defined and apparent with time.
We are just wrapping up work on this project in Kent Woodlands, a complete re-landscaping for a large new home. The project, designed by Bradanini and Associates incorporated new bluestone patios, extensive walkways, mediterranean and shade garden areas, a redone swimming pool and large synthetic turf putting green.
For this project in Petaluma we removed an existing rear patio and installed a new colored concrete patio, BBQ area, and modern floating square concrete slab entry path. The landscape will be installed in phase 2 of the project.
We are wrapping up this project in Kentfield that featured large plantings around the newly remodeled home, dry laid bluestone paths, and a synthetic putting green.
We are working on a large home renovation in Kent Woodlands, which includes a beautiful new garden installation to compliment the new home. Project elements include lawns with sub-surface irrigation, bluestone slab paths, and a large synthetic turf putting green.
This project in Petaluma’s Boulevard Heights neighborhood transformed a neglected formal garden and infused it with new life. We are just completed the second phase of the project, seeding a large meadow lawn and planting screening trees and shrubs for a new garage building. Last spring we installed new plantings, irrigation, and retrofitted existing garden pathways. A large 48″ box tree was installed to balance existing trees on the property and compliment a new driveway installation. In phase two 24″ box Arizona Cypress were installed to help screen the new garage building. Even though they have been in less than 6 months, the first phase plantings are maturing nicely. Plantings are installed with a weather adaptive Hunter Solar Sync Controller for optimal water savings on the large lot.
Here is a large McNear Paver and planter installation for a project in Petaluma. The old yard had a smaller concrete patio that we installed the pavers directly over, minimizing excavation and debris disposal.
We just finished a front yard garden in Penngrove, which removed an old lawn and reinvented it as a more usable, dynamic garden space. A organic path now meanders through the yard by a new seating area spilling pot fountain.
I knew that by removing our front lawn, I wanted to have low maintenance plantings that would be aesthetically pleasing while using much less water than the lawn required. O’Connell Landscape came up with a design that achieved both. I was pleased that they were flexible in utilizing some of the material we had in another part of our yard (gravel) to incorporate into the design, thus recycling and keeping costs down.
Communication about the project was exceptional.
-Joan Walsh, Penngrove
Here is a video slideshow of our 2009 CLCA Design-Build Award winning Napa project. You can see more of this project on the portfolio page.
This terracing project in Mill Valley is transforming a sloping back yard into a usable lawn space and play area. With some grading of the existing hillside and new wood retaining walls a good size area has been created that compliments a large patio space installed in the first phase of the project.
We are working on finishing up a new bluestone patio and stone veneered retaining wall for this project in Belvedere. There has been quite a transformation made to the front yard of this property that will provide new living and entertaining space.
One of the great things about working on residential landscape construction projects is it gives us the opportunity to work closely with homeowners to transform the yards and outdoor spaces. We just wrapped a hillside project installation in Mill Valley.
“The best contractor we have ever worked with! Always responsive and sensitive to budget issues. We would highly recommend O’Connell Landscape.”
-Kim Niquette, Mill Valley
This project in Novato was a multi-phase project that grew from an initial focus on one section of the yard, to a comprehensive new grouping of flagstone patios, steps, and plantings.
We used a Dusty Way Indian Sandstone to tie together the front entry, side landings and steps, and a large rear patio.
“We had such a good experience we increased the work 4 fold. Workers turned up every day and left the site clean and safe. I would recommend O’Connell for anyone wanting a top quality job with excellent project management” -Juliet, Novato