Transforming Outdoor Serenity: The Julie Orr Landscape Design Approach | Menlo Park Project Case Study

The Site

In Menlo Park’s Felton Gables area, this modern architectural marvel sought improved functionality. Julie Orr Design collaborated with the client for a new backyard hardscape revamp.

The project involved removing a small, unusable concrete patio beneath the California room and expanding it to accommodate a new seating area and a relaxing zone for the clients and their pet. They relocated the existing kitchen away from window views and added a vegetable garden. Additionally, it encompassed erosion control in the front yard with new wooden ipe retaining walls and a revamped front walkway. Moreover, upgrading the atrium to complement both the front and back areas unified these spaces.


The project commenced in Winter 2022 and concluded in Summer 2023. The clients’ patience and lack of time constraints enabled both Julie Orr Design and SouthBay Design and Landscaping to deliver the most detailed service without compromising on the lead time for materials.

The People

Both gentlemen work from home and wanted the extension of their outdoor room to match the high quality of their interiors. They do not entertain often and find themselves spending time relaxing with the dogs for a restful weekend at home.

The Style

The architectural California modern vibe of the home paired lovingly with the pergola’s clean lines anthracite finishes.

The Budget

Around $175k

Client Testimony

We were referred to Julie Orr by some neighbors of ours whom had worked with her in the past. Working with Julie was great — she was quick to respond and helped us transform our yard into a beautiful hang out space for our family and friends to enjoy.

Julie was fun to collaborate with, receptive to feedback, and she offered creative solutions as the design evolved over time. During the construction phase she visited multiple times to check that things were running smoothly. Selecting the plant material was also a lot of fun. Together we carefully curated a list of plants that not only met our low water desires, but also complimented the style of our home down to the color palette.

Overall the entire project from start to finish took about ten months from initial design to full implementation and we’re pleased with the final result as we wanted something relatively simple but updated, fresh, and modern. We are still getting compliments from neighbors as they pass by!”


Partner with Julie Orr Design to craft your own tranquil haven, merging beauty, functionality, and your unique vision. Interested for more case studies like this? Click here for more.