Mid-Century Backyard Project Complete March 13, 2012

Mid-century modern under bench lights

After four weeks the project has finally come to a close. Adam Wooley and his crew did an incredible job and the finished project looks spectacular. The finishing touches and attention to detail really show in the finished product. I’d highly recommend them to anyone serious about craftsmanship.

Mid-century modern floating benches

Below you can see a closeup of some of the textures and plant life. We decided to go with a white rock in the long planter bed to give a nice contrast and add yet another color. The plants in the foreground are mondo grasses and the ones in the back are a type of horsetail. All the way in the back you can also get a look at the copper accent ‘uplights’ that we chose. Lighting is very important and having indirect lighting is paramount to achieve the look we are after.

Mid-centruy modern stacked stone veneer

The other planter bed, pictured below, has a lighter color of pebble to match the vertical veneer around the yard and give contrast to the white pebble in the long bed. We also chose a tree fern and other grasses for this area much like the planter in the front of the house.

Mid-centruy raised planter with tree fern

Backyard from above

Below you can see how the yard meets the existing structures. We have vines growing currently which we hope to cover the stairs and other areas that we plan to hide.

Stairs to house

In conclusion, a project like this can be very expensive but very rewarding. Stones like these, especially the blue slate patio, are not cheap. The same is true for the Ipe wood but what you are paying for is quality and a style that cannot be mimicked with other materials. This timeless design and functional space will give us joy for years to come.

Jane Dagmi March 27th, 2012

john, this is amazing. I haven’t tuned into your progress in a while and wow — happy spring! Congrats.

John Clarke Mills March 27th, 2012

Thanks Jane! Glad you like it

Sarah April 5th, 2012

The work you have done is terrific. especially the stairs. I have an 1890 house in upstate NY and this has given me some great ideas. Is your siding hardie board? and was it pre-colored the nice dark green? We also work on our vintage bmws.

John Clarke Mills April 5th, 2012


Thanks for the kinds word. In regards to the Hardie planks, we decided to have them painted. They do have impregnated dyes in some but I couldn’t wait four weeks to have it done. Paint does last longer on Hardie planks than and wood but we will have to repaint every few years

Becky June 14th, 2012

A-MAZ-ING! Just Wow! and I love all the fine craftsmanship.

tina September 28th, 2015

As a rough estimate, what can I expect to pay per square ft for Ipe? I’m thinking about building a large outdoor structure with it. I live in Sacramento, was it hard to order? Do you know if it was hard to work with because it is hard to cut into?

John Clarke Mills September 28th, 2015


You can find this wood any any lumber yard (non the Home Depot’s of the world). I dont know the price offhand as it fluctuates.

Yes the wood is hard to cut, but power tools make that easy.

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