The point of the RVFY is to find a yard that’s aesthetically interesting (does not have to be appealing, just interesting) and analyze it like a work of art. I got a very-fun-and-totally-impractical degree in Art History and only use it maybe twice a year, and probably to win Jeopardy from the comfort of my couch while yelling at the tv screen. But with these RVFYs, I can break down & dissect the aesthetics of the average* Angeleno front yard. It’s fun for me, and I’ve gotten a lot of complaints that I stopped doing it, so I’m firin’ it back up.
Here is our RVFY for today. Click thru for a bigger image and the breakdown.
Click the photo for every precise detail.
Notice that this front yard is actually conceived of as a work of art, as opposed to our previous subjects. Invoking Japanese imagery (the “rising sun” entrance) and traditional house-building motifs (upturned corners on roof, central beam supporting an additional level of the roof) as well as landscaping elements like Japanese garden-style pruning of plants, the residents of this home evince a desire to make their yard pretty. But more than that, this conceptual yard points at residents who are intrigued by Asian culture (perhaps in that fifties-style sensibility, of Japan as “exotic”–since this house appears to have been built in the late 50s or early 60s). I’m imagining the occupants to be seniors, and their home to be filled with Asian imported furniture and copies of antiques. They are focused and keep to the theme of their yard, rather than hodgepodging it with “whatever strikes our fancy,” which often happens in suburbia. As such, they are kinda unique, possibly even a little uptight. Could be wrong, but just from reading the yard, that’s the vibe I get.
Other points to notice: The use of stone in the foyer evokes both a rough-hewn Japanese aesthetic tradition of utilizing relatively unaltered elements of nature (unpolished stone, unfinished wood & bamboo) AND a midcentury tendency to incorporate stone into modern architectural elements (it looks very late 50s, like it should be in a Shag painting). While sometimes the idea of the “red door” indicates something iffy going on behind itself, it also is a common historical doohickey (sorry, I have the Monday morning lack of word access) telling travelers that they are welcome.
* There is no “average” Angeleno front yard.