A Fresh New Garden for Sarah’s Desert A-frame

As the winter darkness continues to creep in and the days get painfully short here in Boston, I crave the light of southern climates.  Sarah Sherman Samuel’s new garden in Palm springs is just where I’d like to be.  This makeover transforms a manky and dark a-frame home in the desert of Palm Springs, CA, into a light and fresh modern home for a growing family. 

A Fresh New Garden for Sarah's Desert A-frame - Before
Before, the A-frame home was dark and garden was full of garbage, debris and dead trees.

My favorite elements are those giant wood blocks that make the paths and patio floors (a diamond in the rough gift from the renovation gods) and the cactus with the backdrop of the white-painted stone.  I love that particular mix of textures in the garden.  And did you see the painted white stock tank plunge pool?  It is so sweet and fun and far better to look at than any blow-up rubber job that you might pick up at the toy store.

After - a fresh and bright desert garden and an afram house
After a fresh coat of white paint, a new roof and a-lot of garden cleanup.

Why this Desert Garden makeover works:

  1. Painting the house white creates greater contrast between the stone details, the trees, and the planting. It also allows you to see and appreciate the lines of the architecture better.
  2. Pruning trees and removing the pine tree in the foreground have done a few things. It has allowed in much more light. Plus, a good prune also turned tree and shrub blobs (shapeless green masses) into sculptural elements.
  3. The new fence will age to a silver color (unless it is constantly treated with oungoe oil or another sealant). The honey color adds warmth that reflects some of the golden tones in the stone and the leaves of the plants.
  4. The Fire pit area was previously just open and undefined. Nothing much to look at. By giving it a purpose, they also gave it a focal point.
  5. Finishing with flower beds with a topdressing of white gravel ties the new house color and the garden together.
  6. The Stocktank pool – also painted white – achieves the same things as the firepit. It ties in and solidifies the color scheme, and it gives a focal point and a purpose to this garden room.
A Fresh New Garden for Sarah's Desert A-frame
Before – Despite being in the sunny desert, this garden looks dark and miserable.
A Fresh New Garden for Sarah's Desert A-frame
After – A new fence, tree pruning, and distinctive white gravel makes the space much more attractive.
A Fresh New Garden for Sarah's Desert A-frame
A Fresh New Garden for Sarah's Desert A-frame

Make sure you head over to Sarah’s blog to see more (and there is a lot more to see) of this fantastic makeover!

images: sarah sherman samuel

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  1. Jeremy B. says:

    Amazing transformation! While I love old rock and the look it gives, the all white paint is refreshing and it’s good to see a vintage home restored and not taken down.

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