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In the Hollywood Hills, a boring backyard becomes a dream sanctuary with hints of India

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By Debra Prinzing

Mala Vasan wanted to transform her small yard in Hollywood. Tucked behind a 1924 Spanish bungalow and hemmed in by her own garage as well as her neighbor’s, Vasan’s yard was attractive “only to a family of skunks that used to walk across the space,” she says. She turned to landscape designer Laura Morton, and in their conversations they eventually discussed a lush oasis influenced by the home’s Spanish-style architecture, Mala’s Indian American heritage and the two women’s mutual love of travel.

“She showed me a file of imagery she’d been daydreaming about, including exotic pictures of India with elephants,” Morton says. In the end, the 16-by-32-foot patio was re-imagined as a two-level courtyard that feels far away from Los Angeles. " Enclosed spaces instill a sense of intimacy,” Morton says, “and within that your own sense of paradise is possible.”
(Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times)

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