Backyard Makeover Biography – The Lappanos

At California Pools & Landscape we know that every backyard makeover has a story and this one centers on the Lappanos from Scottsdale, AZ. The Lappanos moved to the valley from the Pacific Northwest and had a new home built northeast of Scottsdale with a natural desert backyard. Their location features stunning natural views from the rear of the home of the Four Peaks Mountain Range and the McDowell Mountains.

The Lappanos started their search to transform their backyard from barren desert to a dream oasis. While considering multiple pool companies, one backyard design stuck out amongst the rest. Designer Les Lull created a seamless outdoor living environment that was custom made for the Lappanos.

“We looked at a number of companies and nobody had the design that Les had,” said Tim Lappano. “That’s what sold us, the way he designed everything coming right out of the great room and the dining room and the master bedroom. Just walk right out on the travertine and you’re right at the pool and at the spa. We just loved his design, I thought he did that so well.”

Lull focused on incorporating all the design features that were most important to the Lappanos.

“He extended our living space and did a fantastic job,” said Sandi Lappano. We wanted an all inclusive feel, something to incorporate everything we wanted. Les was fantastic, he listened to what we wanted and came up with a great plan.”

For Tim Lappano, being able to take a few steps out of his home onto the travertine deck and then take in the natural environment puts the backyard design over the top.

“I love the travertine and I love the way he designed the layout where you can walk out on what we call the runway behind us and look out east and see the Tonto National Forest and Four Peaks Wilderness, that is very very beautiful.”

Backyard Makeover

Creating An Outdoor Living Environment

As the project’s designer, Les Lull created an open outdoor living environment, taking advantage of the Arizona views that are present at the Lappano residence. The large geometric pool and elevated spa with a spillway sit in the focal points from inside the home.

The natural tones of the San Miguel Vein Cut Tumbled Travertine carry throughout this outdoor living space. Almost 1,500 sq ft of travertine carries from just outside the home to the pool and spa and down to the outdoor kitchen.

The outdoor kitchen and dining area sits on the east side of the home and faces in a way that allows the chef to interact with the guests while cooking, based on a recommendation from Lull. He also placed the kitchen in the perfect spot to escape the evening sun while tending to the grill.

“He put our outdoor kitchen in a spot where obviously he wanted the chef to enjoy the guests,” said Sandi Lappano. “That was something that he’d incorporated in his own design, but he also had it put in the shade. It’s perfect in the evenings. You’ve got a little bit of shade to enjoy your dining experience or whoever’s out cooking can stay cool.”

“It’s really nice for me grilling and having some shade,” said Tim Lappano with a smile. “We really love that touch.”

Incorporating design elements throughout an outdoor environment is a principle for the design team at California Pools & Landscape, but especially for Lull.

Turquoise 1×1 Tile is used on the spillway of the spa into the pool and on the exposed surface of the BBQ Pedestal, a decision that thrilled Sandi Lappano.

“He came up with that plan. We kind of let him do what he wanted to do and used his recommendations and that was his suggestion, he said that was going to be the wow factor and we’re very happy with it.”

“It just made us feel better because we knew it wasn’t going to be one person doing one thing and another person doing another thing, they coordinated it all. It was nice to have them take care of everything.”

A Complete Backyard Makeover Without The Hassle Of Multiple Vendors

When the Lappanos started their search for a pool company they sought out to find one that had a successful track record and the ability to handle a complete backyard makeover.

“We wanted an established pool company,” said Tim Lappano. “I think the valley has had a lot of smaller companies go under, no pun intended, but we knew California Pools had a great reputation and they’d been around a long time so we trusted their product.”

“I think the fact that we knew it was all going to be one company to deal with and one or two points of contact, that was very helpful,” said Sandi Lappano. “It just made us feel better because we knew it wasn’t going to be one person doing one thing and another person doing another thing, they coordinated it all. It was nice to have them take care of everything.”

In addition to handling all aspects of the backyard transformation, the Lappanos have been pleased with the follow up that California Pools & Landscape has provided. Warranty Coordinator Connie Carey was the point of contact for warranty repairs that were needed on the project and left an impression on Sandi Lappano.

“Their follow up has been wonderful, Connie has been great to work with.”

“The nice thing that goes with going with a big company like California Pools & Landscape is they stand by their work,” said Tim Lappano. “This is three years old and they’re still coming back here because there’s always going to be a little thing here and there to fix and they have no problem coming out and fixing it. If you choose smaller pool companies, after three years you aren’t going to get that touch. We really appreciate the fact they come out here and they back all of their work.”

Modern Pool Design With Landscaping

Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, the Lappanos weren’t familiar with the landscaping present in the desert heat. To inject a hometown feel into the project, Lull suggested desert plants that displayed vibrant pops of color.

“Les has a strong background in desert plants and landscaping,” said Tim Lappano. “He’s not only a great pool designer, he knows what he’s doing with the landscape. We were really impressed with his knowledge because moving down from Seattle we really didn’t have that much knowledge about the desert system, the plant system, the trees and bushes and all that kind of stuff. He’s an expert in that area as well as the pool.”

Lull created a landscape plan that encompassed all of the exterior property by adding trees, palms, shrubs, accents, cacti, rocks and lighting. The vibrant colors displayed by the Red Birds of Paradise, Cape Honeysuckles, Angelita Daisies and Red Yuccas shine like fresh paint in this natural canvas.

“We love the flowers and the color that you get in the Pacific Northwest so we wanted to bring color into our project and be able to enjoy the desert with the natural landscaping with some pops of color,” said Sandi Lappano.

“Les was fantastic, he respected the things that we wanted in a landscape plan and in a pool. He incorporated everything that we wanted. He knocked it out of the park.” Sandi Lappano

Enjoying A Desert Oasis

The Lappanos have wasted no time enjoying their backyard oasis, utilizing the outdoor environment themselves and also sharing it with family and friends.

“We’ve had many neighbors come over and we’ve had a lot of barbecues and a couple parties and they loved the view,” said Tim Lapanno. “Everyone is really taken with the natural view we have all the way around the property here, especially looking out east.”

A family visit also left quite an impression on an extended member of the family.

“Our son came down with his girlfriend and their dog for a month & the dog really loved the backyard and the pool,” said Sandi Lappano. “30 days in a row, she never missed a day. Thirty straight days. She went back into depression when she had to return to Seattle.”

With a complete backyard makeover there are elements to enjoy year round whether it’s morning, day or night. The Lappanos created an outdoor living area ideal for relaxation, recreation and entertaining. With the serene desert as a backdrop, they’ve developed a new appreciation for evenings in their backyard.

“We enjoy the fire pit in the winter, we’ve got a sheltered spot that’s a perfect size, ” said Sandi Lappano. “We can look out over the mountains, watch the sun set, watch the moon rise. At night you can turn the pool on and have the light show going with the colors that we didn’t think we needed, but we love now that we have the LED options.”

“At night obviously there’s no traffic lights out here or street lights out here, it’s pitch dark,” said Tim Lappano. “The way Les has all the lighting against all the plants and the trees and everything else, sometimes I’ve got to pinch myself and say we’re really out here in the evening because it’s just beautiful out here with the lights on.”

If you’d like to see another outdoor inspiration and backyard makeover, check out the Backyard Biography of the Multops from Scottsdale, AZ.

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