scary to some people, but here in this urban yard, it has turned out to be more rather than less."

During the renovation, an addition to the front of the garage created a small side yard than can be viewed from the kitchen window. McKinnon transformed the space into a meditation garden. The variety of materials, textures, and patterns is a marked departure from the simple lines of the overall landscape, yet the area feels quietly Zenlike.

"Sitting in the garden on a sunny morning, surrounded by plants and the soothing sound of the fountain," says Rex, "you would never know you were right in the middle of the fourth largest city in America."

In this highly accomodating pool (left), a wide rectangle meets an elongated one to create two distinct activity zones. The shallow side allows for lounging, while the 10- foot deep lap side assures cold water even during Houston's tropical summers.

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Last Update 11/5/2001