a modest backyard is transformed into an entertainer’s paradise
Written by ELA LINDSAY   Photography by IRIS SMOOT

Beyond BuaduccoWhen Paul and Kathy Bauducco set out to redo their backyard, they wanted to start with a clean slate. “Rather than update the existing landscape, we decided to start over, maximizing the space,” says Paul Bauducco, a shareholder in the business litigation practice group at Encino’s Lewitt Hackman law firm. The result is an expansive outdoor entertaining area with several destinations, all designed to fit into a relatively small yard.

When the Bauduccos moved into their Moorpark home in 1992, their name was already well-known in the area: Paul’s parents, Frank and Paola Bauducco, had owned and operated popular Italian restaurants in Westlake and Moorpark for many years. Paul says he was baking pizzas when he was just 14 years old.

Strong family ties are reflected throughout the yard, which was completed in August 2009 and has been the center of family life ever since.

The outdoor kitchen and pizza oven—“Mom’s idea,” Paul says—get lots of use. The golden-hued Brazilian granite slab on the generous wraparound kitchen counter has seating for five. It’s where family enjoys freshly baked pizza straight out of the wood-fired oven.

“Once the oven gets to 600 or 700 degrees, pizzas can be done in two-and-a-half to three minutes,” he says.

The family enjoys dining al fresco in the spacious cabana, complete with a large fireplace, comfortable seating and a dining table overlooked by a massive TV. Two ceiling fans are mounted on the tongue-and-groove beamed ceiling, which was sand-blasted and distressed to bring out the wood grain.

Beyond BuaduccoIt’s not unusual to find the Bauducco kids and their friends in the mini pebble bottom Jacuzzi, or the “poolcuzzi” as they call it, playing Xbox games on the cabana’s swivel-mounted TV.

The far side of the yard reveals another roomy composite stone dining table circled by a balustrade. It’s one of the only features in the backyard that remained relatively intact during the six-month renovation.

There’s an organic flow to the whole space, the brainchild of Monika Valtchev, who was contracted to design the project using classical elements mixed with natural materials. An Old World feeling is reflected throughout.

“Roman columns support the tiled cabana roof, while stacked stone is used throughout the project,” says Paul. The stone is from Sidney Peak in the desert behind Valencia, Calif.

Landscape contractor and architect Marsh Sanders of Design Concepts Inc., with offices in Camarillo and Simi Valley, was hired to finalize the designs and build the project. Sanders said the Bauduccos wanted an entertainer’s backyard with lots of features for the family to enjoy with “refined materials rather than just stucco walls, so we went with stone.” The concrete was stained a tan color—“mesa buff with color nutmeg release,” explains Sanders, who also helped the Bauduccos select the stone, precast columns, fireplace mantels and other materials.

Beyond Buaducco


A wood-burning fireplace warms the cabana which houses a dining area and full media center.

The outdoor American dream—Old World-style—is in full force here. It’s grand, yet not overstated, beautiful in the most organic way, and utterly inviting for family-friendly outdoor living.

Beyond Buaducco


Right, a meandering path leads to the secondary dining area which comfortably seats eight. Far right, the pizza oven gets lots of use. Paul Bauducco, whose parents owned the popular Bauducco Italian restaurants in Westlake Village and Moorpark, says he began baking pizzas when he was 14.