Jewelry designer Maya Brenner has one of those dream backyards, with a large pool, a custom bar outfitted with graphic tile, and a quintessential Los Angeles view with palm trees dotting the horizon. But it wasn’t always the case at the Silverlake home she shares with boyfriend Dustin Lancaster, a restauranteur and hotelier. “The backyard was in ill repair and hadn’t been updated since the 70’s,” Maya recalls “The pool was original from the 60’s and was huge, like the size you see in a 200 unit apartment complex.” The plaster was cracking and there was no hot tub, a must for the couple. “In order to get what we wanted, we had to redo the whole thing which was no small undertaking,” she tells us.
First off, they replaced the tile, changed the plaster to a darker pebble, and added a hot tub along with a baja shelf that runs the entire length of the pool. Next up, they tackled the crumbing cabana, tearing out the wood bar. “Dustin has a lot of experience designing bars and wasn’t about to let our home bar not be special as well,” Maya says. “He got the tile from Kismet Tile, which is actually based right here in Silverlake. The tile pattern really pops while sticking to the color scheme overall.” They also added a TV and two Schoolhouse Electric sconces. As an added bonus, there’s a drink machine, a gift for Maya’s last birthday. “It happened to fall on Memorial Day, so naturally we had a big pool party and we made Frosé on one side for the adults and a Lemonade slushy for the kids on the other. They were a huge hit! It really elevates backyard entertaining as everyone eyes literally light up when they see it!”
At the other end of the yard, they had to pull out some bamboo, leaving a 10 foot gaping hole which the pair filled with their old above-ground trampoline and added fake turf around it. They also rescued chickens. Maya laughs, “Very LA, I know! I ordered a chicken coop online that my boyfriend and son put together and then eventually had a chicken run built around it.”