A front entrance on the downslope and fairly close to the road can feel unwelcoming. But with a talented design eye, it can be transformed into an inviting courtyard garden. We redesigned the entry stairs to wind down into a lush garden, rather than making a straight line to the front door. This curve created the perfect space for a recirculating water feature. Now, the sound reflects off of the stucco wall into the garden space and masks the street noise. Dry stacked stone walls terrace the slope from the street, and drought tolerant plants create a backdrop that lets you forget there is a road at all.