Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Concourse D'Elegance and More Landscaping Inspiration

We are working on our stone courtyard patio and I've been going through my inspiration files (yet again).  Came across these from the Concourse d'Elegance, a vintage car show at the Greystone Mansion in Los Angeles. 

While Milo was looking at the cars, I was snapping pics of the beautiful grounds, which are amazing.

Of course, the Greystone Mansion boasts some sprawling lawns. But, it's the pretty combinations of plants that caught my eye: the Italian cypress trees and lavender, for example. So pretty framing this walkway. Think I'll be borrowing this idea.

Other people were taking photos of the cars, but I was more fascinated by the flagstone with gravel and brick detail.

Certain plants do having stopping power with me: Like this rosemary hedge planted in front of a house near our gym. I spied it one day while walking with the kids. I must have a pic of this, I thought.

I was afraid that the owner would see me stalking her house. But, the rosemary was so pretty and well, genius. I have since borrowed the landscaping idea for the parkway shown here. We have rosemary and lavender planted in that plot between the street and the sidewalk. Ours is covered with pea gravel though.

Ah, back to our house. I'm borrowing some plants in this shot from our neighbor's yard. I do like this plumbago.

And we already have some iceberg roses. We won't need to buy anything new for our yard--we'll just need to move things around. Amen to that.

And did I mention that our neighbors, who own Level Line Construction in West Los Angeles, dropped off some flagstone from one of their jobs. We saved them some hauling fees, and they saved us a lot of money buying flagstone.

Only one small problem: The flagstone we already have, called Wolf's Creek, is everywhere. From our front steps to the pool in the backyard. Wolf's Creek is darker with richer burgundy tones, browns and deeper grays. The new stuff is very light. And yet, did I mention it's FREE? Ah, such a conundrum. My frugal side is conflicting with my aesthetic side again. We'll have to find a creative solution that may involve some concrete stains.

More front courtyard inspiration. Love this pea gravel.

This feels like a fortress. The stone textures mingled with green plants and the flowers are amazing.

Oh, how I would love room for a fountain. Don't think that's in the budget though.

I love the color of these walls with the rich patina and the brick arch detail. We have some old arched doors with chunky hand-forged metals strap hinges going in the front of our house. Would love to figure out how to create an arch like this.

Here's our starting point. Our walls won't be too tall--they should reach the height of the top lite on the arched French doors though. We'll place the pale flagstone, blended with some Wolf's Creek, into the gravel to create our patio floor. I've ear marked a few giant flagstone pieces for the front entry steps. Stay tuned for an update. This should be going in this week so I'll post the after pic as soon as they are available. Fingers crossed we've made the right decision with the walled courtyard. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Kids' Bathroom: A Quick Update and More

Getting so close to finishing our house now! The kid's bathroom is just a few steps away from final. Thought you might like to take a look. Everything works. The carved mirrors still need to get hung though. This bathroom will function for guests, especially those using our pool, so it's not decorated with the usual primary colors and kid stuff. We're going for timeless, rustic, organic. My daughter, who is mermaid-obsessed, likes the shell with the heart carved into the tops of the mirrors. So, that was enough to win her over. And she LOVES her new bathroom.

Just another view. And if you look in the mirror ...yup, that's me with Max. I had to stand in the kid's water closet to take this picture.

Yet another angle. I wanted to get more of the chandelier in the shot and show off some of the high ceilings with the white washed cedar planks.

Here's a reminder of my early sketch. We ended up cutting up our kitchen island instead of our table, so no cabriolet legs on the vanity like the ones I drew in this sketch. (So glad we didn't chop up our dining room table.) And we haven't built in that side closet just yet or placed any upper shelves. What do you think? Did we sort of come close to the early plan so far?

Ah, an earlier phase. The vanity standing on its side. At this point, I feared I did the wrong thing by asking to have the kitchen island sliced right in half. 

Here is a shot showing a peek of the French pocket doors into Max's bedroom. And you can see a little more of those French pavers cleaned and sealed.  A wire basket holds pool towels. And there's a wooden step stool for Max, who already fell off of it twice!

And I couldn't resist showing off our new hardwood floors, the DuChateau wide plank European Oak in natural finish. Right now, this great room space is pretty wide open, so we have dance parties with the kids and we even brought out the gymnastics mat for cartwheel and handstand practice. Do we really need furniture?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hall Closet: A Little Bit More Finished

The hall closet is a little bit more finished. These baskets will mainly hold linens, dirty laundry and laundry soaps. 

The doorway to the right is the new entrance to the master bedroom. Same general location, but arched and plastered with a reclaimed oak door and brass door knob. (It came with the old doors we found on Craig's list. At first, we thought we'd switch the brass knobs out, but the color looks surprisingly good so we're keeping them.)

Take a look at the basket on the top shelf. This is actually the laundry hamper for the upper loft. There's a little opening up top to shoot down dirty laundry and for small children to crawl though. (Yup, they do it all the time.) While I couldn't squeeze it into the pic, there is also a chandelier in the vaulted part of the hallway ceiling. Pretty at night, but you never need to turn on any lights during the day. Not the case with the old dark hallway.

Just a reminder what the old hallway used to look like. And this wasn't the real old hallway before we took the ceiling out and roof off. But the white doors shown here will give you the gist. We removed these old closet doors, stripped them and are turning them into a built in bookcase.

There will be a simple linen skirt here to hide the other laundry basket in the bottom.  I'll post that after it's installed. Hardwood floors in the main living room and dining room open/floor plan are getting finished this week as I write this.  And the concrete floors get a better polish tomorrow. Very exciting! I'll share those pics soon.
Have a great week!