Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Walled Courtyard Update: Getting Steps and a Planter

Here's an update on our walled courtyard, which is coming along nicely. Here is a shot of the landing steps. This will really be the main entry of our home now. I asked for steps that were deep enough that I could get a stroller down them, but I realize we won't be needing a stroller for much longer! Max turns 2 next month.

Here's the concrete base going on the wall. The Vasari stucco in the salmon tone will go over this once the surface is nice and smooth. 

Notice the new stacked stone planter in front of the wall. I was afraid the wall was too big and bland and a planter helped to visually break up the space. I'll put lavender in there as soon as the wall is finished and our old wooden bench in front of it. That long planter required a lot of stone! But we cleaned up much of the front yard debris by using it and got rid of extra dirt by making a planter. The rest of our stone will be used on the front entry steps and to make a winding path leading to the sidewalk.

Ah, a view down at the second step of our new front entry. Can't wait to come in and out this door. So much easier.

This is what you see when you enter the old wood gate. The flagstone and pea gravel patio is nearly finished. We opted to go with the gravel because it allowed water drainage and it was far cheaper than cementing everything in. This should make a nice outdoor room. What do you think?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Another Brick in the Wall (Sneak Peek)

This week we're finishing our walled-in front courtyard and I wanted to share some pics. Here is a shot of the "French Wheel" that we turned into a window with brick detail. Surprisingly, the inside of this courtyard is quite large. Just off our living room/great room area, this outdoor room makes us feel like we just doubled our living space. Our whole family is loving our house now. We LOVE it and never want to leave. We feel very grateful and blessed to be enjoying the rewards of all this hard work.

And here's a shot of our old world doors with speak easy. These have been sitting in our backyard for more than two years! So excited we are finally getting to use them. They actually came off of an old Bavarian restaurant in New Jersey. But they are lending the "Carmel" storybook feel that we love so much. Can't wait to decorate this wall for Halloween. Those pillars on each side of the doors will be covered with stone. The right side will have an outdoor iron lantern.

Here's a look inside as the wall was just going up. We do like our neighbors, but also will enjoy a little bit of privacy, especially in the morning. With those big glass doors on the front of our house, we were feeling a little exposed especially since we haven't gotten around to installing window treatments yet.

They just got the second door hung before I left for work. Notice the old reclaimed brick detail along the top edge. This entire wall will be stucco'd with the salmon color to match the house on the outside. While the inside of the courtyard will be Vineto Fieldledge stone. A few cypress trees and iceberg roses, rough stone front steps and a flagstone front yard with grape stake fence and we're just about done! Stay tuned!