Friday, July 26, 2013

Where the Wild Things Go!

Over the past year, we've had the great pleasure of working with a client on several projects in their home.  What started out as a consultation on ideas to treat a fireplace wall developed into a complete refurbishing of the living room, followed by the dining room, and a kitchen overhaul.  We were recently invited back to assist with an outdoor project.

Their Spanish bungalow has a small open area behind that connects to a separate apartment.  This area--which included a small palm covered tiki pavilion--had become a little wild, as you can see from these photographs.

Overgrown beds and mismatched hardscape materials have all but rendered the space unusable.  Their goal was to turn the space back into a useful area for entertaining that would also be easy to maintain.  Next week we'll take a look at the design solutions, and start watching the project come to life!

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Wrap Up

I promised pictures of this recently completed landscape project, but first, let's take a trip back in time to what the space looked like before we started!

A little wild, slightly unsafe, and very, very wet!  Now here is the project complete.

Properly graded, an ample paved step-out area from the screened-enclosure, a large area at the bottom of the steps to accommodate a portable fire pit, or trampoline, and a planting of all Florida native plants that will create a visual block between this property and the neighbors, but will be virtually maintenance free once established.  And the fact that they are native plants ties this project sweetly into the natural preserve area beyond.  But my favorite part of all...the red pergola!
We've had lots of rain since the installation, and all the water is draining properly through the installed underground piping to the drain box in the preserve area.  This was an unusual project requiring some pretty specialized solutions, but one that resulted in great rewards....for the client and for us as designers!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Nearing Completion

A couple of weeks ago, we saw the preliminary phases of a landscape project we're following.  Grading was completed, and block steps were being formed.  At the same time, our structure is under construction.  This structure is what I would refer to as a trellis or arbor.  Though it has the appearance of a pergola, there really isn't enough depth to consider it a useful "shelter".  Its function is basically to block the view of the neighboring property.

We tend to recommend an opaque stain finish on our outdoor wood structures.  Unstained wood can look awfully raw in many settings.  We looked at and discussed many stain color options, and were having a hard time landing on a choice.  I casually mentioned that I'd always wanted to do a red pergola.  The client sort of laughed off the idea, but much to my surprise, when I made my next site visit, the pergola was being stained red.  Fun!!

Here's the next steps happening simultaneously.

Further progress on the steps:

 Red arbor under construction:

Surface of steps being formed, and plants arrive for placement.

When the plants arrive, you can bet we're getting close to completion.  Next week we'll take a look at the finished project!