Thursday, May 27, 2010

Making Lemonade.....


Back Yard Concrete Block Wall, Fountain Under Construction!
When we moved in to our 1911 house, we were thrilled to have an old house with all of it's charm and quirks. But things happen over the years. Things get built that make you wonder what the owners were thinking. We inherited a decrepit carport that was attached to a massive concrete block wall (9-10 feet high?). We took down the lean to, but the wall remains. An eyesore with rebar sticking up from the top. I guess it was never finished?
We left it alone while we busily attacked the house remodel. But now we are tackling the yard. So....what to do about this wall? Should it come down? Or should we try to work with it? Our neighbor has one of the most beautiful rose gardens I have ever seen, and many of his climbers are on the other side of this wall. We hate to disturb the plants....or our very patient neighbor ( he has kindly put up with two dogs that love to bark at the squirrels that run across the top of the wall).
We decided to leave it where it is. I had designed a large wall fountain for a restaurant a few years ago, and Tim loved it. So...we are creating a smaller version to break up the expanse of wall that blinds us with glare almost all day. I sketched up our vision of what the "After" will look like ......soon I hope!

After!
We plan to use corten metal plates for the back of the wall of water, and stucco the rest of the wall to match the house. A concrete finish cap will go along the top. Tim is building the trough for the water with a seat topped with the same concrete cap. Trellised vines will cover the wall on either side of the fountain, and I am hoping Tim will agree to potted citrus tress on either side. This wall gets sun almost all day....so Mediterranean plants will do well here. We will be trying out water plants for the first time in the fountain!
I am looking forward to the sound of falling water and the thermal cooling when the temps get up to 100 around here!
Another project on the books.....(Tim doesn't know about this one yet!)....our front door! It is a massive four feet wide, and to replace it would cost a small fortune. Plus, most door companies do not warranty a door this wide. 42 inches, yes....48 inches, no. I would have thought that the front door to a house that is otherwise very charming would have had some character. But sadly, it is a plain slab door with wood veneer that has seen better days. It is heavily scratched and peeling away. Plus, the dark stain stops the eye dead in it's tracks in our white living room. And why someone would feel it necessary to add a peephole to a door with windows, I will never understand! Here she is....

Front Door..."Before"
So this is my plan....... I want to add battens to the door to add some architectural interest. The pattern will echo some of the other patterns throughout the house. like the wainscoting in the dining room and the beamed ceilings. The battens will also hide the flaws in the veneer. Then a fresh coat of paint, new hardware, and voila! I hope to have a much prettier door that will not break the bank!
After!
I will keep you posted on the progress......soon I hope! it is dependent on my "contractor" (ahem....Tim!)

12 comments:

Julio said...

wow! what a great design Katie. I cannot wait to see this completed. I am already drooling over the fountain. I love the door make over as well.

Boxwood Terrace said...

Your yard area will be beautiful! Looking forward to seeing the changes. Great idea for your door too, since it can't easily be replaced.
Deborah

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Katie,
I am so excited to see your thoughts...and amazing sketches!!!

The fountain is the perfect solution for you and your neighbor!
Who knows...maybe your poochies will feel more tranquil too!

Karena said...

Katie, just these changes will make a huge difference!! Yoou have a great eye for detail!

Karena
Art by Karena

mary said...

I am a firm believer in making lemonade; seeing the potential in what life provides. The door is going to be so much more proportioned with the cornice, molding and battens. What a great contractor--is this a father's day project?

Ragland Hill Social by Gwen Driscoll said...

can't wait to see your fountain in reality. it will be wonderful. have a great weekend.

Hello Lover... said...

Love the design - cannot wait to see your progress!

LiveLikeYou said...

Fantastic drawing and sketches!

Mrs. Blandings said...

Both projects are enchanting - can't wait to see that back wall. Gorgeous.

casey at loft and cottage said...

Gorgeous designs! Please keep us posted!

CAPow! said...

I love those sketches! so pretty!

kiki said...

I love the idea for the fountain on the wall, the sketch looks wonderful, can't wait to see the finished result!