Archive for the ‘exterior’ Category

SIDE YARD

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Knocked down all the knee-high weeds but everything is still a horrid mess.

Being full on freaky for furniture, I wanted to check out how the table looked in the side yard (and at least free up some storage space). I kind of feel like it might be too nice to leave out here…but maybe that’s all the ghetto looking surroundings working their magical guilt.

The ground is super uneven and it’ll definitely be a long time before that final “look” is achieved. We still have a bunch of stuff to do to get this area looking and functioning like that fancy virtually landscaped yard.

Wait? But what things?!

Things like this:

SIDE YARD TO DO

+ Rototill soil
+ Level/grade dirt
+ Drip irrigation
+ Plumb/filter pool
+ Run electrical
+ Weed barrier
+ Weld metal edging
+ Decomposed granite
+ Concrete paver walkway
+ Stain/seal fence
+ Plants
+ Tree
+ Lighting

Look at that beat up table top. This thing was ridden hard and put away wet. The teak will do well outdoors though.

I’ve got a ghetto tarp covering up the table to protect it from the harsh sun for now, but it still needs a nice weather resistant cover to keep it from getting too abused. At least I know rain won’t be an issue. Thank you wicked dry desert climate!

+++++

In other unrelated thoughts and boring stuff:

I’ve been working on the show with Laure again, as well as tirelessly on the shop and other sneaky ventures. Summer time means that it’s 8,000 degrees in the desert and working on the house is a physically torturous and sweaty nightmare. Admittedly, I’ve been phoning shit in around this old blog as of late, but in all honesty, I just got nothing. No great ideas, no fun content, no big projects I can share. I’m exhausted and totally uninspired and the house is a disaster pit that I just awkwardly walk around while trying to ignore random piles of laundry.

Otherwise, it seems that I’ve been straying away from blogs and spending more time on twitter and instagram and other micro-blogging (I hate myself for even typing that) formats which are easily accessed on my phone. As I’m traveling more and spending less and less time at a computer, these little venues feel like an immediately accessible option and are seemingly where more and faster interaction is taking place.

So, to you – you fine summer loving and attractive folks – here are a few things I’ve been asking around about:

How do you deal with crappy uninspired creative lulls?

Have you noticed a shift in the way peeps are interacting with blogs and the blogging community (please punch me for writing blogging community)?

Anyone feeling slightly burnt out? Please say it’s not just me feeling completely cray-cray crazy lately.

Landscape

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

The house is mostly a blank slate when it comes to fixing up the landscaping, well, except for the spring time weed “lawn” that shall be pulverized. Though the plan is to do everything in stages as budget and weather and will power permit, I have to admit to being a bit overwhelmed by the scale of the project. This will be a massive undertaking requiring oodles of hardcore filthy labor and serious cash. My brain refuses to acknowledge how long this project will drag out (years, likely) or how many new skills are needing learning or that the future holds face to face dealings with nests of earwigs, feral cat crap and other horrifying surprises lurking in the dirt.

Thankfully, I’ve been working with the talented and soothing (and award winning) Ryan Prange of Falling Waters Landscape fame to help quell my anxiety and give the low down on drought tolerant low maintenance landscaping. We’ve whittled out my landscape needs (cheap, low maintenance, desert modern, neighborhood appropriate, water friendly) and he’s been pulling together some design recommendations for plantings.

In response to the layouts and ideas Ryan’s been sending over, I’ve been screwing around with SketchUp to flesh out the landscape.

Admittedly, the free version of SketchUp’s plant selection sucks. The program also goes wacky with the 2-D face me plants which wander out of place as the viewing angle shifts – not just a little out of place, but jumping 10 plus feet out of their plant “zone”.

These renderings are supposed to include a bunch more feather grass or rush or grassy bush type things to help fill out the blanker areas. Putting the right amount of plants in the model causes it to start resembling very sloppy and confusing photoshopping. The pared down renderings do illustrate basic layout of the major plantings and hardscape elements which are still getting fiddled around with and finalized.

In terms of making this stuff physically happen (without hiring contractors and workers) I need to learn some new skills like pouring and finishing concrete. Initially, concrete seems messy and hard and fits neatly in my frustrating projects that I suck at category. I also want to figure out how to install drip irrigation and exterior lighting. Sexy and thrilling projects like those will need some in-depth research, which is is fantastic, since there is nothing more exhilarating than researching piping or timers or whatever.

The neglected side yard needs some attention and extreme weed annihilation. The more obvious question though – who the hell installs a spigot like that? Extend that sucker over one foot to the right and out one foot please. Perfect. Logical. Extra functional.

We picked up the ridiculous blue spa cover at the local thrift store for a couple of dollars.  The cover is a few feet wider than required, so it’s rocking a stylish droop and devil may care attitude whilst keeping leaves out of the empty tank. Trust that I know it’s looking kind of ghetto.

Still working out the plan of attack in the side yard, but the idea is to keep it simple and add an eating area. We need to rip out the brick planter and install hot rolled steel edging, pour some concrete pavers, plumb the pool, build a deck, stain the fence, grade the yard, throw decomposed granite everywhere, plant many plants, build a table, install lighting and then done? Maybe? This is going to take years.

Above are a few of the design options Ryan has been sending my way. I’ve been picking and choosing ideas and incorporating a little of each into the finalized plan, which shocker, might ultimately change as we dive into the nitty gritty of finances and skill levels and what stuff actually looks in real life.

Landscaping. You soul crushing monster.

The big sale will hopefully raise funds to help get us going on some projects. I can’t wait for the exterior to shape up a bit and be usable.

Also, if you have a landscaping project in need of some help, design, project management or otherwise, give Ryan & Falling Waters Landscape a shout. He’s good people, with a great eye and super easy to work with personality. I might know, because admittedly, I’m a demanding she-beast with a highly specific design sensibility who worries that it’s not as easy to switch out trees as it is sofas. Then again, I don’t have to sit on trees and constantly look at and criticize them.

Should be fine, right? Right?! RIGHT. We are nowhere near ready to plant trees.

Butterfly Chairs

Monday, January 31st, 2011

I’ve been slowly amassing butterfly chair frames to use as seating around the fire pit for the past year or so. Unfortunately, buying individual frames over Craigslist is a bit of a problem when it comes to having all the chairs and their covers match. Why won’t a bunch of unconnected strangers in different towns have exactly what I want?! So inconsiderate.

Mismatched and falling apart, the random ugly slings on each chair were making things look a tad dorm room ghetto.

I recently received an email from Steve Dunning of Circa50 whose subject line literally read “help is on the way”. He had noticed my past post and how terrible the chairs were looking and then a wave of embarrassment about the state of my ghetto chair covers hit me like a tuna in the face. With much shame, I admitted that they had been neglected for far too long.

Thankfully, Circa50 rescued me yet again.

They sent six white indoor/outdoor vinyl weave slings in size D. The heavy duty exterior vinyl is a Circa50 exclusive and so very thick and fabulous to sit in – they are like white clouds of slingy heaven.

I can’t decide if six chairs may be a bit much around the fire pit, but once we install the stock tank pool I have a feeling that a pair will navigate over to the other side of the yard. Then it shall be decided…do I need still more? Probably…because I am obsessed with butterfly chairs…

It’s amazing how a matching set of slings instantly changes the patio area. It’s like the whole thing just went up a thousand notches in the über fancy design category.

Honestly, I kind of don’t want anyone to sit in them since they look like the hotness.

Thanks again, Steve and everyone at Circa50! These really did save the side yard. Now everything else needs to get better to keep up.