Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category


Friday, November 20th, 2009

We got a refund out of our escrow account after our property taxes were reevaluated and lowered to reflect the actual purchase price of the house (actually a little lower due to the nosedive real estate market) instead of charging us the previous owners purchase price (which they have for a year and was WAY WAY WAY more than we paid). Another good aspect was that our mortgage payment was also lowered and now we are paying less for the house than we’ve ever paid in rent. So – good news overall.

The focus for using this little boon of cash has fallen on fixing up our crappy/weedy dirt driveway. Which is seriously Ghetto.

Here is a little layout map – and yes, our driveway is huge.

Driveway map

Here are some inspiration pictures I’ve been looking at to figure out what to do with the beast of a driveway.





19 house side

The Boy wants the whole driveway done in 1″ gravel. I want rectangular cement slabs with gravel divisions.

Like everything, it’s all going to come down to those DOLLARS. We definitely don’t want to overspend as this town is awful and going overboard probably won’t ever pay off.

If we go all gravel, we could totally DIY the driveway. If there are cement slabs, we will need pro assistance. We could always install those big cement pavers to kind of fake the look, and I know cement will cost way more than we should spend (We actually got a quote for $15,000 to do what I want to the whole driveway. WTF – we got other more reasonable quotes but that one just seemed insane).

It’s going to cost :

-$872.50 (including tax and delivery) for all the gravel.
-$250 for a 24 hour tractor rental to level and grade the dirt.

Thats $1,122.50 to DIY a full on gravel driveway.

So, my question for all you fabulous DIYer’s is this – what’s a good, cheap driveway solution? Have any of you gorgeous, charming, and witty readers put a driveway in and what are your do’s and don’ts?

Desert Homes

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

(all via Dwell)

We have all the negatives of living in the desert – heat, lack of water, dust, crazy people, meth, spiders and lizards – but none of the pluses – wide open views, privacy, floor to ceiling windows, big dark night skies, that special desert smell, and modernist architecture.

I’m desperately dreaming of building a modern boxy house somewhere isolated in the Southern California desert. Near enough to Palm Springs that we can still go to dinner and thrifting and be a little on the grid. I guess the possible “murdered where no one can hear you scream” factor would be hard to deal with…but hey, it’s probably more likely I’d get hit by some tricked out music blasting truck in front of my suburban house. And my views suck.

Black Bedroom Accent Wall

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

OK, I still subscribe to my weird moratorium on accent walls. I just hate them. It’s not reasonable, it’s not intellectual, it’s not a personal thing against your accent wall, it’s just a gut-hatred kind of thing I can’t explain. The one and only accent wall color I will allow in the house is black (or maybe a great gray, which – come on, is really just a light black).

I keep fussing over the guest bedroom as we get ready to paint it and I think we may have to go with a glossy black accent wall behind the headboard. I’m having commitment issues with painting the whole small room really super dark, but I love the idea of just a touch deep shiny black for that WOW dramatic contrast thing when you turn the corner into the bedroom.

This may all go horribly awry.