the front of this great old house was confounding: a front yard big enough for a parking lot, but the driveway was squished right next to the house. the outside entry was small & felt like a wrought iron cage. since the house felt long & shallow, it was easy to imagine a deeper entry, adding some sexy curves & building a more inviting front patio.
i visualized an entry of open arms: low walls that were welcoming & also embraced our visitors. with the ironwork & tile removed, the front extended forward & new color-integrated stucco all over, the house looked amazing. (obviously, i spent hours with omar, dry-vit’s friendly stucco color-mixer, creating the perfect hues for the house. there are 6 exterior colors: 3 for house elevations, 1 for window trim & 2 yard/patio wall colors.) we installed a wonderful antique door, built my “parenthesis” patio walls, tiled the floor with vintage encaustics & installed old & new lights.
phase two, (whew!) i designed the landscape. i loved sweeping a curved gravel drive into the shade of mesquites & winding an inviting path to the front door. our porch has become one of our favorite hangouts: we watch the sun set, the monsoons strike & the fireworks explode over the baseball stadium. nice.
the back patio was always a great space, but the ceiling was so darn low. so...we took it off & put on a new one. oh & i drew arches at the columns & covered the floor in the same herringbone concrete tile that flows through most of the house. i designed the patio to be a family room that happened to be outside, so i filled it with vintage furniture & lighting. it’s an enchanted place to spend the first & last parts of the day.