Sunday, April 18, 2010


Not much has changed visually on the house in the past couple of weeks --until yesterday.
The wiring and plumbing has been done and the insulation has been installed.  Those are big items, but don't make for good pictures--unless you're an electrician or plumber.

Finally there are changes you can see.

In the course of ripping off the back of the house and adding on, the brickwork on the house "suffered."
We chose to keep the old bricks and reuse them so the house would look as original as possible.
So brickmasons were brought in to make things right.

This crew took the brick off the house before the back wall was removed.
You might remember them from February.

They cleaned the old bricks and stacked them neatly on the driveway.

Now they're back, filling in the gables upstairs.
I think the left gable looks great. 

From the street I doubt we'll even be able to tell there were repairs.

They filled in the old breakfast room window.
That room is now part of the kitchen and the range will go on this wall.

We thought about painting the bricks--I do like that look.
Now, I'm happy we stuck with the original Tudor style.
The brickmasons still have some other repairs here and there,
but so far so good.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I think I'd like a Pergola

I've been thinking that the back of our house looks a little like a barn. 

I thought that might happen and even discussed this problem with the architect.  We considered adding a little roof between the first and second floors but didn't.

Now that it's Spring and Hot as Hades, a pergola is starting to seem like a good idea.
In our old house we had a pergola that covered the pool equipment.

A New Dawn Rose grew up over it.  It was gorgeous when it bloomed but it was a bear to prune.
I think a pergola could provide some shade --and maybe a little romance--in addition to adding detail on the house to break up the flat expanse.

Here are a few examples I especially like:

This one is Martha Stewart's-(of course).
The detail on the rafter ends is outstanding (of course). The vine is perfect and the pot of moss or whatever is just the right thing (of course.)

This pergola is in Turkey.
Now this is inspiration!
Can't you just feel the cool breeze and taste something sweet and exotic.

How about this one from OutdoorRooms?
I could string those ridiculously expensive lights from Restoration Hardware and sit out on cool evenings.

The pergola above is featured in an ad in Garden Design Magazine May/June 2011.

Or maybe it could be really classy and I could lounge under it with a mint julip.

This is probably more realistic.

The butterfly bushes are a little too much for me, it's not balanced. All the plants are at the bottom--I won't be too critical--maybe it's new.

This could work, too. 
It wouldn't provide any shade, but is would break up the flatness of the back of the house.
I like the triangular supports that attach to the wall.

I'd have to add a vine.
Maybe not wisteria--it grows crazy fast.
I think this one might be IT.
The details are too good!

Let me know what you think.
Would a bigger pergola that gives some shade be better, or a smaller one that doesn't block the light.
There are pros and cons.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring is Here

It's the First of April - 77 degrees on the way to 82.
And it's wonderful.

It's always fun to anticipate what a new yard will look like in the spring.
We're never really sure what will emerge.
This is a bush in the front yard in Morningside.  I have no idea what it is.
If any of you know, please comment.  Even if you have a wild guess I'd like to hear it.

Other things are coming to life, too.

This is our neighbor's stone wall.  Their yard is amazing. These could be their plantings--who knows.

This bush is prickly and is starting to overrun the sidewalk, but it's definitely pretty.

Now, my favorite, the mature dogwood between our sidewalk and the street.
I can't wait for these little blooms to do their thing.

That's all for now.  I need to go outside and play!