Thursday, July 30, 2009


We've finally started working on the back of our home which is coming along nicely.
We still have the following left to do:
*decide on grass or more concrete on the remaining 270 square foot of dirt space
*landscape perimeter flower beds
*Replace old wood fence on the east side of yard
*Install accent up lighting along the flower beds,water fountain and the large Deodar Cedar tree.

My goal is to hopefully complete most of the list before the rainy season starts. However, I have to wait until my partner Dan has forgiven my last spending spree.

Following are the "Before" images taken after the family room add-on which demolished most of our back yard.

The rear exterior of our home. The 2 sets of french doors lead to the new family room completed in late 2007.

The double sided fireplace was an exciting feature added so that we can
enjoy the life like gas fire logs from the back when entertaining outdoors.

The windows above are to the new master bedroom and bathroom.

The next set of photos are the "After" images were taken a few days ago.

The awnings are from a local family business Janak & Scurfield Inc.
located in downtown Sacramento. I had them paint the fleur des lys spear tips gold to tie in with the other gold accented accessories.

The potted plant with the trellis behind it is a climbing Hydrangea from Capital Nursery. My original hope was for Bougainvillea(inspiration image left) which are one of my favorite climbing vines. Unfortunately, the wall faces north which doesn't get the amount of sun required for the vine to successfully flourish. In addition, our yard has an enormous mature Deodar Cedar tree that towers over not just our home the entire back yard, but 3 of our neighbors homes as well. making it difficult to grow anything that requires full sun. However, I was told that the climbing Hydrangea will do very well here. We'll see.

The wrought iron dinning chairs were a great find from the Bombay Company over 7 years ago. They were discontinued because of the poorly designed assembly fixtures causing the chairs to come apart easily. However, I had a welder actually weld the entire frame together making the chairs extremely solid. I painted the fleur des lys and medallions on the back of the chairs gold(yes, I'm dangerous with a can of gold paint).

The lattice window boxes above are by Sean Conway for Target stores.

The decorative stone sconce above the fireplace was a flea market find many years ago.

A close up of one of the window boxes. I added the gold medallion buttons which I purchased from Michaels and then of course, painted them gold for added interest. We currently have Geraniums in the boxes but will be replacing them someday with Japanese Box woods which I love for their all year round rich evergreen color.

This is a view of the remaining part of the yard that is still on the "to do" list. It's currently covered with interlocking rubber mats for baby Daniel to run around freely. He and his playdates enjoy it.

The dirt area measures 18' x 15'. This area was reserved for grass. However, the picture was taken when the area gets the most sun which isn't alot. So far, I haven't had success finding sod that will thrive in such a shaded area. Our gardener suggested artificial grass. It's eco-friendly and very low maintenance. The downside is the cost. Much more expensive than regular sod.

Another example of the extensive shade in the back. The both trellis were installed 8 years ago. At the same time we planted vines that only required partial sun. 8 years later, that is the most vines we have managed to grow.

And finally, the Deodar Cedar tree seen from the front of our home. It has been claimed as a Heritage tree which means even though we own the property that the tree is on, we cannot remove the tree without consent from both the city and our surrounding neighbors. The tree is beautiful and deserves protection. It's just such a pain to live under.


MaryBeth said...

I love when you show your house, it truly amazes me. I think you are doing a great job, but I am sure you know that. I looked into getting an awning for my flagstone patio this year because of the heat but at $12,000.00 I had to pass. As I save for it, I will seriously consider stripes because yours looks so nice. Please keep the pictures coming. MB

Zelda said...

You really did a good job , it turn Classy Flemish style ,out of very regular façade ! and without spending the price of a 777 . bravo ! if you could cross the glob just to come and do my terrace , I would be delightful , one detail . you will have to fine a something natural that have been design by mother nature to survive oven temperature from Kuwait desert (52 Celsius ) in shadow …
Only one question : why would they build a chemise outside ?

Judith said...

There arent enough adjectives to describe the beauty of your transition. You have a very classy style. Thanks for sharing this project with us.

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Julio...this is awesome! I love it all! It's a bit late to do it for this Met Monday...but would love to see you link this to next weeks Met Monday. I'm afraid if you link it this week, it may get overlooked. This is too fantastic to not share for a Metamorphosis Monday! :-) Looking forward to seeing the changes as you work your "to do" list. Everything you've done shows such it!Susan

Bill said...

Hi Julio,
Just wanted to stop by and thank you for becoming a follower of my blog. Susan of Betwen Naps on the Porch had mentioned you to me as someone whose taste level and talent she admires. I can see why!

The transformation you've described here is stunning! The black and white really add interest and elegance, and the gold accents provide the perfect "pop."
All beautifully executed!

Looking forward to seeing your next tablescape. I've spent some time looking at your older posts, and you're a masterful designer.
Hope your day and your weekend go well.

Bill @ Affordable Accoutrements

xinex said...

What a neat idea to build a 2 faced fireplace so you can warm up the outdoors too. Love your backyard. It's very pretty and just like you , my backyard is a BIG project right now......Christine

mariage au soleil said...

very so glad to discover your blog from Zelda
i always found black and white stripes so elegant...well done !

Assembly jigs and Fixtures said...

Hi, Pics of the house are fabulous.
You really did a good job. I would love to read your further post.