Thursday, August 27, 2009


Just jumped on the iPhone wagon and I have to admit that it is fantastic. I hate AT&T but this phone is worth it. I took these photos with the phone of my 2 favorite guys... This is as good as my digital camera. It's great to have my iPod,phone & internet access all in one. I just learned how to do the "bump."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Metamorphosis Mondays

Meta what?????? Metamorphosis Monday!!! The fantastic brainchild of Susan, creator of Between Naps On The Porch, a terrific blog that has gained great success largely due to Susan's uniquely creative mind. For more exciting metamorphosis projects, click on the butterfly image above. Or, visit Between Naps On The Porch.

The following images are of the "Before" look of the rear exterior.

It is our new family room with a new master suite directly on top. The project broke ground in June 2007 and was completed by January 2008. Both sets of french doors lead into the new family room.

The fireplace you see is double sided.

The fireplace's exterior glass thickness maintains the heat indoors but we get to enjoy
the gas flames outdoors.

The next set of images are the "After" look of the rear exterior.

The gray and black striped fabric for the awnings are by Sunbrella. The awnings were created and installed by Janak & Scurfield Awnings, a locally owned family business in the midtown area of Sacramento.

The black wrought iron furniture were purchased about 8 years ago from the Bombay Company which no longer operates in the U.S. What I really love about these pieces is the fact that we managed to get all the pieces for a steal of a deal. The entire set was on an 80% clearance price.

Although the iron itself is great quality, the pieces were sold un-assembled with hardware(standard phillips screws and bolts) unequipped to hold the heavily weighted iron together. Bombay company received numerous complaints about the defective hardware forcing them to discontinue selling the item. I made sure they could be reinforced with welding before I purchased them. A good acquaintance of mine managed one of the Bombay stores and always gave me "insider" tips. Based on his advice, we visited 3 different stores to grab the remaining 6 arm chairs and 4 chaise lounges. 1 location was a 45 minute drive but for me, it was worth it. Then, we had a welder re-inforce them and viola...perfect backyard furniture!

The plants in the large urns are climbing hydrangeas. I elected these for the exterior wall becasue it faces north and only gets partial sun. Iron-man(our good friend the welder) is creating 2 custom designed black wrought iron trellis's that will be affixed to the wall to replace the current temporary wood trellis in the photo. Our goal is to encourage the hydrangeas to climb up and above the awnings to capture the look and feel of places we visited in Europe.

The outdoor area rug is from Frontgate.

The market umbrella is from ZGallerie. The black and white toss pillows from Target.
The area with the 2 chaise lounge is actually un-finished. It's currently covered with black rubber interlocking mats to cover the dirt that make it play friendly for our 2 year old son. We o recently decided upon a definite design for this area. Originally, we wanted sod. In researching, we learned that because of the mature trees that cover this area with shade, sod would be difficult to maintain since it will not receive adequate sun exposure. So, we then considered artificial turf.

After picking our jaws off the sod showroom floor after hearing the costs, we decided to extend the stamped concrete to the rest of this area and continue the look of a container garden courtyard.

A close up of the window boxes by Sean Conway for Target stores we added to the upstairs rear and side windows. I accented the boxes with gold medallions which tie in nicely with the accessories below.

A closeup of the Fleur de lys spear tips on the awning rods that we had painted metallic gold.

More metallic gold accents on the chairs. I just went crazy with spray paint.

A stone sconce found at a local antique store. I love the details on this piece. If I were a sconce, this is what I hope I would look like. In fact, it earned a "pardon" from my gold metallic spray paint because it was grand enough on its own.