Friday, June 14, 2013

REMODELING: Exteriors Part 2

If there ever was a selling point for a house, our back yard could be the poster child. Situated among small, closely clustered historical abodes, I fell in love with the fact that there was complete privacy and what I would describe as an 'old school Hollywood-style' pool as part of the package. It was/is fantastic. So much so, that I wanted to make it better so that we could enjoy it even more.

BEFORE: (7/12) Five weeks after move in. Pretty great, with the exception of our old furniture.
BEFORE: (3/13) Lots of small doors and a mismatched wooden barrier we put up to hide HVAC.
The previous owners installed a chic fabric awning, but without their equally chic white furnishings it just didn't look quite right. A huge Bradford Pear tree above spit seeds, falling leaves and crud, leaving it stained and far from the glam pearly shade it was meant to be. So, what to do? After two seasons and talking with my friend (and superior designer) Ray Booth, I decided to expand the space and make it a true outdoor living room. No wet fabric leaking during rain and expanded seating were goal elements.

BEFORE: (3/13) A weird planting spot just outside one of the doors and small metal poles too close to
 the water to allow for walking room were two concerns.

BEFORE: (4/13) The painting of the fence was nail biting time for me. I also took out
grass plants that turned during winter and replaced them with green-year-round boxwoods.
 Ray also talked about the white fence around the pool. Before he spoke I liked it 'as is', but once he suggested painting it a color that would dissolve into nature rather than 'stopping it' at dusk/night, I immediately conceded. His firm's work is featured on covers of Architectural Digest, so his help and advice was a serious gift! My white fence was a shade of green-gray-brown 'grizzly bear' within less than two weeks.

AFTER: (6/13) The fence being painted brown really was a smart move.
 Actually makes the white brick 'pop' more and gives the illusion of a larger space.
The work began on the barrier inside, where a group of worn French doors were removed and new, bigger fixed panel windows were put in all but one place (our exit). Dated brass hardware went away, and the focus shifted to the casual space I wanted. From there, an extended wooden pergola was drawn (thanks to Ray's visionary team) and constructed.

AFTER: (6/13). The Pergola and new windows/doors/roof/hardware installed. Exterior living space doubled!
AFTER: (6/13)Where I'm spending all of my time.. rain or shine... 
 Instead of leaving it open, we found an inexpensive, acrylic material for a 'roof' that allows light to pass through, but also provides sufficient cover and shade during all kinds of weather. This was secured atop painted wooden beams and tested for a bit of time prior to placing any kind of furnishings underneath. Then, I found affordable seating at PD's in Downtown Franklin, lighting from Beautiful Lights in Destin, a marble and iron coffee table in Charleston at Celadon Home and accents from Color and Absolution in Green Hills. Then, I added lush ferns, ficus and all kinds of succulents from Horizon in Sylvan Park and their tent on White Bridge Road.

AFTER: (6/13) The almost completed space (notice the wires-- new speaker system is in the works
 and a new lantern is being shipped to replace the one by the door).
I wanted a place that was inviting, comfortable and most of all... fun! I couldn't be happier with how it's evolving. But, I'm still seeking ideal wireless speakers. Would love comments on the progress and your suggestions on what to do next? 


  1. Wow! Lookin' great, Stace. We need to have a wine christening.

  2. Stacie it looks AMAZING!!! That outdoor space is so special! And painting the fence was totally the way to really does "melt into nature"! Absolutely love it. Bravo.

  3. Cass-- - So glad you like it. It is a special place and I owe having it to you. Come by and enjoy anytime!

  4. Thank you Margaret. And, Artchick (Deb)-- you name the time!