Hello again and happy summer! I hope all of you are enjoying the season and staying cool. In terms of temperatures, things have actually been relatively mild around here. And, although we are in desparate need of some rain, the dry weather has really allowed us to make a lot of progress on the exterior portions of my home remodel. So, no complaints here!
The exterior is finally painted, window trim and all. I am still deciding on how to treat the original concrete stairs, but whatever the treatment, the old layers of green paint will definitely go!
The trim on the rear entry porch is complete, and details such as guttering and stair rails have also been installed.
For the railing, I decided on a simple “X” pattern, had it fabricated out of steel by Aurora Metal, Wood and Stone of Fayetteville, AR and then painted it black.
For just a little touch of “bling” I added decorative medallions and painted them a brassy, antique gold color. It really has a dramatic effect and gives a bit of Napoleonic/French Empire (one of my favorite furniture styles) flair to the rear entry.
For the gutters, I wanted something more than just the standard. To be honest I really wanted copper gutters, but they were simply too expensive. If anyone is wanting to start a new career, I suggest you look into copper guttering, because the industry must be making a killing!
Eventually, however, with the help and advice of The Home Innovators in Rogers, AR, I settled on a very nice half-round, metal gutter with decorative brackets and round down spouts, all in a copper finish. The shape of the gutter and the brackets give the high-quality appearance I was aiming for, and the color looks great with the house. All in all, I am quite pleased with the results.
The carport/cabana structure enhancements are coming right along, too.
By beefing up the columns, adding decorative trim and painting it the same color as the house, we transformed the cabana into an attractive companion structure, whereas before it seemed like an afterthought.
Inside the Cabana/Garden Room we installed simple 12″ pine boards for the walls. I decided to paint the whole interior white to make things light and airy and to help combat the very low ceilings somewhat. I used the same ‘Elder White’ from Sherwin Williams that was used in the bedroom in the main house. Next, this exterior retreat will receive a wall-to-wall built-in daybed that will provide a great place for lounging or even napping when the weather is nice!
Last month I was a little worried about not getting the new air conditioning unit installed before the summer heat arrived. Fortunately it made it, as did the beginnings of the garden installation. After many spring rain delays, drainage work and planting are finally underway.
Lots of planting! Here, ‘Wintergreen’ and dwarf English boxwoods await placement for the hedges that will serve as the framework for the front garden.
To enhance the front hedges and to create a proper entrance for the garden, I decided to use some of the brick left over from the house to build a pair of short pillars on either side of the path leading to the front door. They will eventually receive the same ‘Black Fox’ paint as the rest of the house and perhaps even a decorative gate.
Although most of the work in the last month has been focused outdoors, progress continues indoors, as well. All the appliances are finally here and installed, so things are really coming together.
One thing I am really excited about are the dual drawer dishwashers. They should help keep water usage down, since I can run only one unit at a time, if that is all that is needed. Plus, the integrated front panel design means that, when closed, they disappear into the rest of the cabinetry…one fewer appliance to look at!
The washer and dryer are also in, and they fit perfectly into the renovated closet in the back hallway.
Other than the appliances, there isn’t just a whole lot left to do inside…except start moving in furniture that is. So, on that note be sure to check back in over the next two months. In addition to the latest progress on the garden and the cabana structure, I will reveal some of the specific furnishings that I have chosen for the house. Remember, just about everything indoors will be made for the outdoors but, hopefully, will not simply look like a bunch of patio furniture that has been brought inside by a delusional designer!
Then, don’t miss the final reveal of the finished project in October…when the whole house will be featured in the print version of At Home in Arkansas. So exciting!
So, until next month thank you for reading and see you again soon.