Monday, March 20, 2017

Welcome Spring

*Welcome Spring*

Following a wet winter here in SoCal which we are grateful for,
 I look forward to a lush garden filled with blooms. 

It's beautiful to see all the dwarf stone fruit trees we planted last year filled with blossoms. 

 Fingers crossed the french lavender thrives this year, I think it was overwatered last year, so I replanted more in late fall.

This Lupine is beginning to bloom and get's to be about 8ft tall.
Planted by the previous owners. No scent, short blooming season & not too attractive the rest of year!

Heirloom roses are what I anticipate most in spring, I pruned them way back last month, I hope to have more blooms this year. 
This pic is from last years garden.

I Love Spring & I know she will be beautiful again this year. I have a dinner planned in the garden folly soon, I hope to have blooms from the garden for my arrangement.

A beautiful 1st Day of Spring to you Darlings.

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Monday, March 6, 2017

My first fixer upper - Before & After

Happy Monday Darlins,

Today I'm sharing my first fixer upper.

When I first married I moved into this 1940's California ranch style home near the beach. 
My husband had bought it years before and did some remodeling of his own!!!
(Burnt orange tile-avacado green appliances, brick & a conversation pit)

So the story is looong, the short backstory is....

A young women dreams of the opportunity to be apart of choosing her first home.
Well I didn't get that, SOOOO my trade off was.
 I agreed to love it, not list it!
 BUT, In exchange, I would get to do a complete design and renovation of the house with my style and incorporate the other structures and landscape.

We began with a tiny 125 sq. ft shed in the back yard. I wanted to make into a darling guest house and live in it during the renovation. We had a budget & I wanted to be hands on living on site!

Yes, it would be the three of us because we had just had our first baby.
 Our son was 6 weeks old and we began the demo of our new family home.

The stakes were high!
{This was my first everything}
My marriage
my baby
my renovation
my design project.
{ I had no design background or experience}
So no pressure right!


This was the front elevation.
LOOONg no height
Needed an entry
The awful driveway in front of the windows and house needed to go
 along with the iceplant & palm trees! 

My Design vision was clear from the start and inspired by homes in New England or the lake houses in the midwest.


The driveway was removed, a lawn with magnolias, birch trees, evergreens, boxwoods & roses were added. I love fences, my husband and I made 5 different designs for fencing!

The Roofline was raised to add height to exterior elevation and gave the interior more architectural interest to the interior ceilings.

We finally had a lovely proper entrance with a porch to watch the sunset and decorate for the holidays!

A single level home with views to the beach.

My husband laid all the solid southern pine floors and did amazing wood work and moldings in the interior. The process with plans & etc took about a year or so. We also hooked up to city sewer. The house renovation took about a year and half to complete. The years following we did the other structures.
We did most of the finish work ourselves and landscaping. I scouted for all the interior vintage lighting & designed some custom furniture pieces.

This and all our projects are truly a labor of love.

We sold the home a few years to do something totally different.
We have some land now, just a few miles from this home and are renovating another huge project into our french farm house.

I hope you enjoyed my first fixer upper!

A beautiful day week to you.

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