Monday, December 29, 2008

War Zone

Sorry it's been a few days ... this winter wonder-mess has had me in the gray-blue dumps. So, in an effort to pull myself out of it, I thought I should blog about my happy Summer Project!

We all have a space in and/or around our house that we're not happy with, a cluttered home office, an out of date kitchen, a shag carpeted living room, an inherited 1960's era basement clad in faux wood paneling; yes - we all have those places we'd rather not go, we certainly don't photograph, and rarely ever let our family, let alone our friends step into.

Then there are those places we can't help but to let the world see, because they're in plain sight. The entire neighborhood can see these certain disasters, and without the luck of a winning lottery ticket and a team of burly contractors, there is really nothing we can do. I have one of those spaces. A public tragedy that I've tried not to photograph. A few months ago however, I took pictures of our warzone for a friend as paint color inspiration. The photos were sent with the subject: WarZone!

In the grand scheme of back and front burners, the garage has fallen off of the stove, and landed smack in the middle of that pile of who knows what the broom never can seem to reach. Earlier this year, the garage door (brown) broke, and so I installed the door on the side of the garage where a window once lived. I'm no contractor, but I definitely do not recommend putting in a door by yourself. I happened to be in quite the mood that day, and though I was invincible. I did get the door installed, it's level, and it shuts and locks - but my poor back, and twisted ankle were only the two largest of the ailments from that day.

The brick you see in the photo is from a building my developer boss tore down and our construction manager said I could have. It's from around 1930, stamped Buffalo Concrete and just beautiful. Next year (hopefully) we'll use them in a patio where the grill floats.

The garage had always been unsightly, from the moment we moved in. An awful shade of dead horse brown covered the entire structure, and two overgrown yew bushes completely took over the area to the immediate left of it. Above, you can see the garage in all of it's brownness, the yew bushes under attack, and the window that is now a door.

We spent the early summer scraping, sanding, filling and priming the garage for the SW Bungle House Grey, (body) and Roycroft Vellum, (trim) paint. I left it to sit while I gathered brick (as seen in the upper photo near the trash cans) and decided on pergola options.

We looked at free standing ready built structures in both wood and pvc, but found that the height would compete with the existing eve of the garage structure. There were so many options after the free standing ready built structures fell through, that I literally forgot all about the area that will become the brick patio, currently referred to as "the war zone."

Until I came across this picture. A pergola attached to the eaves of the home. PERFECT! Simply constructed with only a few decorative cuts and presto chango - a new summer hangout!

The beautiful, and what looks like easily assembled, pergola from another angle. A gorgeous and welcoming area for rest and relaxation, no? Imagine that in the beautiful cream (Vellum) color of the Garage trim, the beautiful orange brick patio under foot. A billowy canvas covering attached by tension rod to each of the pergola's joists blocking out just enough sun. A beautiful chaise for a restful slumber in the cool evening air, or a table for six with a lovely dinner of orange chicken on a nest of noodles, mmm.

Shopping for my lovely Pergola idea has been the most fun! I found this beautiful table and chairs on eBay just around the corner from me! A steal at $350!

Who says you have to use this inside? This beautiful set, originally at Pier 1 for over $2000, is the perfect and simply elegant outdoor dining set for our pergola paradise! Can't you just see beautiful hammered silver chargers, our white stoneware, and crystal wine glasses? Oooo, I'm getting myself out of the slumps already!

Now - I have some great designers and friends who read my blog, and I thought it'd be fun to decorate this space, together! Shoot me your ideas, anything from chandeliers to flower pots! We'll combine a few options, and the one that wins - will be this May's BIG Summer Project!