April 15, 2013

France 2013.....want to get away?!

 We interrupt our series to bring you France 2013!      September 21 thru 29th
Join Sylvia, of the UK, and myself as we journey south to the rural region known as the Dordogne. This is the land of dizzying heights to the majestic river Dordogne that wends it way through charming villages
The land of Chateaux, gastronomic France, and medieval France with sumptuous markets........everywhere!
 Within this land are ancient caves perfect for aging cheese, abundant bakeries, mushrooms, and ground zero for truffles
 We will explore many gardens, both public and private. On this leg of the journey a delightful local and friend Victoria, will join our group, sharing the local haunts, best cafe's, markets, shopping, antiquing......  she will also share her otherworldly gardens and home.
After four nights in the Dordogne it is onto Paris for an additional three nights. A city like no other, a soul enriching walking city. Visit a sidewalk cafe, museums, cathedrals, famous department stores, markets, people watching..........it's endless!
 And did I mention ample time for shopping? The iconic brands we adore, the charming finds we discover at a tiny boutique tucked down a side street....... Last year, for me, it was shoes, coming home with 5 pairs i adore, most found at street markets for a song.
And least of which is the antiquing throughout our travels as we attend open air markets, brocante's, antique shops of great charm and the ever fun Clingacourt market in Paris!
Being a boutique tour, we are limited to 12 for first come first serve.
Merci beaucoup!

April 10, 2013

Outdoor living space.......part 3

This series is for everyone, if you are creating a new patio, adding another ,or accessorizing what you have.
As in constructing a house we are creating from the ground up. This post will address the outdoor floor. Like the above image, most of our spaces are attached to the house
But you might opt to add an additional space, for intimate conversation, reading and for being in the garden versus only having one space from which all activity and viewing occurs. Let's explore a few of the options
GRASS. The least expensive option. The only downside is having to move the furniture in order to mow
With brick and limestone
Adore these checkerboard patterns. If the stones are set properly, you can mow over everything, including the stones
CONCRETE. Fairly standard, but with such creativity as above, concrete can become interesting. It can also be stained to blend with your exterior colors
DECKING. Adaptable and versatile.
See what I mean? Combined with blue stone it is stunning!
Mixed with stone and stained in a weathered gray
When crafted with tight joinery, it enables you to paint patterns. How classic is harlequin? Degree of difficulty? HIGH!
Stained in high gloss raises decking to another level
FLAGSTONE/LIMESTONE. Loosely spaced allows planting between the stones with 'steppables', low growing plants that can tolerate foot traffic, particularly popular areherbs that release their scent once stepped on
A "random" pattern, irregularly shaped stones
Mortared joints. Notice the color change? Depending on where you live the stones can take on different shades.
"Thermal" cut on all sides, including top and bottom, providing a very smooth surface
MANUFACTURED STONE. As in the thermal stone, these are flat and smooth
Manufactured stone with cobbles sunk in the ground and mortared. Love the softness of the plantings between the squares
In the vein of the above, manufactured brick. For the record, this is my least favorite. Looks well, manufactured. Preferring natural elements for the textural contrasts and individual color ways.
PEA GRAVEL. In the right setting this is my favorite; organic, inexpensive and interactive......the crunch underfoot
With brick
BRICK. Classic, diverse, terrific color ways.
                Some girls collect handbags, I collect brick, yes, I even have a brick broker! He scours the
                country seeking my love......rescued antique street bricks

Are you fond of a particular pattern? 
A herringbone pattern with bluestone

BLUESTONE. YES!!!  Thermal cut, 'blue select'

A section near our pool. This is called 'full range' bluestone, not as blue, not as expensive
TILE. Live in a warm climate? Tile is an interesting choice
If you have been following this series, we are creating a new outdoor space for Keri of the lovely, well written blog, http://www.ivyclad.com/
-existing concrete is cracked
-cannot tolerate the manufactured brick edging.....YES!
-must remain the same size to not loose any lawn space
-the steps coming from her home are oddly configured. removing those steps and forming a rectilinear step pad that fills the entire insert and constructed of the same stone for the patio
Keri wrote a great post on her inspiration images, her preferences, hopes and dreams.........
The above image resonated with her and it does me too. It is the perfect look of limestone and works well with the color of her siding.

Now, I pride myself on listening to clients, really listening. However, I ask Keri to consider replacing the manufactured border with limestone, with a planting bed between the wall and the patio, providing a lovely softening effect. Keri, weigh in!

My hope is that you too found inspiration here. The next phase is the "ceiling"; trellises, sailcloth, patio umbrella's..........see you then

April 1, 2013

Outdoor living space......part 2

Where to start with your outdoor design? As in many past exterior design posts, the answer remains, look up at  your home. The clues are there, in it's architectural style, colors, and the existing construction elements you can repeat on the ground. 

To emphasize this point I searched all over the internet seeking particular home styles and then on to finding outdoor spaces that could be a match. Let's explore;

What we can repeat;
    a stone floor that matches it's color ways
    furniture that is french styled with colors that mirror the homes colors

What we can repeat;
     flooring that blends
     red accents
     the verticality and simple lines of the fireplace
     casual styled furniture and layout

Southern Colonial
What we can repeat;
     the color ways on the fencing with neutrals on the garden floor
     symmetry which is a hallmark of this architecture

Shingle style a la the Hamptons
What we can repeat;
     Garden floor that matches the sun bleached singles
     Boxwoods in controlled patterns and some cottage elements, reminiscent of the east coast

What we can repeat;
opposites attract......a fussy exterior can balance a minimalist aesthetic
repeat the drama of the black with fencing and furniture

Provincial French
What we can repeat;
          color ways of neutrality
          provincial urns
          pea gravel is indigenous to this region as are the plantings

Contemporary American farmhouse
What we can repeat;
the garden floor repeats the colors of the roof
furniture matches the clean simplicity of the siding
contemporary design

Rectilinear contemporary
What we can repeat
     contemporary style
     a square space which repeats lines of the house
     I would stain this deck the dark colors reflected in the window sashes

What we can repeat;
     the casual nature of the home with the addition of some structure in the plants. a la the boxwoods
     repetition of color ways in the obelisks
     casual stacking of the flagstone, all in a composition of country/city
Did this provide a starting point for you? Whether designing from scratch or tweaking your personal space, we will approach this project as one would build from the ground up and referring repeatedly to the architecture for a cohesive union. The next post will address the garden floor; the foundation and the beginning stages of design
Here is the front profile of Keri Doolittle's home, whose patio we will re-design. What is the architectural style? I am going to categorize it as a contemporary country french. The strong/steep lines of the roof and the authentic shutters would lean us in that direction. Keri how do you feel about that?

See you next week, happy April!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...