September 2, 2013

Before and After........An Urban Landscape

 I always like to think that problems are a great opportunity to stretch yourself. I welcome them. Often dilemma's steer you into a direction you might never have thought of. And, was this ever an opportunity!

The PROBLEMS;  Upper level deck has a terrible view! Depressing!
On the left side is a neighbors home in pink, white and green......Lily Pulitzer it is not!
(my clients rail is dark blue)

His siding was taupe. Did i say the space was very very small?
My client wanted to replace his sagging deck. "Can you make this inviting, he asked?"
Viola, he loves this space!

The view is greatly minimized
The colorful siding is camouflaged.
It does not feel like being in a cage
A "window" on a pulley allows him to look below or pulled down to block out the world
Let's head down to the ground level before and afters
This is a series of vertical buckets interconnected

I love this container, gray resin, slender, which is perfect for a limited space and how about that inner cut-out?
Then there is the "gangway", a tight passageway between two extremely close buildings. In the urban dictionary it states, "A Chicago term.........
The scattered flagstone was replaced with gravel and MASSIVE pots.
A nook, in need of love

Embrace design dilemmas, you never know, they can lead you down a path of creativity

Thanks for coming along!

The winner of the Tom Scheerer Decorates book is Steve of An Urban Cottage Blog. Enjoy Steve!


  1. Gah! I just read your entire post and was going to say that you really rose to the challenge on this one but then I did a doubletake when I came across my name. I'm so thrilled.

    Okay, I just had to go back and make sure it was really me. Thank you so much, Debra!

  2. Congratulations to Urban Cottage. I don't know where to begin on your design. I guess I will start with the obvious, you are brilliant! I never would have thought of half of this. I need that planter with the cutout, and the all brick area is just the perfect spot for reading a great book. Love this.

  3. Debra,
    Wow, what a great solution. I love the wood slats that create the lovely camouflage for some of the immediate eyesores. Adding the flowering plants just beautified the entire space. Great job, Debra.
    I agree, I embrace challenge. It forces our creativity.

  4. Wow, wow, wow...what a transformation and I love that it is so warm and cozy!

  5. Wonderful transformation. Everyone needs an outdoor space.

  6. Talk about a total transformation! Looks beautiful!

  7. Wonderful idea for minimizing the "view". Always impressed with what you come up with!

  8. Debra you really know how to make a place shine! Personallly I couldn't wait to see what you could do with such a small space and I love you idea of interconnected buckets!!!!! Now I know why you do what you do.....because you love it and are so good at it!...

    Congratulations to you Steve on your win!


  9. What challenging spaces to transform, and yet, you did it! With flair and creativity, of course. The upper deck looks like an outdoor room now - still light coming in, but private and with great textures. And your plantings below are gorgeous!
    Thanks for sharing this project, Debra.

  10. Oh did an amazing job!! Incredible!

  11. oh you're a brilliant young lady. i love this solution and all the creative twists and turns. i can see how it will enrich the owner's days and bring a smile.

    sorry i couldn't meet you over paint on short notice. hope you had a ball. my company from arizona has left the building now so i will be freer this fall!


    look at you so generous giving away your design books. me? if i had seen the giveaway i wouldve entered and i already have this one!!!


  12. You are so talented my friend!!! I would recognize that kind of "deck" (and view) anywhere….my sweet home. You have done a marvelous job…almost a Charlestonian effect!

  13. Debra...its amazing what a little green and love will do to a space...Great job!

  14. Hi Debra - The deck is an amazing transformation. What a challenging assigment and you made it work brilliantly! It's inspiring to see what can be done with a small space with limited views. Thanks for sharing the project with us.

  15. Love this transformation. I think the way you used the lattice in different directions it definitely doesn't look like a cage at all.The alley is fab too.

  16. Fabulous Debra...You are so talented...this is just awesome!!!

  17. Debra,
    This is such a WOW project!!! A great lesson to everyone that it's not the size of the space, it's what you do with it!!!!

    Hope you are well and that today is a great one!
    xoxo Elizabeth

  18. Fabulous makeover. And love Tom's work. Shiree'

  19. Now THAT'S creative. My hat is off to you. I think I would have suggested he move. I love that shuttered space you made. What a great idea. And the walkway, I'm surprised you didn't gravel across the whole thing. Jezz what a crap space. You done good, real good. Ann

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