In the back of the home, a private driveway leads into an attached garage with elegant wood doors. Raised flower beds set into large, stone retaining walls give the exterior of the space color and an elegantly manicured look. The two raised beds break at a wrought iron gate that opens to reveal the private courtyard that leads into the home from the rear.
A covered outdoor living room moves seamlessly to the uncovered patio section for a full outdoor living experience. Light stone exterior and dark wood details create a gorgeous, calm color combination for a sophisticated design. The patio steps down to an in-ground hot tub creating levels and intrigue in the design.
A stained cedar fence guarantees privacy in this home's side yard, where a mix of pine and oak trees, ornamental grasses and drought-tolerant perennials comprise the landscape design. The home's eco-friendly, exterior building materials include both smooth and scraped synthetic limestone blocks and fiber-cement siding, a product composed of 50-percent recycled content (fly ash) and wood fiber pulp supplied from sustainably managed forests.
Intricate wood beams frame the natural beauty of this traditional living room. A patterned chair with matching ottoman and neutral sofa supply comfortable seating beneath the trumpet chandelier. While the timber frames take center stage in this particular space, it is the natural stone fireplace and the seamlessness nature between the interior and exterior spaces that make the lasting impression.
By picking up a small wooden dresser at a flea market, then removing its central drawers with a reciprocating saw, three open shelves were created for housing board games and books. To give the dresser an updated look, its exterior was sprayed with glossy coral paint, while the interior was sprayed matte white.
Even on an open terrace in a city setting, it’s possible to create a feeling of intimacy. Here, designer Magdalena Keck used perimeter plantings — a combination of evergreens and climbers in simple wood boxes — to soften the edges of the space and block exterior views. “We chose glass and steel for the furnishings to echo the city structures,” she says, “and to connect the inside of the apartment with the urban landscape outside.”
This modern fireplace features custom touches that turn it into a focal point of this Texas living room. Stacked stone matches stone used on the exterior of the home. Decorative wood above the mantel serves as an art piece in and of itself, while narrow glass shelves display collected art glass. Copper on either side of the fire box adds warmth and reflects the firelight.
This classically styled French Provençal home is situated on the high side of a La Jolla, Calif., lot with views of the Pacific Ocean from nearly every room. The home’s exterior is a composition of smooth Santa Barbara stucco, light tan-to-gold-colored rustic and carved stones, stained wood eaves, elegant Génoise roof eaves and rustic clay-tiled roof.
By picking up a small wooden dresser at a flea market, then removing its central drawers with a reciprocating saw, three open shelves were created for housing board games and books. To give the dresser an updated look, its exterior was sprayed with glossy coral paint, the interior was sprayed matte white and gold rabbit head hardware was installed.
Each section of this patio offers a new texture to the design. Glass doors open from the home open on to a smooth, stained wood deck with steps descending to the yard. Long, rectangular stepping stones are separated by uniform rows grass and create the feel of movement from the deck to the outdoor dining patio. Light neutral stone flooring compliments the neutral tone of the home exterior while a blue table umbrella adds a bold pop of color.
An intimate and zen-like outdoor living space greets guests before they enter the home. This space connects the exterior of the home to the interior using floor-to-ceiling glass and steel windows and an all-glass interior front door, blurring the lines between the indoors and out. Upon stepping through the interior door, guests are welcomed into an architectural masterpiece that is built with the use of indigenous materials: rammed earth, concrete, copper, wood, steel and glass.
Kelsey and Trip Purks purchased an older home with an outdated appearance, but it is in a great location and within their price range. The original exterior of the house was white-painted wood with red shutters and the landscaping was overgrown. They have asked Fixer Upper hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines to transform the look of the home to better suit their style. Chip and Jo have repainted the siding a modern gray/green and the shutters black. They kept the original Dutch door and painted it with a faux finish to look like a dark stained wood grain. They updated the landscaping and added new grass, as well as a new walkway that matches the brick of the chimney.
It’s hard to imagine now, but this charming living space was once an unassuming commercial garage. To make the most of the compact, 1,260-square-foot space (including an upstairs loft area), Frazier Associates minimized the number of walls within. Exposed brick walls and concrete flooring on the first floor were retained and a new staircase, crafted of reclaimed wood and metal railing, was designed for access to the second floor. "Providing more natural light was the biggest design challenge," say the designers. "A new recessed patio was designed behind the historic garage doors to allow for more light on the first floor, as well as to create a front entrance and a small exterior seating area."
If paint is peeling on the exterior of your house, sun and water can damage the wood underneath. Frank Lesh, owner of Home Sweet Home Inspection Company in Indian Head Park, Ill., recommends scraping down to bare wood, priming and allowing the primer to dry before applying new paint. “Paint at the right time of day, which is after the sun has faded away from the area you’re painting,” he says, “because sun evaporates the paint material too quickly.”
Peeling interior paint is an issue if it’s peeling off in rough squares, like an alligator’s skin. That’s a sign that lead-based paint is underneath, so if the area is large or if you have small children (who are very susceptible to damage from lead poisoning), consult a professional about removal.
When the stain or paint is fully cured, squeeze wood glue along the top edges of the island. Position the butcher block top over the island, allowing for a 1" overhang on all sides. On the seating side of the island (back), use the 3/4" pocket holes to drive 1-1/4" pocket hole screws upwards into the island top as shown in the photo below. Take care not to drive the screw through the top of the butcher block.
On the storage side of the island (front), drill 2-1/2" pocket holes on the exterior ends of the two legs and attach the butcher block top with 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.
Trios of various-sized wreaths can be used to create snowman yard sculptures, too. To create this look you'll need three wreaths slightly ranging in diameter as well as a wooden stake on which to attach them. First, have 1x2-inch pressure-treated lumber cut approximately eight inches longer than the finished height of the three stacked wreaths. Stake the lumber into the ground using a rubber mallet or hammer, then secure each of the wreaths to the lumber using a drill and exterior screws. Place each wreath onto each screw, then dress up the snowman with accessories to achieve a festive, holiday look.