I have mentioned before, but I got REALLY into gardening a few years back. That gardening gene runs deep in my family. My grandfather used to have a huge vegetable garden, and my mom is an amazing with plants. I grew up basically with a park as a back yard. She always grew vegetables and had multiple fruiting trees. The most substantial was the huge avocado tree. To say that I love avocados would be an understatement. Like if I was stranded on a island and I had to pick one food to survive on forever, it would be avocados. Thank goodness my mom has a tree because I would be broke otherwise. Actually, the first solid food that Clay ate was avocado from my moms tree.
^Just a normal haul from my moms garden.
Now that I have thoroughly expressed my love for avocados, what happened to my garden?
We started a large add on which took up all of our time.
I was pregnant at the same and the construction.
When the construction was completed, and had a newborn.
Excuses Excuses! Where I am at now.
My new life moto is to not let perfection stand in the way of progress.
I miss (soooooo much) having a functional outdoor space. I honestly feel like I miss it more now than ever because I want my son to have a space where he can run and be a kid. An outdoor space can make your house feel so much bigger because it expands your living space. For the last year and half it has broken my heart to even go out there. It makes me sad because I know what it was. I know what it could be. I can see the potential. I just can’t make it happen fast enough.
The way that Ty and I approach big projects is to save up, and pay for them with cash. This is awesome because we don’t go into debt, but it can make updates seem to go so slow. We didn’t want to waste any money on the backyard since we were in the saving phase of a big renovation. We stopped watering. I will use the excuse that California was in a crazy drought at the time. Yup that was it. It had nothing to do with the fact that we just let our yard go. During the construction we had to tear out ALL of our trees. Including the avocado tree that was there when we bought the house (there were tears, but it was necessary). It is like the Sahara desert back there getting baked by the sun.
Something happened this week. PROGRESS. The cement is starting to be poured.
There are some pretty cool design trends that I am loving so I thought that this is the best place to get them out of mind and into paper.
Hanging Chairs – I am obsessed. Now I need to find a place that needs these.
Hanging Plants – The more plants the better.
Hanging Wallpaper – OK I know this isn’t very new. Everyone is into wallpaper right now. Especially big palm leafs. I want to add some texture with some wallpaper. I am thinking for the little bathroom.
I get so excited about weekend. It gives me a chance to get some bigger goals accomplished. This weekend is a holiday weekend so it feels longer, even though I am working on Monday. Along with having some fun, I also have some things that I want to get accomplished.
- FINALLY plant some plants in my front planter bed. Last week I dug out a planter bed in front of my porch, and bought some plants. I just haven’t gotten around to actually put them in the ground. 2 actually died. It is embarrassing how often that happens to me. Ty (my husband) and I go back and forth about what we want. I love lush and pretty plants, and he loves a desert minimal/modern. It is a struggle making decision sometimes.
- Paint the inside of my kitchen wall (ceiling) thing. We had some water damage due to a roof leak. We put a new roof on aboooouuuttttt….. a year and a half ago. Ha! It took a little bit to get the drywall patched to look good, and we had to put casing around the new window. I have not got around to paint it.
- Mow the front and back yard. This may seem like a simple task. Let me assure you. It is not.
- Get my nails did. No explanation necessary.
- Decide on how big of an outdoor table to do. I want to be able to comfortably seat our entire family: brothers, sisters, moms, dads, husbands, wives, kids (ok the kids can sit at a kids table). With everyone that would be 23… ok don’t want a table that big. Just adults would be 15…. still pretty big. I am thinking something that seats 12. What are the chances we will have the ENTIRE family over. I kinda love these.
- Once I decide on how big of a table, I really need to figure out if I want to build one, or buy one. This decision almost always lands on building it. I want something that fits and functions perfect for our house. I often find that means that I have to build it. That is ok. I like a challenge. (I almost always regret those words).
I have made quite a lot of design decisions in the last 6 years.
- To vault the ceilings
- Crown molding
- Kitchen counter tops
- A face lift of the front of the house
- Landscaping and re-landscaping
- Paint colors
- Flooring options
- Marble vs. everything else
- Where to put light switches
- Master closet layout
I have noticed that I always gravitate towards the same thing… A blank slate. I love things that look simple and clean. I ALWAYS thinks that it is more fun to add the fun accents in accessories instead of something more permanent. It is this fear of commitment. I can add fun personality with a big area rug, picture frames, curtains, etc. and if I hate them later it takes very little time to change them.
So what is the problem?
Blank spaces are hard to decorate.
This is going to sound weird, but I like decorating around a constraint. I like finding the best way to make a space useful when you can’t change everything. When you have a blank space, and it is a big space, it becomes tricky finding the right proportions. You might be thinking that this sounds like a #firstworldproblem, and you are right. This is a non-problem, problem. But it drives me crazy!
This is my bedroom.
I have a confession to make. We finished construction a year and a half ago, and it is still unfinished. Sometimes there is one small decision that is holding up all of the rest of the decisions (the reason why it took me so long to start a blog). My problem with this room is this BIG OL’ SPACE above the bed. I don’t know what feels right. Also, I need a HUGE rug. Just to give you an idea about proportions, that is a king size bed and two dressers as end tables. I need a minimum of a 10’x13′ size area rug.
I was leaning towards something like this above the bed, but I can’t find the right branch
Then I think that I have something pretty similar to that in Clay’s room. Is it too much to have multiple branches with things hanging off? I am leaning towards “it isn’t a problem”, but haven’t fully decided yet.
So in closing… BLANK SLATES ARE HARD, but I keep creating them over and over again.
Let me take you back. Way back. Back to 2012 when we bought our house. The house was smallish. It was a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom, with a add-on enclosed patio type of thing. The previous tenants were in the house when we looked at it. It was pretty uncomfortable to look at a room where someone was sleeping in it. To be honest… we never even saw the bedrooms until we got the keys to the place (scary!). We know it needed some love, but it had a decent floor plan. I could see the potential. The truth is that the house didn’t really sell us on the house, the backyard did.
Where we live a standard lot square footage is something between 5,000 and 6,000 sq. ft. Our lot is over 8,000 sq. ft.. SO MUCH POTENTIAL! I feel like this yard has lived many lives in the 6 years that we have been living there.
Life #1 – The wedding
We actually got married on the beach but had our reception in the back yard.
Life #2 – The garden
There was the time when I wanted to be an amazing gardener. Like I wanted a garden like Martha Stewart or Oprah. I loved it, but just never seemed to have enough time to keep up with it. It deserved more.
Life #3 – The train wreck
After we added on to our house it left the back yard looking like a hot mess. This is currently how we have been living. We didn’t wanted to put any money into the back because we knew the we wanted to completely redo it. Start from scratch. This is pretty much scratch. It is ALL WEEDS! This picture shows why construction ruins yards. hahah.
Life #4 – The Plan
With this big a yard it has been overwhelming for us to decide what we want. We knew that we for sure wanted a few things.
- A pool
- An outdoor kitchen
- Space to seat a lot of people. It is Southern California, most of our entertaining happens outside.
- Some grass
We were stuck. We know what we wanted but had no idea if it was all possible. How much room do you need for a pool? How big should an outdoor kitchen be? What plants grow well together? What about shade? What about storage? So we did what we normally do when we are stuck…. we brought in a professional! I have never needed a designer before. I usually have a pretty good idea of what I want before I start a project. This time was different.
This is the plan for the space! This is not exactly what we are going to do, but it did give us a better idea of how much space things take up. Since the project is so large we decided to break it up into different phases. We have started phase 1, which is the cement area around the BBQ and the dining area. The rest is still a few years out ($$$$).
This is the excerpt for your very first post.
I finally pulled the trigger and started a blog. This has been a long time coming. I can’t explain why, but I could never decide on a name. Today I finally committed. I wish I could tell you what I intend my content to be, but I am just not sure.
I love home design and my husband and I have renovated our 1950’s house. It is mostly all gray. I am obsessed with science and got my degree in Biochemistry. I am also a newish mother to my amazing 1 1/2 year old son, Clay.
My name is Courtney and I think I just started a blog!