think outside the house

So here’s the big reveal of our summer project…first, the hint:

We’ve had this sign in our yard for years. Wishful thinking, since we live 100 miles from the ocean.

But we can pretend, can’t we? Inspired by our friends Kevin and Chip, who had sand and sea grass in their patio, and this photo from Sunset Magazine, I used my superpowers to convince Steve that we could do it, too.

We started with a sad little 7’x7′ patio off our kitchen. It was dark, it was a haven for spiders. It used to be where Toby’s house lived, and the dog door, and the mud pit. I apologize for the out-of-focus photo, but really, focus does it no favors.

The bottle cap peace sign was cool, but it was from the Gulf War, and it was a few caps short of a truce (little joke there). Here it is, cleaned out. Still dark…as we say, no value-add. There’s not enough sun to grow herbs, so really, the only solution was a beach (really).

Steve painted a mural, using some of the same dark blue as we have on the kitchen wall, next to the sliding door. I think I made that too simple. He measured, he plotted, he planned. He bought plywood that would be big enough for a mural and small enough to fit into the back of the Honda Pilot. He primed it on both sides. Twice. He made shims and braces. Yes, his father (and grandfathers) taught him how to do things right.

He took a few weekends with the painting,  just to get the perfect oceany-abstracty-bluey-graphicy-flowy look.

Then we added crushed rock (visiting two different rock yards, a culture of their own…so fun, but so hot). This is  Sonoma Gold, and we mixed the 3/4″ and the fine crushed, to look like sand. If you’re curious, I am sure we will have pieces of it in our car for years to come. I had first imagined real sand, but it would look good for about ten minutes. Plus, the cats, you know.  Nothing like having the prettiest litter box in the neighborhood.

First surprise. We have a beach path…in what was once the no mans land between the house and the fence. We see this from the part of the patio where we sit and ponder life (and our beer). It’s also the view, over one’s toes, from the hammock. Previously, we just looked away and pretended it wasn’t there.

On Sunday, after visiting four different nurseries (some twice), we picked out a few pots and grasses.

From the kitchen (through the screen)…

We still have a little more planting to do, and a few rocks. I think I will add sand to the tops of the pots. But it’s so fun!

Here’s the view from further back in the kitchen.

And even further back, with Steve cooking (I really like this view). If you are new(ish) here, we did a major kitchen remodel last fall. The before-and-after is here, and the chalkboard backsplash is here.

And the second surprise, we have light! Light on the rocks, on the walls, on the plants. It changes  every time I look at it. The light dances with the grass, and it’s just so unexpected.

Let’s see…french doors, a margarita machine, a wave sound machine, a cabana boy, and we can call it done.


About kim tackett

Northern CA marketing consultant, writer of very small stories, and drinker of very strong coffee.
This entry was posted in Just Life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to think outside the house

  1. Nicolle says:

    What a dream. I love it!

  2. leslyejoy says:

    Fabulousity! Good going, you dreamers and doers, you.

  3. Lisa says:

    How fun is this!? A fabulous idea and done so well. I’m sure you will enjoy the finished project immensely. All you need now are drinks with umbrellas.

  4. nancy says:

    very cool…I see a Sunset feature cover article here…are you submitting this to them? you should, you know.

  5. Pingback: 571. coffee rocks | coffee | served daily

  6. Candace says:

    Very impressive! I love reveals. Your kitchen looks very nice, too.

  7. Pingback: it’s a sign « tour of no regrets

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