Tag: Home Exteriors

Heat Pump Surround: Wrap It Up!

Heat Pump Surround: Wrap It Up!

Remember the BBQ pad we (Dad!) put in? You can read about it here and here if you missed those posts. I hinted then that a surround to hide the heat pump might be a nice finishing touch… and doubly hinted that Dad would maybe…

Lighting the Way

Lighting the Way

I was feeling a bit at loose ends looking for a mini project, but not sure which one to tackle. And then I found my inspiration over at Decor Adventures. As soon as I saw Jessica’s photo of the garden orb lights, I knew what…

Our DIY BBQ Pad – Reveal Day!

Our DIY BBQ Pad – Reveal Day!

So here’s where we left off yesterday with the DIY BBQ pad project.

Day 2 started with a quick trip for a few bins of gravel, while Dad handled the sand and the last block to put into place. You see, the block needed to be cut on an angle, and he has all the tools for that kind of work!

See the last block?

We set it into place, and then built up some rock under the steps. This is just a border to help keep the gravel in place.

Because next we pulled all the large rocks out that were bordering the gravel driveway and pad area.

And this is where the bins of gravel came in.

We flattened out the edges of the landscape fabric, and then poured gravel over top.

Raked it to spread it around evenly, including up where the hose reel sits.

The new gravel is a bit larger than the driveway gravel, and here it’s wet, so is a lot darker, but it will help keep the slabs in place.

The next step was pouring sand into all the cracks, and sweeping it into the edges.

With the sand pretty much topped up in all the cracks, the excess landscape fabric was trimmed off. In case you’re wondering, the landscape fabric is just to help keep the inevitable weeds down!

Then the sand was gently saturated with the hose to pack it down into the cracks.

This is what the pad looks like with the sand packed down into the cracks.

Can you see how much it sunk down? This is what was anticipated, and the point of saturating the sand.

So on hands and knees, more sand was shoveled into the cracks.

Until the pad looked like this.

And was left to dry. We’ll have to add more sand here and there, but for the most part it’s packed in flush with the slabs. Notice how the gravel is already getting closer to the colour of the driveway gravel as it dries?

We didn’t put the BBQ on the pad the same day we finished it…

And you’ll see the weather decided to change on us by the time we did!

No more bright sun shining down on this project!

Here’s a little look back at the very beginning ‘Before’.

And the ‘After’ now.

With the BBQ ‘Before’…

And ‘After’. Well, it’s a new BBQ under the cover. Remember, the wind did our last one in! See how much closer we can snug it up to the house now?

My hubby just laughed when I said I wanted a new cover now, too! He said he predicted that! But I guess it’s not a huge priority, just an aesthetic indulgence 😉

Now with the pad complete, as all things go, one project leads to another.

Did you notice the broken step?

Let’s just say an ‘N’ driver was backing up 😉 So we’re going to replace the step, and take this opportunity to repaint the whole porch, too!

As for the heat pump ‘yard ornament’… well I have something like this in mind, but with diamond shaped lattice instead.

Source: Home Depot

And I’m hoping Dad will help us make this happen! 🙂

And then of course, plants. I want to put a bunch of potted plants all around to soften the gray of the concrete and gravel, and bring in a little green. This area gets full sun all afternoon (when the sun actually shines!), so I’ll need some help to select the right plants.

Do you have any favorites you’d recommend? For this gardener the plants have to be hearty, and semi low maintenance. Geraniums and I get along! Does that help?

THANKS FOR READING!

xo

It’s about coming home… and home is a remarkable space that tells your story! 

If you would like some help with your space contact me here.

Subscribe to SZInteriors by email or RSS feed

Follow my Boards on Pinterest

Like my Page on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter 

Interested in a Sponsorship opportunity? Click here for details.

 Photos by Sheila Zeller

Our DIY BBQ Pad – Day 1

Our DIY BBQ Pad – Day 1

At last, a stretch of sunny weather that allowed us to get back outside and work on the BBQ pad I wrote about here. But ‘we’ actually turned out to be my Dad! Dad loves a project and this one was right up his alley,…

DIY Platform for a BBQ

DIY Platform for a BBQ

So today my hubby and I were going to level out the area where out BBQ sits. You see, the wind flipped it over back in January, and destroyed it. But, our great weather yesterday did not hold 🙁 And so… no outside work for…

Rain Chains… More than Just Curb Appeal

Rain Chains… More than Just Curb Appeal

The weather is shifting and with that comes the need to pay close attention to your exterior maintenance and curb appeal. Are your gutters clean and running freely, and where is all that water going? Have you considered implementing a rain barrel (like I wrote about here)? And do you know about rain chains?

Rain chains? Pardon?

Rain chains are an ancient Japanese form of a down spout. The chain, sometimes linked with cups, hangs straight down from the corner of the eves and acts like a funnel for rain water . In Japanese they are referred to as “kusari doi” 鎖樋, which literally means “chain gutter.”

Here you see rain chains that are made up of linked cups.

Source

The cups are open on the bottom, which allows the water to flow through freely while being channelled at the same time.

And here you see just a simple double linked chain. Links like this are closest to the original form…

Source

One thing to note, chains tend to splash more than cups, but the downward channelling is still extremely effective. Isn’t a rain chain a beautiful thing? It’s such a great looking alternative to conventional down spouts.

Rain chains are typically made of copper, which allows them to age and patina gracefully.

Like this antique tulip cup rain chain.

Source

A little trivia on the side. Did you know that copper is the worlds most reusable resource, and because of that it also has the highest recycling rate of any other engineering material?

That’s an aside, but on the note of being environmentally conscious, did you know that rain chains tend to encourage water collection? They are often integrated into exterior vignettes where the chain falls down into a decorative container or area.

Like a rain barrel

Source

Or a water garden…

Source

Or a basin immersed in a beautiful garden…

Source

Basins are great because they not only catch water, but can be tipped and tilted to strategically direct the overflow.

Like this basin here.

Source

This is also a great example of a rain chain and basin fusion with a rain garden.

A rain garden is a planted or stone-covered bed that is designed for water to be slowly absorbed into the soil and help mitigate the effects of water run-off.

Source

Here you see another variation of a rain garden.

Source

This close-up shows the surface area of a miniature underground well that has been filled with river rock for drainage.

Source

It also demonstrates another valuable technique, anchoring the rain chain to prevent it from swaying in the wind, which of course also keeps the water channelled where it’s supposed to go!

 Rain chains come in many shapes and lengths. Here are a few of my favourites.

I couldn’t resist starting with this shiny new copper umbrella rain chain!

Source

It won’t stay this shiny for long, but to me that’s not a bad thing.

Because here you have an inverted umbrella that has started to dull down, and I think it looks more natural this way.

Source

Did you notice that the inverted umbrellas actually become rain cups on the chain?

Aren’t they great?

This honey bee rain chain made me think of Young House Love.

Source

Their thing is bees, and they are one of my favorite go-to blogs. Have you read their blog?

And these next ones are just a few random shapes in rain chains that appeal to me…

Like these double linked circles.

Source

These double linked diamonds.

Source

And these double linked tear drops.

Source

There’s definitely no crying in the rain if you own a rain chain!

And just in case you’re not convinced a rain chain is the thing for you or your curb appeal…

Would this rain chain fountain help you change your mind?

Source

I love this feature! And it would be so easy to make.

Do you have a rain chain in lieu of a traditional down spout? If not, would you consider hanging one???

Related Posts You Might Like To Read

Turning Rain Barrels into Curb Appeal

Curb Appeal: Gutter Cleaning and Maintenance

It’s about coming home… If you want a remarkable space that tells your story, contact me to see how we can help!

Did you enjoy this post? By subscribing to my RSS Feed you’ll receive each new post without missing a beat! And you can find more posts here… If a thought comes to mind, comments are always appreciated and I read them all. I’d love to hear from you…

THANKS FOR READING!

Landscaping Day 2 & 3: The End!

Landscaping Day 2 & 3: The End!

I promised to bring you day 2 of the landscaping saga, but I didn’t bank (literally) on a day 3 as well! But before I could get down to this day of weeding I went and bought a new pair of gloves. Leather work gloves.…

Landscaping… I’m Not Gonna Lie!

Landscaping… I’m Not Gonna Lie!

Okay, here’s the thing. Moving is exciting, and great, and all of those positive things. But when you inherit this… I’m not gonna lie… it helps you stand out on the block, and I don’t mean in a good way! Luckily we were approached and…

Curb Appeal from Post to Post: You’ve Got Mail!

Curb Appeal from Post to Post: You’ve Got Mail!

With Canada Post out on strike, I’m noticing curbside drop boxes a little more right now. And what I’ve noticed is that the mail slots are sealed shut because of the strike. But that aside, I do think they have cheerful curb appeal, well most do…

This one has a streak of individuality, don’t you think?

Source

Now this one is more like it, at least more like what you would normally see at curbside throughout the Country…

Source

Many are in better shape than this one, others worse, but this is it.

This one is a little more unusual, but there’s no mistaking what it is!

Source

Do you have any like this one near you?

Now this one is awesome. It reminds me of a Henna tattoo!

Source

Wouldn’t it be so much fun if all the drop boxes had this much detail? Curb appeal gets a tattoo!

Or this type of emphasis on artistic application…

Source

Each drop box could be painted with a different mural. Now that would put a new perspective on detail!

But what about the receiving end? Ever wonder what kind of mailboxes receive the letters from these drop boxes?

Here are a few…

Starting with Vancouver’s Granville Island.

Source

Love the artsy flair…

And this one you’ll find in Toronto.

Source

Isn’t the turquoise fab on the brick?

Or maybe your letter will head overseas.

Source

And find a home in one of these mailboxes in Taiwan! Aren’t these great?

The Coast is always an option too.

Source

Who wouldn’t want to make a stop in California, afterall? Especially with a view like this!

Or maybe even go to the land down under?

Source

Like Wilmot, Australia! Now these are creative and different… even a little creepy for curbside! I think I would just keep going.

Of course you could take a step back in time…

Source

And find yourself at Acorn Antiques. I think these vintage mailboxes are very cool.

But back in time doesn’t have to mean lost in time…

Source

Unless of course you want to lose yourself in Italy! These mailboxes have a flair for the ornate – very fitting.

Maybe you would like to explore the lands of the Orient.

Source

How does China sound to you?

Or Old Jaffa?

Source

…in Israel.

Have you ever been to Old Odessa?

Source

In the Ukraine? I’m fascinated by the script on these boxes!

After all the travel, you know you’re home when…

Source

You find these in your mailbox! And mine might just look like this with the backlog from the strike. I’m anticipating my shelter magazines ‘post’ haste post strike 😉

When you think about it, the mail system is actually pretty incredible. We’ve come to expect so much, but there was a time when there was no system at all!

And isn’t it interesting to see how different the mailboxes can be from one place to the next? What do you think about the curb appeal these mail boxes have to offer? Have you thought about your own lately?

It’s about coming home… If you want a remarkable space that tells your story, contact me to see how we can help!

Featured Image Source

Related Posts You Might Like To Read

Turning Rain Barrels Into Curb Appeal

Doorways of Design

Doorways Revealed!

Did you enjoy this post? Click here to read more. Don’t want to miss a post? Be sure to subscribe to my RSS Feed on the sidebar. I’m also on Facebook , Twitter, and LinkedIn. Would love to see you there! And please leave a comment to let me know your thoughts… I always read them, and it’s nice to know what you think!

Staged Home: Sale Makes the Vancouver Sun!

Staged Home: Sale Makes the Vancouver Sun!

A property I staged in North Vancouver has made the Vancouver Sun! This is the actual page from the paper… the on-line version doesn’t include the photographs, so I have red-circled the Berkley property. To read the article, click here. Source: Vancouver Sun Section H2,…