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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Outdoor Living Part 4

It's funny how many "outdoor living" posts I can come up with...it's the part of the house I think I'm most excited about.  There is so much space and it has great bones, it will be a pleasure to see it transform into our little piece of heaven.   Our family spends a lot of time outdoors in our current casa and we have a fourth of the amount of space we will have in the new casa.  I can just imagine, how much fun we'll have there.

We love to entertain...most family functions are held at our house.  In addition we love to have friends over for casual dinners, formal dinners, parties, you name it...

I would like to incorporate many furnishings and elements that will stand the test of time and be durable.  This is one reason why I think bench seating would be great around the perimeter of the outdoor living area and/or outdoor kitchen.

These are some ideas I've seen recently:

from Tremron Group brochure

In this photograph, I like the different heights and the decorative planters. 
 I love the torches. 
 I would prefer the ledges lower to facilitate seating...it looks like these ledges are too high to use for seating.  I'd also like to have the area covered because of the unpredictable weather in Florida. 
We get rain often and I would hate to have it hinder an event. 
 If outdoor areas are covered, it doesn't matter if it rains...

I like the height of these walls for seating.

The flooring in this photo is similar to what I'd like to have in the outdoor areas.
I'd like something that would be easy to maintain with
 clean lines and east to walk or dance on with high heels, etc.

I've posted this before and I'm posting it again because I like the look with the fireplace and the pergola.
I don't want the brick on the fireplace.  I prefer more simple lines.

I love this wall in the background with the tall grass in the forefront.  Rather than having the grass I would prefer a water feature with the water falling over a wall this size into a basin.  I would like something like this at the end of the pool to seperate the pool area from the tennis court and the rest of the yard.

This is the finish I would prefer on the fireplace.  It is simple yet makes a statement.

Although I don't like the "style"of this room, I do like the bench seating on the perimeter.  I would prefer the look without the walls extending so high up.  I would prefer a more open, airy feel.

I like the wall for seating just beyond the pool.

I wish I could incorporate a staircase like this in the yard...
I think it is very pretty, but it would be too much for our casa. 
I'm including the photo because it provides another version of the wall that could be used for seating.  This one is a little high, but you get the idea.

I get the sense that the outdoor rooms of our new casa will have this feeling.  We do have
many tropical plants and trees, I'd like to have the bench seating like the one in the picture and we want to have a fireplace and outdoor living room.

  I would like to incorporate this flooring design somewhere in the yard.
I love the pergola and the columns with vines.
This yard looks elegant yet cozy.  I love it!

**Images from Habitually Chic, HGTV.com and Google images.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I have been anxious to write about all the new ideas and things we want to incorporate in the new casa.  I've had so much going on, I haven't been able to compose my thoughts and actually write anything until today.

I've collected some fabulous ideas for outdoor living areas.  I hope to be able to post many of them very soon.

The short sale is still being "negotiated" hopefully we'll have an answer soon!  Meanwhile our new casa is being taken over by foliage.  I wonder if we'll be able to see the house by the time we move in...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Adventurous Backyard

Although my children are aware that this purchase is still a "maybe" because it has to be approved by the seller's lender, they love to talk about the new casa and everything they want in it. 
We asked them what they would want in the new house if they could have anything...
it didn't take long for them to answer. Some of the ideas they have are okay and doable while others are just plain wacky.

They would like a treehouse, a firepole to slide down from the second floor to the first floor, a zip line, a bowling alley, a basketball court, a movie theater and a bathroom for each.

It shouldn't be very  hard to fulfill most of these wishes, however, we will not.  The basketball court can be done, because there is an existing tennis court which can easily serve a dual purpose.  The movie theater should be easy enough...however, it won't be high tech.  The zip line could probably be added somewhere, although I have to research how safe they are.  The bowling alley is a definite no.  The rest, we'll see what we can do. 

Here are some things they'd like:

They would love a zip line.  There are many "zip lines" and kits to make zip lines for sale on the web.  This is an inexpensive Fun Ride Deluxe Classic Zip Line.  It is sold on various websites and has positive reviews.  You can also purchase it below.

They are also eager to have a tree house, I found some original designs on google images.  I don't know whose photographs they are, so I can't give credit to the photographer.
We have narrowed it down.  They would like a tree house with a covered area and an open area. 
I would love to build a treehouse.  This is a house that yearns to have a treehouse.  With the lush landscaping and beautiful trees, a treehouse would be a perfect addition.

 They want multiple ways of getting up and down, and they want it to be a lot of fun.

While visiting friends in Connecticut two years ago, we had dinner in their treehouse and I've wanted one ever since.  Our friend built it himself with help from his retired father.

Be sure to post your comments on suggestions for tree houses or other adventurous backyard activities for children and/or families.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Outdoor Living Part 3...continued

As I mentioned on my last post, I will be posting some beautiful photographs of outside kitchens and dining rooms.  I don't necessarily want the exact rooms pictured, but some of the features.  I will point out the elements I'd like to incorporate in the design.

I've tried to create a floor plan using several programs to no avail.  I think my threats of showing you my drawings will have to become reality.  As embarrassed as I am to show these, I don't think there's another way.  I can't figure out how to manipulate the floor plan programs. 

So here are some of the pictures I like:
I love this outdoor room for its simplicity. 
 I like the size and style of the fireplace, however,
I would prefer it in a different finish. 

This is a simple fireplace also but with a lot of character. 

I like the wall behind the fireplace or mantle set back. 
It brings more dimension to the room.

I love this!  It's nothing like what I want for the end result,
 but I just love how it looks.

I like the pergola.  This is exactly what I had in mind for part of the area. 
I want areas that are protected from the elements yet still have sunlight. 
I was considering pergolas with glass or Plexiglas for that effect.

I like the idea of this fireplace although I do not like the brick. 
The fireplace I would like to build will have a smooth surface.  I also like the flooring material.

This is also a look I've been contemplating. 
In addition to the tile with the grass in between (which I featured before). 
I like the feeling of the pool surrounded by the living areas.  The living areas are exposed and unexposed to the elements, it varies, which is what I would like to accomplish as well.

Again, I like the proximity of the outdoor living area to the pool.

This pergola is definitely my style.  It seems contemporary
 yet also traditional.  I love the vines!

The yard in my casa has many tropical trees and
flowers just like in this photograph.


I like the symmetry in this design. 

This room feels cozy and warm.  I would prefer a solid flooring material
rather than a pattern on the floor.  I like the arches in the photograph, but not for me.

The style of the fireplace is nice.  I think I still prefer the more simple
 designs shown earlier in this post.  I like the beams on the ceiling.

The doors in this photograph are beautiful in my opinion.
I also chose this photograph because I like the pitch of the roof.

I like many features in this photo.  I like the color of the windows. 
I love the pergola and the vines climbing up. 

                                                        I like the daybed off in the distance.

Again, I just love the simple lines of this

My son saw this and asked if we could do this because "it's so nice" but then realized it wouldn't be any fun to play in a pool with all the cement everywhere.  I agree with him.  I think this is beautiful!

I would like to incorporate bench seating in the outdoor kitchen area.
I'd probably just have it made from the concrete, like in this photograph.  The only change is the seats probably wouldn't have a back, just the bottom.

I've posted this photograph before.  It's from HGTV's
 Jamie Durie's own home.  I like the bench seating in the dining
area and the pergola with a roof deck.

This another Jamie Durie room. 
 I love that about 30 people could sit here
comfortably and have a wonderful evening.
The choice of fabrics, colors and tableware are right on.
This dining area looks fabulous in my book! 

Although I have many, many, many more photographs. 
I will stop for today and leave you guessing...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Short Sale Update

Well...we received some news today...it's not good and not bad...we are still in limbo.
The short sale negotiator for the bank notified us that he has everything he needs and submitted his recommendation for approval on June 2, 2011.  However, because of the large loss to the bank, we are still looking at a minimum of 3-4 weeks for a decision.  He needs a second approval because of the large loss.

Meanwhile, I hear that our offer is very close to appraised value, so I'm not sure why they wouldn't jump on it.  The house has been vacant for over two years and is deteriorating every day.

If they went out to the house to see its condition, I'm sure they would approve the offer right away.  The more they wait, the more the property depreciates.

Hopefully they will make the decision to approve sooner rather than later.

Until then...

we wait...


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Outdoor Living Part 3

Last night we went to dinner at a friend's house and they have a tepanyaki grill. The meal was delicious, we all enjoyed and participated in the preparation of the meal and it was definitely a conversation piece.  My husband has always said he wants one at the house, but last night I was convinced.  I think it would be a wonderful, practical addition to our outdoor kitchen.  He also wants a wood-burning oven...we may be able to open a restaurant in our backyard...

Seriously, we love to entertain, I think these ovens and grills would be great and a lot of fun! 

I look forward to taking cooking lessons and having many parties in our new outdoor kitchen.  I found some pictures of beautiful outdoor kitchens for your enjoyment.  I will be posting them over the next few days...but for now...

I found a website for a company that does outdoor kitchens in Florida, they have some nice photographs.  I will surely call them for estimates when the time is right.  Meanwhile these are some of the services they offer:

"Outdoor Living of South Florida is your single source for all outdoor design, equipment and construction needs. We are 100% custom and build incredible outdoor kitchens, cooling pergolas, eco friendly fireplaces, pizza ovens, churrasco grills and outdoor structures that look as if they have been part of your home for years.

As licensed and insured residential contractors we also take care of your electrical, plumbing, pavers and anything else that is required to complete your outdoor living area. With over 400 completed projects in Florida, and are unsurpassed in experience, professionalism and service. We take pride in reducing waste and using eco friendly construction methods and products." Seems interesting, no?