Side Yard Design

This is my design for our side yard of the home we purchased a year ago August. I can hardly believe we’ve been here for over a year already! Perhaps it’s because we’ve been working away at remodeling it bit by bit (on the inside) since we moved here. We’re about 3/4 done with the master bath and the Home Depot crew is coming to measure the floor for carpet for the master bedroom on Halloween. (I picked that day because I wouldn’t forget and the measure was free and would be good for up to a year.) I promise when we get the master bath done, I’ll post the before and after pics!

Meantime, I have been dreaming of what to do about our tiny outdoor space. I want it to be as low maintenance as possible. I’ve posted my ideas for the front and have “tried on” many paint colors. We’ve finally decided on a warm medium brown color. I think we could live with it for a long time and we really don’t like it’s current sad gray color.

Now to give you an idea of what the side yard is now:  There is a long metal awning that spans the whole side of the house. An item of contention between my husband and I. He wants to keep it but I think it’s a worthless eye sore. It’s a typical “mobile home” type. (You know the type– with the scrolling cheap metal support posts.) It is also on the northeast side of the house so really does nothing to protect the house from summer heat. It keeps the sun out on the side that could really use it. In the past year we’ve had rain approximately four days, so that’s not a great reason to keep it either. Most of all, it blocks the views of the great old pepper tree that is always home to a variety of birds and provides lovely filtered light. It also blocks the view of the gorgeous liquid amber that is turning multiple shades of gold and red this time of year.

In addition there is a very large shabby looking sad storage shed that takes up much of the space. It’s so bad that the last owners left lots of stuff in there because they simply didn’t want to go in there after it. I don’t want to either. So (one thing hubby and I agree on) it needs to go.

My plan? Replace them both with a great big deck that we would actually use. So here you go.

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Side Yard 2

Side Yard 3

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Side Yard 5

Side Yard 6

Side Yard 7

Here are my most recent proposed ideas for the front view that faces south:

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Print Image

Notice there is no grass. We do not want to water or cut grass. (Overwatering is now considered a criminal offense here in CA so I’m sure this ‘zero scape’ would go over very well with the city if not our park managers.)

Master Suite Progress

The progress is s..l…o….w… For a number of reasons. In particular, my husband is doing most of the work. Much of it is learning as he goes and dealing with a less than plumb and level structure. He is doing this on weekends which means dragging out the tools and making multiple trips to Home Depot. He’s putting up the beadboard in the bath room –a two weekend process so it seems. Just the same, I am SO grateful that he is doing it and he is enjoying making stuff. I think especially because it’s different than what he does the rest of the time as a welder and fabricator for a custom door and window company.

 

In any case, we are still waiting on the parts of the shower that arrived damaged and missing from our order (clear back in April). We’re dealing with an East Coast vendor and the product is coming from Canada. Wondering if it’s worth the savings gained over having one made custom locally at this point. I’ve given them a deadline of this coming week. Then we will be negotiating a refund and starting over.

 

In the meantime, I’ve created some renderings for the master bedroom that adjoins the master bath. We decided to paint the walls instead of doing the beadboard in the bedroom and did something of a reverse color scheme. This will be the only room in our house with wall-to-wall carpet. The bedding I actually have. It’s Pottery Barn’s “Secret Garden” collection. It’s been discontinued, so I’ve been trying to search down some pillow shams on line to make the window valances out of.  So far, I could only find one available on ebay (I need two) and it’s pricey. The side chairs are currently used in the dining room and I am looking for some fabric similar to that used in the rendering to make slip covers out of. I really don’t need these chairs in the dining room, so it is perfect to use them in the bedroom and have them available when we have need for extra seating in the dining room. The rest of the furniture is similar to that which I already have. The highboy may get painted a white wash (as shown) though I haven’t decided yet.  And of course I’m going to be hanging some of the quilts on the wall that my mom made.

Pottery Barn "Secret Garden" bedding.

Pottery Barn “Secret Garden” bedding.

 

Master Bedroom Suite ~ view 1

Master Bedroom Suite ~ view 1

 

Master Bedroom Suite ~ view 2

Master Bedroom Suite ~ view 2

I’ve decided to change the color scheme a bit and cover the chairs in a solid linen fabric in a teal color that coordinates with the Pottery Barn print and I think will go well with the green carpet and wall color.  (I think there’s enough green). I actually found some decorator fabric on line for only $6/yard and no shipping or tax. It’s called Sea Foam Blue and has several shades of the color in it giving it a lovely texture. I’m getting enough to add a bed skirt as well. Still looking for some pieces online of the Pottery Barn Secret Garden collection to make the valances and accent pillows out of . I have faith they will show up eventually. If not, I had the idea that I could take apart the duvet cover and make a coverlet out of one side and use the rest of the fabric for the valances and accent pillows. Bedroom View 1B   Bedroom View 2B

3D rendering is a great way to make color choices. Though the furniture is not identical (but very similar in size, finish and scale), the fabrics and finishes are ‘real world’ . They are actually screen shots taken of online samples or photographs and applied to the models.

The “Final” Final Design

I would have to say this is the design that I’ve ‘redone’ more than any –ever. This is the sixth (and final) rendition of my master bath design renderings. I think I just needed to convince myself it was the best solution for the space, our needs and our budget. In the end we incorporated products and aspects of the project that we could mostly install ourselves (my husband, youngest son and I). Leaving only the plumbing and electrical to the pros. I should also add that I’ve done way more kitchens than bath remodels and found this to be much more intense in terms of design and technical know how.

Opt 6 View 1

 

Opt 6 View 2

Opt 6 View 3

Opt 6 View 4

Much was driven by budget and making choices to get the most bang for the buck in the right places –like finding a prefab glass shower enclosure that was big enough. I think the Fleurco semi-frameless enclosure was the largest I could get for the space and is of excellent quality. We found the marble topped (and very heavy!)  dressing table on Craigslist. This inspired doing the shower walls in a coordinating marble subway tile. The other splurge was choosing the nickel finishes on the hardware throughout. This choice was made based on the shower head which was a gift from my friends at Brizo that I received when I visited their headquarters last July for the Blogger 19 Reunion. Who knew that polished nickel would be way less common than brushed or satin nickel? Not to mention pricey! I didn’t when I was so attracted to the ‘bling’ of the polished nickel so many months ago when I got to select the finish for my gift. So there is a mixture of finish types –most will be brushed nickel.

Brizo shower head

Brizo shower head

Where we saved money:

  • Light fixtures, square vessel sinks and faucets purchased on ebay.
  • Saving the existing cabinets, painting them inside and out, adding new crystal glass knobs (found on ebay and hoping the screws fit), adding toe valances we’ll make ourselves, and adding crown molding.
  • The mirrors over the sinks are basic wood framed plain mirrors that we will paint and add moldings to.
  • The countertop is a wood work bench top from Home Depot that we will finish with marine varnish.
  • We already have the round mirror that is over the vanity (used to be over the fireplace in our old house).
  • The fabric for the curtain and vanity stool cover I will sew from fabric I already have.
  • The flooring is vinyl ‘grip strip’ with the look of wood planks. This is the same stuff that we used in our kitchen but in a different style. It’s great for manufactured homes because it is fairly water proof and easy for homeowners to install. We are purchasing it from Home Depot. (They are getting to know me and Louie -my dog- on a first name basis.)
  • The white beadboard wainscot and moldings are also inexpensive and to be purchased from our friends at Home Depot.
  • The Brizo hand-held shower head was a gift and the toilet is a Delta that was purchased months ago from (you guessed it) The Home Depot.

collection I should add that vessel sinks in the master bath would not normally be my first choice, but we are keeping the existing vanity that is only 31″ tall including the counter top. So adding the vessel sink (shown above) should put the top right at 36″.

The overall cost of the remodel is expected to be about $6,000 plus any labor that we hire out (like the electrical and plumbing). When I first started this design process, my budget was looking closer to $14,000 plus labor –so I am pretty pleased with the savings and I don’t feel that I’ve sacrificed anything in terms of design. Perhaps one could argue the loss of a tub would ding the resale value.  However, there is plenty of room to add up to a six-foot freestanding tub in place of the dressing table if the need arose. Considering our community is restricted to 55+ residents, I’m banking most would appreciate an accessible large shower more than a flimsy mobile home “garden” tub and closet of a shower. Since I’m now retired, I expect this is a decision my heirs will have to make! =) How long this project will take is anyone’s guess since my husband will only be available to do this on weekends. I’m expecting months. Glad we have another bathroom!

Chief Architect Premier X4: master bath.layout

Master Bath Remodel

I’ve finally settled on a design for our master bathroom that eliminates the tub completely. We’ve been living without one for six months and have decided we’d rather have the space and a larger shower that will be more accessible as we get older. In fact, was inspired by some recent health issues to make this adjustment. As we are living in a 55+ community, this is not a bad idea for resale purposes. We will continue to use the existing cabinetry to be painted white with new doors, drawer fronts and hardware added. The current counter is a bit low at 30″ (even for my husband and I who aren’t very tall). So we’ll be installing pedestal sinks without the pedestal set into the counter as semi-vessel sinks that will add about 4″ height.  I chose the pebble accent tile not just because I like the look of it, but because I love the way it will feel under foot as a finish for the shower pan. The rest of the tile is just a simple white, inexpensive subway tile that will make the space feel bright and spacious. The flooring is actually a strip vinyl product that looks like wood, that is easy to install, and is water resistant. The fabric for the window valance and the vanity skirt I actually purchased and never used for the same set up (only for the kitchen) in our last house. It actually coordinates very well with the bedding we have in the adjoining master bedroom. The plumbing fixtures and cabinet hardware look like brass but are actually going to be polished nickel.

View 1

View 1

View 2

View 2

View 3

View 3

Before and After Floor Plan

Before and After Floor Plan

Remodelling the Mobile Money Pit ~ Renderings

We’ve lived with construction and most of our stuff still in boxes now for a couple of months since moving to Sunny Hills, a 55+ manufactured home community in Santa Maria, California after moving from our somewhat larger stick built home in the same town. It’s a triple-wide manufactured home that’s a little over 1700 square feet with two bedrooms, two baths a large living & dining space, a separate family room and has an attached two-car garage. The lot is small but backs up to a green belt area with many beautiful birch, maple and cypress trees. The ‘coach’ was built in 1987 so is ripe for updating and came with a lot of deferred maintenance from the former owner.  We had the cottage cheese ceiling scraped, retextured and painted throughout. We also removed all of the carpeting and replaced most of it with laminate floating flooring that looks like hand-scraped maple hardwood in a darker finish.  The kitchen and laundry/pantry will have a floating vinyl floor that looks like tile, is resilient and easy to clean. The only room to have carpet will be the master bedroom. We’ve also repainted most of the place and installed new window coverings. (I’m proud to say I installed the blinds myself in the sitting room and family room myself and was surprised at how easy it was!) Most of the house will be rewired during the kitchen remodel and we are still debating replacing the plumbing. (Much will be determined when we get into the kitchen remodel.) We were fortunate that a new roof was added only a year ago and there is a new furnace.

Since we moved in, we also moved and reconfigured a non-load baring wall which entailed expanding the ceiling, adding a light fixture and retexturing and painting the walls. It seemed like an awful lot just to move the wall a foot or so and make it longer, but the result was spectacular! You can no longer see into the guest bath now when entering the front door or sitting in the dining room! We also had to completely rebuild the front stoop outside the front door and the wall and floor inside the front door entry that had dry rot and mold from an old roof leak. The leak was repaired when the roof was replaced, but the damage caused by it was not. So that was our first undertaking when we moved in.

So, I’m biding my time waiting for our new kitchen remodel to begin. I’ve created a few renderings that I think will reflect the after photos pretty closely.  I’ll do a post of the ‘before and after’ photos when the construction is completed. The kitchen should be completed around the end of December. The other spaces in the house might take a bit longer. The exterior might be years from now. We won’t even start with the landscaping until springtime.

Kitchen:

triple-wide kitchen 3

triple-wide kitchen 2

triple-wide kitchen 1

Adjoining laundry room is also the pantry. Comes from Home Depot. Mine is primed for painting and the frame will be painted barn red as shown in the  rendering.

Adjoining laundry room is also the pantry. Comes from Home Depot. Mine is primed for painting and the frame will be painted barn red as shown in the rendering.

Dewils Cherry Cabinets in Frost stain. The door style is Oneida in the Designer Series. The countertop material is LG Himacs -Galaxy pattern in Cosmos colorway.

Dewils Cherry Cabinets in Frost stain. The door style is Oneida in the Designer Series. The countertop material is LG Himacs -Galaxy pattern in Cosmos colorway.

This is the backsplash material. I've not decided whether it will be installed vertically as shown in the renderings or this way. What do you think?

This is the backsplash material. I’ve not decided whether it will be installed vertically as shown in the renderings or this way. What do you think?

Master Bedroom & Bath:

Master Bath View 1

Master Bath View 1

Master Bath View 2

Master Bath View 2

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Sitting Room/Den:

This is the "formal" end of the house. (See front door on left.) It's adjacent to the dining space. Notice the truss work on the ceiling that is the same as that in the dining room rendering.

This is the “formal” end of the house. (See front door on left.) It’s adjacent to the dining space. Notice the truss work on the ceiling that is the same as that in the dining room rendering.

Den, Dining Room and Entry Area:

Entry (Next to fireplace)

Entry (Next to fireplace)

View from Entry & Den into Dining Space

View from Entry & Den into Dining Space

View through Dining Space toward Entry.

View through Dining Space toward Entry.

Exterior/Landscaping:

Entry

Entry

Front View- we won't be watering grass anymore. We're planning to replace the landscaping with mostly succulents with some day lilies and canna . lilies. The rest is river rock and some large boulders and driftwood features.

Front View- we won’t be watering grass anymore. We’re planning to replace the landscaping with mostly succulents with some day lilies and canna . lilies. The rest is river rock and some large boulders and driftwood features.

I’ll add new spaces as I produce the renderings to this post.

Renderings ~ Manufactured Home Reno

We’ve been toying with the idea of selling off my dream home. (You know the one that I said they’d have to drag me out feet first ’cause I proclaimed I would never leave.) Well, as the kids are leaving -we have one left and it’s time for him to leave the nest too. So, we’ve got a big house on a largish lot that is a bit larger than we want to contend with into our twilight years. Not to mention the cost… So we’ve been looking into ‘age restricted communities’ locally… That’s right -for the “55 and over set”.  I have to admit the ‘community’ aspect of a park with like minded and similar aged people is appealing. (Oh for heaven’s sake! I know I don’t look a day over 40! LOL!).

Age restricted communities here means manufactured home parks where the homes are set on concrete foundations and can come with garages and small yards. There are even options to own the land.  Even though the parks are tidy with lots of amenities like swimming pools and club houses, it is obvious that the homes have become dated.  Clearly they are dated to the time frame when the parks were started which is in the early 80’s here, so they are mostly in need of renovating.

I’ve been collecting some ideas on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pamdesigns/mobile-renovation/   Based on a local real estate listing with lots of interior pictures, I have come up with a few  renovation ideas of my own:

Painted, gable shakes added, pergola over wrap-around porch and arbor over garage; stonework added; windows replaced and shutters added.

Painted, gable shakes added, pergola over wrap-around porch and arbor over garage; stonework added; windows replaced and shutters added.

Replaced windows; tongue and groove ceiling, laminate floors, painted over paneling. Structure to enclose dining room adjacent to living room.

Replaced windows; tongue and groove ceiling, laminate floors, painted over paneling. Structure to enclose dining room adjacent to living room.

Living View 2

This dining room is in the center of the house and has no outside windows. It's the transitional space that has doorways to all of the other major parts of the home.

This dining room is in the center of the house and has no outside windows. It’s the transitional space that has doorways to all of the other major parts of the home.

Dining Room ~ Walls were added to define and enlarge the dining room space. Ceiling was dropped and a tray detail created that includes a tin ceiling in an antiqued painted finish. Rendering by Pamela Rodriguez

Dining Room ~ Walls were added to define and enlarge the dining room space. Ceiling was dropped and a tray detail created that includes a tin ceiling in an antiqued painted finish.

Dining View 3 Dining View 1

New finishes, appliances, cabinets & sink. Plan not changed.

Kitchen ~ New finishes, appliances, cabinets & sink. Plan not changed.

New Renderings

Wow –it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything to this blog.  Sorry for being ‘off the radar’ for a bit. I’ve been ill for a few weeks and my ‘social media presence’ has suffered while I’ve been off feeling sorry for myself.  Well –f*** that! Time to get back in the game! While I’ve been away, I’ve actually been diligently working on some renderings. These are part of a project called Spanish Colonial ~ Dreaming of Todos Santos.

Dining Room ViewFoyer ViewKitchen View 1Kitchen View 2Livingroom View 1Livingroom View 2

….And an homage to the arrival of spring.Alternate ColorFront View