5/12/09

HOME DECOR: The GREAT outdoors... Alana's New Resort

Alana's home was built in the early 80's. A typical tract home when they purchased, but with a nice size back yard and within a couple houses of the end of a culdesac. Over 20 years after it was built, her home was worth well over twice what they paid for it, but it still looked like a typical tract home. With a teenage boy and a nearly teenage girl, Alana wanted a pool and spa with entertaining areas to appeal to the kids and their friends, and enjoy family time together. Since we were beautifying the back of the house, we decided to give the front of the house a facelift at the same time. (Feel free to click on any photo for a closer look).

We interviewed 3 recommended contractors and agreed on Sean Ponce of Ponce Pools. I liked him because it was evident that he took pride in his work, and the more we talked to him, the more excited he became - talking about space planning and materials and design ideas. Alana felt the same way. We felt he caught and understood our vision, and had good ideas and suggestions of his own. His work was impeccable and his site was clean and tidy. His design was beautiful and exactly what Alana wanted. Inspections passed flawlessly. We thoroughly enjoyed working with him.
Front walkway - before picture. I wanted to have a wider and more direct walkway to the front of the house.
Front courtyard entry - before picture. The front of the house is barely visible.

To make a more beautiful entry, we decided to redo all the hard surfaces (walkways, patios and driveways), center the front walkway, remove the overgrown trees that were blocking the front of the house, put stone on the garage columns, walls and gate pilasters, and redo the ironwork. 

Stonework in progress.
Newly completed front landscape and hardscape with curb appeal! You will notice we also added a new roof to the equation, getting rid of the orange terracotta tile roof that clashed with the color scheme.
The new front walkway of lavender and blue flagstone, prefab steps, and beautiful stone columns and planter bowls.

I In the courtyard, herbs are grown on a sunny windowsill. A musical wall fountain was installed on the wall in the courtyard. A custom iron trellis frames the beautiful new fountain in the courtyard in stone and travertine. This photo shows the stonework pattern on the inner patio. View of gate from front door looking out to the street. We filled the charming courtyard with perennials, climbing roses, and topiaried trees.
Walkway leading to front door.  We made no less than 6 trips to stoneyards before we found the perfect stone for the columns and walls.
Front steps, pilasters and planters.
In the backyard we added a large curved deck to the upper story, which created an atrium beneath, perfect for family and entertaining.
Progress on the deck.
The contractor elevated the pool area to enable a 9 foot depth. The waterslide is visible at the far side in this photograph.It was important to me that the view from the living room was beautiful and inviting.
With the deck finished, it created a new space large enough for deep seating, a pingpong table and teenage slumber parties.
View of the finished ceck. We also added curtains to close off the patio area (not yet installed in this photo) for privacy or protection from the weather.
Under the deck: A full outdoor kitchen with granite bar, 48" barbecue, hot plate, icemaker and refrigerator, with room to spare for a large dining area, a fireplace and deep seating.
Ceiling fans for cooling and infrared heaters for warmth were added.

A flat screen television makes watching the 'game' a fresh air event.
The sliding glass doors were replaced with folding lanai doors (top left of the picture) for easier access to the outdoor space.
The rockscape for the pool and the slide (top of the photo) in progress.
And completed, with waterfall and pebble coated saltwater pool. An 8 person spa (not visible in this photo) was completed at the other end of the pool
Alana's cookie cutter tract home goes from blah....
to Beautiful -
the showcase of the neighborhood.
 

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