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Modern Landscaping Part 1

I am quite enamored with modern landscaping.  I always have been and probably always will be.  I see pictures of amazing modern houses in California with a modern and minimal landscape and wish that my yard looked more modern. There’s a lot going on in my yard and it’s somewhat on the busy side.  Some of the pictures I like best, while there might be a lot in the yard, are more refined and less chaotic.
I found this website for SQLA, Inc., a landscape architectural firm in Los Angeles.  They are absolutely amazing.  AMAZING.  If I had all the money in the world, I’d hire them to come and create my vision.  Sadly, I don’t have all the money in the world, or even a drop in the figurative bucket, so I’ll have to settle for drooling and copying in small bits. Here is some of their work.
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This next one isn’t so much landscaping as it is the ultimate party deck.  The fireplace, the loungy bed thing with the canopy in the corner, the water feature, the conversation area – I can’t express how much I love this space.
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This house is located in Palm Springs and was for sale in 2010 for a mere $1,195,000.  Just look at all that gorgeous cacti and those palm trees.
Here’s the back.  Just look at that pool… sigh. (Pools, other than public ones, here are stupid.  Sure people have them but there are really only 3-4 good months of pool use here. People end-up spending more of their time cleaning them and covering them up for liability purposes than actually using them. I’ve known quite a few folks that have had them removed because they just aren’t worth it. Doesn’t stop me from drooling over the idea, though.)
So where is all of this leading?  If you recall, last year we started on Operation ‘Make it Purty’ to enhance the curb appeal of our house.  Not only do we try to stay within the characteristics and lines of our house on the inside, we’re trying to do the same with the outside as well, at least within reason.  Last year we had a list of four things we hoped to accomplish:

1.  Replace the hideously ugly white storm door with something much less obtrusive.  It just sticks out like a sore thumb on the front of our house.  Plus, it’s not in the best shape and only latches half the time.  And, did I mention that it’s ugly, because it is UGLY.  I think it’s becoming my Moby Dick.  You can call me Ishmael.

2.  Fix the front door that N broke by pushing on the glass repeatedly.  We’re also going to paint it a different color, something that stands out a little from the street (but in a pleasant way – not the way the ugly white storm door stands out).

3.  Replace the inappropriately paired coach light at the end of the drive with something more modern to blend in with our house.

4.  Replace the house numbers with modern numbers.  Not only will this improve the aesthetic of the numbers, the other ones are just old, rusty and faded, making them pretty ineffective for people looking for our house.

Of those four things, we only accomplished one last year, which was fixing and painting the front door that our son had broke.  We ended-up painting it the same color as the trim, though, because J was not on-board with a contrasting color.  He very rarely puts the proverbial foot down, but in this case he did.  In hindsight, I think he was right because another color would look strange with the brown trim and inexplicable @$)&#@ white screen door/garage door.   That still leaves replacing the hideous screen door, outside light fixtures and house numbers.  Therefore, we I (I can’t blame J for this) decided to focus on replacing the flowerpots by the swing.  Follow me?  Of course not.  It doesn’t make sense.

Stay tuned for part 2 where I outline my ‘vision’ for you.  It’s getting crazy up in here. (Okay, not really.)


About sugarshellandbutterknife

I am a work-at-home mother of two, daughter K who is 16 and son N who is 12. I live in a 1956 mid-mod ranch with my children and the love of my life, J. We're slowly renovating our house on a budget and love all things DIY. I hope to make this a place where frugal-minded folks like myself can exchange ideas, gain inspiration and find encouragement to tackle whatever life throws our way.

7 responses »

  1. You and I are both groaning about our exterior landscapes, or in my case – lack thereof. I am sure you can accomplish this in bits and pieces. That said, I think your yard looks lovely in the meantime.

    • Aww, thanks! I think my yard looks pretty good for the most part. We’ve certainly done a lot with it since we bought the house, however, I’m beginning to wish there had been some method to my madness rather than just planting whatever caught my eye. For one thing, there is the strange amoeba-shaped flower bed in the middle of the yard and instead of really assessing what I wanted to do with it in the first place, I jumped in and started planting all kinds of things in order to fill it in. Now it’s full of nice, healthy plants and I don’t like it very much. It doesn’t fit the direction I’m leaning toward. I’m going to leave it for now, though, and focus on the things I can change. Yards, it seems, are always a work in progress 😉

  2. Hi Jenny!!! I was craving to come and visit you, but these last few weeks have been so crazy around here! Now I finally got the chance, and I’m ready to do some catch-up. I understand you, I also love landscaping. Actually, I’m also taking a look at the firm you mention, I loved their work, and I’m thinking I could use the inspiration for a client’s possible project.

    I do think, however, that your yard looks really pretty. Ours is just plain and has nothing in it. It’s one of the spaces I plan to attack as soon as I get the chance.

    Can’t wait for part 2!

    • Thanks, Joaquin/Rocio 😉 I know you’ve been very busy. I’ve been following on your blog. I’m glad you are busy, though, because that means things are going well. You have lots of talent! If you use some of the ideas from the firm, I hope you post about it. I’ll be anxious to see what you’re working on.

  3. Once again, just to let you know that last comment coming from joaquinflores was actually mine… I just noticed it!

  4. Tis the season! I think we in CA (at least in Southern California where I’m from) try to have purposefully minimalistic exteriors because 1) we get so little rain that’s it’s too expensive to water (fake grass is getting really popular here) and, 2) we live with the threat of wildfire storms so the less fodder fire fodder outside the better. I do love these types of landscapes too but I have been known to drool over landscapes from regions that get rain—the grass is always greener ; ] I can’t wait to see what you come up with so I can live vicariously : ]

  5. Pingback: Modern Landscaping Part 2 | sugarshellandbutterknife

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