Aliso Viejo is a newer community consisting entirely of tract homes. This is the only custom home. Keeping within the guidelines of the Home Owners Association (HOA), we managed to create a unique backyard with ample space for entertaining. When we originally looked at this house, we realized right away there was enormous potential for a beautiful yard in spite of the overgrown plants, wasted space in the side yard and small concrete area behind the house. Our minds were already working on this yard before we closed escrow!
Expanding and tiling the patio with lighter and more natural materials gives life to this once drab backyard. This week we grouted the tile and were able to build the drystack wall. Rather than using a prefabricated endcap to top off the wall, we purchased a slab of travertine and cut it to create a clean custom look.
|Drystack and patio complement each other.|
|Travertine cap on wall.|
|Side yard before all the sod is laid|
Our next major project was finding just the right plants. Color and privacy were the two things we wanted to achieve. You can never go wrong with palms. They gave us the feeling of an intimate oasis setting and the height were were looking for. We lined the side and back yard with palms and added some flowers for color. On the side of the house, we laid down sod to soften the appearance. With so much greenery across the street, we did not want to hardscape the entire yard. The yard is not complete yet but it's close and we still have one week left to work on it.
|Leaving Home Depot with the backyard in our trailer!|
Inside we are slowly closing in on the kitchen. This week the door panels went up, hardware went on and the center island is almost finished! The door panels are a Shaker style with a slight bevel detail around the inside. Brushed chrome pulls and knobs add an updated touch to this classic kitchen and tie together the stainless appliances and gooseneck faucet.
|Brushed stainless knobs and pulls in the kitchen hide fingerprints well!|
Puck lights with a dimmer switch were installed beneath the upper cabinets to add a dramatic accent.
|Kitchen in the evening|
For the center island we used a piece of Cesarstone called Lagos. It is in the grey/brown color family and offers the perfect contrast to the grey and white Carrara and white kitchen cabinets.
|The kitchen gets lots of natural light during the daytime.|
In the living room, we refaced the fireplace using the same drystack stone as we used in the backyard. We kept the original design framing the drystack to continue with the cottage theme throughout the rest of the house. We still need to change out the brass trim and handles on the fireplace but it's looking good!
|Drystack is being installed.|
|Still have to replace brass trim and handles.|
Lighting is the crown jewel when it comes to furnishing a house. It is a sure way to highlight any art work or important elements in your home. Because it is such a key aspect we only shop where we have the biggest selection and most experienced sales people. Light Bulbs Etc. is an amazing resource if you are in the market for light fixtures. Not only do they have a beautiful new showroom but they have a huge selection of online items as well. The management and sales professionals are always eager to assist new and existing clients. They really dig into the project to help you in the decision-making process. We have been shopping there for a long time and have never had anything but great experiences with them. They have three locations including Costa Mesa, Orange and Montclair.
|Light Bulbs Etc. Costa Mesa|
We selected a chandelier for the dining room that was a more transitional piece. It will give plenty of light above the dining room table and hopefully complement the furniture choices once the family moves in.
|Dining room chandelier|
In the downstairs bathroom we chose a triple sconce in polished nickel. Although it's hard to tell in this picture, the glass has a lot of detail in it. Since this bathroom is the only bathroom on the first level and also serves as a powder room, we decided to dress it up. For that reason, we custom built a cabinet to look more like a piece of furniture than a built-in vanity.
|Triple sconce in downstairs bath.|
In the kids' bath we installed the same light fixtures but the cabinet is less formal as it is white in color and pretty standard in it's design. We also kept the same door style and plumbing fixtures. The paint color in the kids' bath turned out to be a great choice. While it is not a neutral color, it is still versatile, unisex and fun. And let's face it, when it comes to little kids and hygiene, fun works best!
|Left railing is original color. Right railing is the first coat of stain.|
|Second coat of stain....|
In the master bath we hung the vanity doors, mirrors and sconces. The custom vanity looks stellar and offers all the conveniences that a standard store bought piece may not.
|Custom vanities and mirrors|
Custom furniture is easy to appreciate but it is not always easy to make. Clients have specific wants and needs and often have something already in mind when remodeling a home. Austin Hardware, located in Santa Ana, has played a fundamental part of our custom cabinetry business for years. They have been instrumental in getting us the supplies that we need to run our business. They have an incredible selection of wood, veneer, moulding and other trim pieces as well as hinges and other hardware. They are a one-stop-shop for every local contractor. Nobody can compete with their service. Check out Yelp and see the stellar reviews. If you are shopping for wood or are indecisive about what would look best in your kitchen, they are a great resource.
Last, here are some of the minor but necessary details we added this week...
|Hand towel ring in kids bath|
|Shower enclosure in downstairs bath|
|Door panels went on laundry room cabinets.|