Tagged: ipe

Garden: 2015

Aaron finished the planter between the firehouse and the garage last year in time to film our episode of House Hunters: Where Are They Now? But we didn’t have enough time left in the year to fill it up.

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This spring we changed that with several bags of dirt and a bunch of starter plants. The steel fence gets pretty hot during the summer. We weren’t sure what would grow here so we opted to plant a variety and see what stuck. The short answer: everything!

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The left side has a Roma tomato and three pepper plants (I can’t remember what is what, but I think the small one is a jalapeno plant and the others are red or green bell peppers.) There’s a beefsteak tomato plant in the middle, another pepper plant, basil, parsley, thyme and oregano.

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Everything is growing well, except the beefsteak which looks like it may have caught something.

Also, I don’t have much produce yet thanks to the supremely wet and overcast summer we had up until last week. My tomatoes are finally starting to get some color… but Hank has decided that not quite ripe tomatoes are delicious or at least fun toys. Jerk.

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I also filled the pots with a few more plants: (left to right) rosemary, cherry tomato, chives, two kinds of mint, basil and lavender. That basil was a backup in case the other one didn’t do well. My favorite summer cocktail is a basil lemon martini, but I’m beginning to think I need to find a good pesto recipe to use up some of that basil! The cherry tomato is only doing so so. I assume the pot isn’t big enough for him.

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So that’s what we have growing this year. Seriously, who has a pesto recipe that is awesome? Bonus points if it doesn’t have pine nuts. Those things are so expensive.

New electric + ipe planter

This post didn’t come together well. First, we lost all of the pictures showing the building process, and now, I’ve rewritten the intro to this post so many times that I’ve finally given up.

Here’s what you need to know. We didn’t run electric from the firehouse to the carport (i.e. future garage) before we laid the concrete for the patio/parking pad. Doh! That left us looking for an aesthetically pleasing way to run the necessary conduit across the patio. Our solution: Hide the conduit under a gorgeous, custom ipe planter.

Viola! I love it! (SQUEE!)

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First we had to remove an unnecessary fence post. (You can see it below in the middle of the fence.)

I should back up and explain that we hired a contractor to install the requisite posts for the fence. Given the sheer size of the yard and the brick laden soil, we felt it was well worth the money to farm out that piece of labor. Something got lost in translation and we ended up with this totally unnecessary and barely-bolted-to-the-ground post between our back door and the carport. We knew we would take it out eventually, and we didn’t even bother drilling into it when we installed the cor-ten. Instead, this piece of fence is attached to a post that is secured to the firehouse on one end and directly to the carport on the other.

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Anyways, back to the post. A little brute force left us with a clear stretch of fence. The ghost mark from the post will eventually rust and be less noticeable.

Then Aaron installed plastic conduit from the junction box on the firehouse (where he ran electrical outside last year), over the back door, and then across the gap from the house to the garage. Here’s where I would love to insert all of the process pictures that were accidentally deleted.  Sad face.

What’s hiding under the ipe is a box made from treated lumber that sits on legs to raise it off the ground and level. Running beneath that is the conduit, which is attached to the bottom to offer some extra support.

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The planter also has a small bump by the garage door to allow the door to open entirely.

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A middle support beam offers extra stability.

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I am totally smitten with this piece. It’s a gorgeous, custom piece that demonstrates my husband’s craftsmanship. He made this from scratch, drafting the plans, working with the slope of the patio, carefully layering on the ipe (the lines of the ipe match up to the ipe on the garage for goodness sake!) It’s not the first thing he’s constructed (or even the largest, see the viewing room) but it’s so beautiful. Honestly, I feel so lucky to have a man who can create a custom piece that would have cost thousands of dollars to have someone else conceive, design and build it. Geez! Sorry for the love fest… Long story short, I’m in love (with the planter and my husband.)

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Obviously it will make a bigger impact when everything is in place, but I didn’t want to wait to tell you about it, especially because it will be apparent in some of the wider shots of the patio. Plus, we really needed to get this project done so  we could get rid of the extension cord that’s been powering our garage doors for… um… months. #renovationrealities

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In the spring, we’ll line the inside with landscaping fabric and fill it with dirt to create a home for herbs and vegetable plants. This will give me lots of space to expand my existing, potted herb garden. Since this planter sits against the cor-ten, which gets quite warm in the summer, we’ll have to see which plants thrive in which area. We’re also considering trellising a column of ivy up the side of the firehouse. All of which will bring some life to this space and break up the brown tones.

I can’t be the only one with an inordinate amount of love for a seemingly random home project. What are you crushing on in your abode?

Getting a handle on the garage door

It’s interesting to discover what we can live with through the course of this renovation. Future living room in constant state of chaos? Check. Stairs that are prepped for paint for months on end? No big deal.

We can add “missing handle on the door to the detached garage” to the list. After we finished the ipe wrap on the garage, we added hardware to the door and then promptly got busy with life (and vacation.)

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It only presented a problem when it rained and the wood swelled ever so slightly. But with the impeding return of the House Hunters crew, the courtyard area got a lot of attention, including this minor update.

Perusing the interwebs offered a host of fairly ugly and fairly expensive door handles. So we turned to steel pipe, which is a go to material for us. The industrial aspect fits well with our style, and we’ve crafted everything from a floor-to-ceiling wall shelf (in our previous condo) to curtain rods out of metal pipe.

For each end of the handle, we screwed together a base, a nipple (this always makes me laugh, because apparently I’m 5), and a 90 degree angle.

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One of the great things about metal conduit is that you can get it cut it to any length. Home Depot will do this for free and even add in the requisite threads for screwing pieces together. For this application, we wanted to keep it cheap and easy so we opted for a standard size pipe in the middle.

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We auditioned two sizes to see what would work best. 004garage_door_handle

We liked the weight of the longer option, but we worried that it was so big that it would distract from the ipe, which we all know is the star of the show back here.005garage_door_handle

The short option felt way too small. 006garage_door_handle

So we tried positioning the long option over the hardware and it felt just right. The depth of the handle allows ample room to work the hardware. The straddle maneuver also ties the pieces together visually.

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After a quick cleaning with an orange degreaser, Aaron gave the winning handle a coat of black spray paint. 008garage_door_handle 009garage_door_handle

Now getting in and out of the garage through the human sized door is much easier. If only cleaning our downstairs living room (and keeping it that way) was as easy!

How we get into the garage and staining the backside

Apparently we caused a little confusion with our ipe garage post. I didn’t actually show you how we get our cars into the garage. My bad. The post was picture heavy and I really wanted something to chat with you about this week. Projects are slow because w-editing. That’s short for “editing wedding images” for those non-wedding photographers out there… of which there may be many more thanks to our recent feature on Apartment Therapy. Hi, new readers!

I digress. We can, in fact, get our cars into the garage thanks to the alley access on the backside of the building.

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Part way through the ipe wrap we got garage doors, which was a happier day than I ever imagined.

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Then we grappled with how to finish the alley side of the garage. We L O V E the look of the ipe and we usually choose aesthetics over… well, over everything else (specifically time and money.) But the ipe wrap had turned into a very tedious project, and we questioned whether the alley side really needed that treatment. We were also really happy with how the stain on the fence posts turned them into a deep brown the mimicked the tone of the ipe.

Stain (and common sense?) won. While Aaron worked (tirelessly) on the ipe, I spent a few hours on a few weekend days to coat the exposed wood with Behr Semi-Transparent Weather Proofing All-in-one Wood Stain and Sealer tinted to chocolate.

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We are really happy with the results. It gave the wood a rich feel that ties in nicely with the ipe AND it was a project I could tackle. It’s always nice when I can get in on the renovation and take something off of Aaron’s plate.

Here are a few angles: pre-doors, pre-stain and finished.

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These two pictures (above and below) are a good example of how the light (cloudy above, sunny below) affect the appearance of the cor-ten fence.

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A few people asked for pictures of the interior of the garage. I’m giving you an IOU for that, but I promise it’s not very exciting or photogenic. More to come!

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The garage is done!

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After yesterday’s recap, I don’t have a ton of words for you today. I’m basically in awe of the finished project, and you don’t need some cheesy “OMG!” exclamation after each shot. But rest assured that every time I scroll through this post, that’s what’s going through my head. Let’s take a look at some before and after shots.

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I am beyond in love with this project. It’s a far cry from where things were just a year and a half ago…

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Boom!

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As with any project, “done” is a relative term. The garage (it’s crazy to call it that) still needs a handle on the door and electrical. We also have some big plans for the space between the garage (!!!) and firehouse, which we’ve dubbed the courtyard. Hopefully, we’ll tackle some of those update when the weather cools down in the fall. We also have some excess ipe that is destined for furniture! For now, I just want to drag a chair outside and stare at this beauty all day long.