Saturday, April 14, 2012

From English Countryside to South of France

In my neighborhood, there was a cute, Tudor-style cottage landscaped with an unfortunate mishmash of mostly tropical plants. The house and its surroundings didn't mesh:

But the house had a lot of appeal, including this pop-out bay in the kitchen:

Beautiful, authentic leaded-glass windows:

And this very appealing front entry, with a door the color of a British phone booth:

So adorable. I thought there was nothing wrong with the house that a redo of the garden wouldn't solve. Out with the tropicals, in with the English-country garden flowers.

Then, the house sold for the first time in 60 years, and the new owners had a completely different vision for the place. At first, I was worried: All the English cuteness was demo'd, and nobody was sure what the final product would look like.

Well, the final product is gorgeous. Not English countryside any more, now the house looks like it's from somewhere French, near the Mediterranean. There are olive trees planted around a low, gray-stained wood fence that surrounds the property:

The owners wisely bumped the fence back around several stately trees that are probably as old as the original house. Venerable senior citizens, they deserve to be highlighted:

Where this beautiful, low-ish fence now stands, the former owners had a tall, hideous concrete-brick wall that was topped with barbed wire. What a transformation!:

The hardware and accessories the new owners chose are just dang gorgeous:

Look at the patina on this oversized mailbox! Beautiful:

All the plantings evoke the South-of-France feeling and echo the silvery-gray colors of the house and fence:

An inner courtyard of decomposed granite--very European and Old World--provides the perfect transition from street to house. A great choice, water-wise, for semi-arid L.A.:

Inside the couryard, beautiful objects rich in patina and texture cluster around the front door:

I am in love with these huge balls near the front steps. The largest one is probably two feet tall. What a brilliant, outside-the-box piece of garden architecture!:

I'm not sure if the current owners know this (although, when they read this post, they will!), but I have a connection with their house, now. When these lovely leaded-glass windows ended up in their dumpster, I asked the foreman if I could have one. He not only said yes, he loaded it into his pickup and drove it around the corner to my place.

And now it hangs, a terrific piece of found art, above the dining-room side table in our daughters' Funny-Looking House:

Thank you, neighbors. And a belated Welcome to the Neighborhood!

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