brick

Courtyard Oasis

There's a restaurant in New Orleans called Cafe Amelie that has the most...amazing...courtyard.  The first time I ate there, I knew that's what I wanted my own yard to feel like.  Years later, we're just about there! 

Our backyard was pretty hideous to begin, but we've slowly upgraded the permanent structures.  We removed ugly old trees, built a tall fence with modern horizontal lines and built a storage shed that seamlessly blends into the design. 

Next came the brick work.  Joey and I spent two long weekends expanding and redesigning the original brick patio.  We re-purposed old bricks for the new section, so it blends with the existing patio.  It's now centered in the yard and twice as big as it used to be!

The real show-stopper, however, were the brick planters!  I did the design and our incredible contractor Dragan executed the elaborate, overlapping brick work.  The design's soft curves contrast nicely with the geometric lines of the fence and the varying heights add another level of interest.

After practically buying out Perino's entire garden center and spending another weekend planting and installing the fountain and irrigation system, the makeover coming along nicely.  We still need to hardwire the fountain, add lighting, furniture and build a deck, but I think we have a great start!

Where's my porch!? Exterior demo begins

historic exterior home renovation

It's actually happening!  After three years of interior renovation, the complete exterior overhaul of our 125 year old historic home is finally getting underway.

The process took months before work could even begin.  We worked with architect Daniel Zangara from Zangara + Partners to design an exterior facade that would be more fitting with the era of the house.  At some point, I believe the house was "upgraded" to a poorly done Arts and Crafts style.  Since purchasing the house three years ago, I've wanted to bring it back to how it would have originally looked in 1890.  

Working with Daniel and the New Orleans' Historic District Landmarks Commission, or HDLC, we finally agreed on a beautiful design.  The brick foundation, stairs and deck will be completely replaced.  The vinyl siding will be replaced with wood, columns changed out for a new design, fascia upgraded to include dental molding, shutters added, railings installed, roof upgraded, rafters cut back, the list goes on and on.

Even though we're still in the early stages, I can already see my dream becoming a reality!

exterior architectural drawing


Historic hidden gem oozes with old world charm

Working with buyers to find their dream homes in New Orleans, I come across the good, bad and the ugly. Yesterday, I stumbled upon the incredible!

Tucked into a quiet block of New Orleans' tourist-filled French Quarter is the home and office of Kim Hunter. She's not a buyer, but rather, the branch manager of Movement Mortgage.

She's lived in the historic home since she was one year old and every nook and cranny just oozes old world charm. From the exposed brick walls to the tucked away courtyard, there's a feeling of warmth that only 200 years of history can offer.

I think you'll fall in love as quickly as I did!