Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cardinal House : Crying over Concrete

No, I wasn't crying over the concrete because something went horribly wrong. Something went so very right and it brought me to tears.

I went to our house late today and discovered that the lanai concrete had been poured. As I crept up the side of the house {and oh, once again wearing heels} and turned the corner around the back - there it was........ a welcome surprise. 

The Lanai is finally poured.

And yes, I was so overwhelmed and excited that I stood and cried. 
Crazy you say? Well let me share with you why.

One of the outdoor features I designed for the house is our Lanai. Once complete it will be a covered area with a wood burning fireplace faced in over-grouted stone. Doors from our principal bedroom and family room will bring us out the retreat, steps down from the lanai will be our patio and garden. Skylights on the new covered roof will allow lots of sunlight into the area and through to our bedroom windows.

Lanai outside our room at Hotel Particulier, Arles, France

It was during our stay at Hotel Particulier in Arles, France, that we fell in love with the lanai there. It wasn't a revelation leaving us saying 'let's replicate this for our house'; but the comfort and function of the space has stayed with us since then. Hmm, could it have been the great wine and the company ?


Having an outdoor space right off our bedroom and family room gives us a perfect protected outdoor living room. We imagine evenings with friends wine tasting while the fire blazes. The space will bring a sense of tranquility and calm for just us to share together as well.

Imagine the area with a stone fireplace at one end and a roof.

The wood framing in the picture above will be our family room. The wrap protecting the house temporarily, is where our bedroom will be. We kept the concrete simple with just enough brushing to avoid slipping when it is wet. Once the trussing is up {next week} the new roof line will extend out over the entire concrete area and will be supported by the columns and fireplace.

the fireplace at Giannitti farm via velvet and linen

Richard and I love the over-grouted stone with irregular placement, it lends the look of time worn walls. Brooke and Steve Giannitti offered perfect inspiration when they built Patina Farm. The fireplace above is the look we hope to achieve.

The roof will be vaulted with a whitewashed wood ceiling and large Rococo style lantern hanging in the center {the Salerno Streetlight from Restoration Hardware}.

19th C. Salerno Streetlight pendant from Restoration Hardware

When we stayed at Hotel Particulier the lanai outside of our room had a daybed sofa that was so welcoming, it was the perfect spot to snuggle down and relax. While searching for outdoor mattresses to re-create the same effect, I discovered outdoor seating at West Elm that is almost identical.

Tillary outdoor modular seating

The base on the Tillary outdoor seating is lower than I wanted. Instead of having our carpenter put bigger and taller legs on the base we bought a second outdoor mattress in addition to the mattress/back cushions that come with the sofa. I will have a cover made in outdoor fabric that will encase both mattresses - add large cushions in outdoor fabric ...... and it's the perfect spot to snuggle down.
Two outdoor chairs with big cushions will add to the seating and a wood chest with hammered tin will be used as the coffee wine table. 
There are other treasures we have acquired that will help build the ambiance of the space and bring out our personal touch.

with Richard at Hotel Particulier

We know there will be summer mornings sitting out on the lanai with our morning coffee, cooler evenings with the fireplace crackling while we enjoy a glass of wine with friends. I imagine how pretty it will look decorated next year when we celebrate our first Christmas in the house. More than anything I know that Richard and I will relax there - together, with the tree's blowing and the Cardinal visiting us.

Yes, they were happy tears today!


1 comment:

  1. Katherine: It's going to look great! I wish we could have an outdoor fireplace... It is never cold enough here for that. :-(