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Mid Century Home Renovation

jackpug
3 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

Hi, We're painting our Mid Century home exterior in BM Chantilly Lace and we're looking for a slightly off white color for the trim. We're painting the front door in a bright turquoise. The house has a strong Palm Springs style and that's what we're emulating. So far the only color that's a contender is White Dove. Does anyone have ideas for an off-white trim color? Thanks so much!


Comments (67)

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    oh my. dendrobiums? gorgeous!! He's very proud of his flowers! I'm lucky if I get one bloom every two years! and I water them w/the koi water!

    I did have this one Catt. smelled so good when it bloomed. I honestly don't know what's happened to it. had a really hot summer last year and I think it got trashed. or maybe I repotted it.


    same w/this one. haven't seen this bloom forever.


    have some oncidiums that do really well. they always bloom.

    do you guys do Vandas? I cannot get 3 of mine to bloom perfectly healthy, growing roots/leaves. they get koi water. maybe fertilizer? I've seen some in Florida that are ginormous w/all their roots!

    They all take up so much time. can't imagine having all the ones you do! maybe you need a koi pond? ;)

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Beth, we really grow all orchids and have many vandas. Vandas seem to be very popular here with beginners. At orchid shows they attract big crowds. Our dendrobiams never stop blooming. They like a LOT of sun. It's funny but all the fuss of orchids isn't as necessary as determining how much light each variety likes and what medium (if any) they prefer. We use only rain water on ours and feed them with time release Nutricote fertilizer as well as Jack's orchid food. Jack's can be hard to find sometimes but it's excellent. You might consider trying a change from the koi water. It may or may not be the best choice for them. They'll let you know what they like. In Africa and other places orchids grow wild and do perfectly well without intervention. I always say orchids have a very 'Aloha' attitude and roses are constantly stomping their feet like a two year old demanding attention. I'll post some orchid photos. The big pink cluster is a vanda. My husband has become very interested in some of the weirdo orchids these days. He's gotten several brassavola orchids lately, some which are very delicate with tiny flowers. The brasavola is the pink one growing on many stalks. He propagates orchids now and we give them to friends who show an interest to get them started. The orchid pic that is growing on the brick wall is a vanda! Would you have ever guessed? It puts out the most delicate flower. The yellow is the first orchid I bought...An oncidium called 'dancing lady' and the funny looking one is I believe a ladyslipper. He looks proud of his plants but really he's just happy because he'd been surfing. I can tell because he's wearing surf baggies. Here's an arrangement and I mix orchids with roses or anything and offer those to friends as well to

    use in their arrangements.






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  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago

    i just changed the vandas to the front courtyard where it's a tad cooler. in the back it gets all the afternoon sun, even though it's filtered, it's still hot. I'll see if it helps w/the blooms. I get new leaves and growing roots, just no flower. except the orange, sunburst one. it blooms twice a year. the purple/blue flowers are very finicky, apparently.

    your yard must be beautiful w/all the orchids and roses. and yes, I agree about roses. way too much drama. I've had the same ones for 35 years and they're enough.

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Beth, Orchids like the heat, I don't think it's a big issue. I suggest using the Nutricote time released fertilizer and the Jack's fertilizer and you'll see plenty of blooms. I also would try watering with tap water or rain water rather than the fish water. I'm not going to make suggestions on the light because the light is going to be different in Florida than in Ca. You'll see changes in the color of the leaves if they're getting too much light. If you see the leaves turning yellow then they're getting too much light.


    Also, most people overwater their orchids. You might try watering only when they're bone dry. We use the misting setting on the hose to water the vanda roots. It's hard to overwater the roots since you're not using any medium in your vandas. If you're using any sort of sphagnum moss in any orchids it's not a good idea. We always repot orchids we buy at random places and replace with an orchid potting mix medium. A lot of growers use cheap junk and orchids will die if you don't repot the orchid.


    We have switched to using clay pellets or clay balls for all our cattaleya orchids (they're on Amazon) and it's made a big difference. I won't go into it because it may not be of interest to you but it's been a good change.


    A steady diet of fish water may be an issue and changing to plain water and a high quality fertilizer is something I would try. Obviously some varieties of orchids bloom more often than others but your dendrobiums should bloom on a constant basis. They're always the very first orchid I give to people new to orchids. Vandas should bloom 2 to 3 times a year.


    Honestly, the biggest issue I see with orchids is overwatering and not feeding a good quality orchid food. The Nutricote is easy because it's time released to last for six months. I add occasional feedings with Jacks orchid food.


    Let me know how it goes! I'll get to house pictures soon. The painter still has quite a bit of work to do (basically fixing mistakes) and there's still a greasy film on the windows etc...But I'll start to show photos.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago

    I'll try the fertilizer. I don't always water w/koi water. maybe 1-2 times a week I'll dunk them in the pond for 10 seconds. otherwise, it's the hose w/the shower spray.

    I do let them dry out. every day they're bone dry! I have no medium w/them. just the way they came in those basket things. No yellow leaves yet. plenty of root growth, so they must be somewhat happy. maybe the fertilizer is what's needed. I do have a good orchid one I got from Normans Orchids. he's a big supplier out here.

    Thanks!

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Our house is finally painted and it turned out really nice. We're now shopping for specific palm trees and bamboo and will start looking for the new pavers that will lead to the front door. The old pavers will need to be ripped out. There will be two doors on the front door and I've never seen one like it. We've ordered the unique one that will be painted turquoise. We'll need to have the door transom torn out to put in the new doors and pavers. Here's just a peek at the wall that goes around the pool. It's not a big part of the house but it's a peek at the color. We use real cameras to take photos and we haven't finished taking photographing the whole house. My husband and I are professional photographers and a phone just doesn't do it sometimes.


    I'd like to change the name of this thread to Mid Century Renovation but am not sure how. The paint color has long been chosen. Chantilly Lace in Regal Benjamin Moore. It's on the entire house including the trim.


    If anyone (Beth?) knows how to get this conversation moved I hope it would help others with Mid Century homes doing remodeling and renovations. I also don't want to make the effort of making photos to post under a paint color thread. Also, loosing all of Beth's input would be a huge waste because the turquoise front door is going to be the focal point of the house and she's made a giant contribution in that regard as well as many others. It's going to come back later in the process and I don't want to loose anyones contributions.





  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago

    jackpug,,,(my vanda just sprung some new flower buds. must have heard me griping!)


    so, I love the color and your numbers. maybe back up so we can see more?


    I don't know if you can edit a title of a post. maybe add to it? not sure.


  • jackpug
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Beth, how would I contact a mod about the thread title? I'll have lots of photos...Would like to change the title first and also we're going to shoot the house using a camera. Am not happy with camera phone photos. We don't tend to use our phones except for garden shots. Haven't posted any camera photos yet except the two I just posted and those were taken because they're next to a palm tree we had to shoot that to send to someone with a palm nursery. We need to match the size of the existing palm so we wanted the photo to be as precise as possible.


    The house is on a corner and that wall is in a far corner to surround the pool. You'll see it's a small part of the house. It's not a big house but it's on a good sized lot so we have lots of room for gardens and the pool. I don't think most Mid Century houses were big. Not like houses built today. It's a 3-2 and probably 2500 sq feet. The living space was smaller when we bought it but we converted a covered screened 'Florida room' into part of the living space. The Florida room was undercover so we didn't have to change the roofline. We did add another fireplace (why, I don't know) although we used it more at one time. Two fireplaces in a central Florida home is one too many. I want to change the original one to gas though.


    So there will be lots more photos but I'd like to change the name of the thread first. Thanks if you can help. The house numbers were chosen as part of the restoration and they're on the front of the house too. Am glad you like them.


    Good for you on your vanda! We don't feed our orchids when they're blooming or have the buds like you're speaking of btw. We wait until they're done blooming. Just an orchid factoid fyi.

    : )

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    good to know about the blooming.

    as for changing the title, there is not a way to open up and edit your original post? click on your post, click Edit. can you do it like that? not on your phone. try it on a desktop computer.

    there are no mods. and customer service/tech service is absolutely abysmal

    you could also start a new thread and just copy this one and link it up in the post.

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    I was able to change the title on the first post. It's now correctly called Mid Century Home Renovation.


    You can see we're still getting rain in central Florida and hoping the storm named Elsa does not turn into a hurricane and hit us. We've had far too many hurricanes in the last few years.


    When the sun comes back out we'll take photos of the house using an actual camera! :) It is not a fancy house. It's a simple house with the benefit of having a lot of windows but not some fancy show off home. It's simple and part of the reason the choices we make on both the house and the landscaping are important is because it isn't a big dramatic show house.


    We're also going to renovate the pool and I really love our pool. It's a small lap pool with a row of 12 inch tile down the bottom of the pool. It had bamboo along one side but mealybugs got into it and we had to rip most of it out after many years. We saw a bamboo nursery owner yesterday and he's coming to the house tomorrow morning so we can determine how many plants we need to put in. He has one variety of bamboo that's extremely resistant to mealybugs which is the primary enemy of bamboo.


    The pool and the deck around it will probably be the last thing we do. We started with a new roof, a new AC system and the recent paint job. We've ordered a really amazing front door and will start to look for the porcelain pavers next that will lead from the driveway to the front door next week.


    The front door will be the most unique part of the house. Can't wait to see it.


    Pictures as soon as this storm passes!

  • lindacottonwood
    2 months ago

    jackpug Thank you for all the info on Orchids. Funny my husband is also a photographer and a couple of years ago he started having an interest in growing Orchids after he got one to rebloom. We have a Contemporary Ranch home with the inside done with MCM influences.

    Will be nice to see all your changes and progress. Praying the storm stays out of your path.

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Thank you Linda. I appreciate your well wishes regarding the storm!


    I hope your husband will continue to work with orchids. They're a rewarding plant and my feeling is they really do grow themselves. Time release fertilizer is a huge bonus and you don't have to worry about watering them constantly like you do with other flowering plants.


    I look forward to sharing all the photos as we continue. The paint alone has made a huge difference. This is the color it should have always been.


    We had a giant spectacular magnolia tree in the front yard as well as three holly trees, three huge podocarpus trees and orange trees. They all died a natural death. The magnolia dominated the front of the house and was struck by lightening and we had to have it removed. We hadn't really 'seen' the house for what it was with all the trees and without them the house stood naked and it was much more clear to us what it should look like.


    The magnolia was removed just a few years ago and then we removed awnings that were on all the windows before another storm and decided we liked the house without them and never put them back up.


    The more that we lost or left behind the clearer the house became to us. We had treated it like a ranch house because the landscaping was not consistent with a mid century home. The original owner of the house had planted trees everywhere and we did remove some of her plantings but removing huge beautiful hollies and a magnolia never occurred to us. We let the trees and landscaping dictate how we treated the house and it should be the other way around. The house should dictate the landscaping.

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    The sun came out for a bit...






  • jackpug
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    You can see a red brick path leading from the drive to the front door. That is going to be replaced with a small paver. We haven't started shopping for it yet but it needs to be small because the path has some small pointed edges and the paver will go into the front door and be in the foyer. The house is a split level and the foyer has a small space inside the front door that's on a lower lever so it's a perfect space to bring a different material into. We're looking at what are called concrete pavers and travertine and any sort of small outdoor paver. Coquina etc...There are a lot of choices. Ideas are welcomed! Please share pictures. We can do a border but we're not sure yet if we want to do that.


    The door is a bright red and is the same color that is was and will remain that way until the new doors come in and the pavers are down. The new door will be turquoise and the only other turquoise will be the house numbers in front. Those will be painted last.


    We are planting three palm threes on the side of the house next to the hedge where there are Corinthian Irises planted now and another palm directly across from the one next to the wall. It will be planted in the sod quite aways away but directly across from it.


    Behind the wall is the pool. It needs to be redone because it needs to be remarcited. There will be new tiles put down on the bottom and along the edges of the pool. We chose a glass tile but may look again as they are really expensive but beautiful. New bamboo will be planted along the edge of the pool area. The bamboo person didn't show this morning but that's part of the process. People don't always do what they say they'll do when they say they'll do it. It takes patience! Maybe he had a good reason but he's the person we're going to work with.


    I've been waiting on a roman shade I ordered on Etsy many months ago and I have it on my calendar that it's to be shipped tomorrow. We shall see.


    If you have ideas or experience on pavers please share!

  • lindacottonwood
    2 months ago

    Lovely home! Not sure what your timeline is for needing the pavers. In our area, High desert of Arizona, delivery of pavers is about 8 weeks out. I'm sure your Landscape person knows about

    all that. Yes patience is needed indeed.



  • Sarah
    2 months ago

    Love your home and it looks stunning with that white. Hope your new doors arrive soon- the turquoise will be great. Out of curiosity, why are you changing out the brick path? It looks really nice in the photos. Pavers are likely on a long lead time like most materials these days.

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Thank you for your thoughts and I certainly appreciate the kind words.

    We had NOT given any thought to pavers being on a long wait list. Somehow we'd assumed it would be like choosing tile from Floor and Decor where they have stacks and stacks of subway tile etc...Thank you for the heads up on that. Our landscape architect has recently retired and we only just sent him detailed photos of the bricks as he hadn't seen them in some time. It's something we hadn't discussed yet as we've been picking his brain on the palms and bamboo.

    He did tell us that the 'French pattern' we liked wouldn't be an option because we would need to use small pavers and just tonight we said, "Thank goodness he told us that before we started shopping!" A French pattern is regarding the way pavers are laid. Usually a large square, a rectangle and a smaller square are all used so the size of the pavers are varied.

    As far as keeping the red brick...We don't feel it works with the house anymore. We want a light colored simple natural stone. The brick would be more fitting for a ranch or lots of other styles but we don't think it's right for the house anymore. The door we're putting on is unlike any I've ever seen.

    I woke up one night at three a.m., went online and found it entirely by accident. I was surprised my husband liked it as much as I did. It will be the focal point of the house and the brick wouldn't work with it and in fact would compete with it. We want a paver that doesn't stand out like the brick does but I'm glad you like it. My husband rented the saw needed and laid them himself. He's a perfectionist and can build furniture and do just about anything so they worked for many years.

    I cringe when I look at the before pictures of the house. As I said the landscape dictated what we did with the house but it's finally beginning to look like it was meant to look in our estimation. The inside has high ceilings and a lot of natural light but as I said isn't a huge house like so many people want today.

    Linda, did you recently put pavers down? There are at least three houses in our neighborhood with stacks of pavers in the driveway so I didn't think their was a problem but perhaps those people waited a very long time for theirs.

    I'll be sure to let you know what we learn.

  • Laurie Gordon
    2 months ago

    Love your home, and the white looks fabulous. Mid Century homes always say style!

  • houssaon
    2 months ago

    Thanks for the update. I think the home looks so crisp.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    jackpug,,, it's so crisp looking. can't wait to see the door.

    I see what you mean about the brick.

    what do you think about using a masonry paint over them?

    Romabio Masonry Flat (you can tint it to any color) may be an option. you have nothing to lose if you plan on removing them for something new.


    you could do something like this color or wash to lighten them (this is actually a home in Florida)


    otherwise, I'd do something that looks more mcm


    smaller or larger cement pavers


    this one is cool w/the gray/charcoal cobble pavers, mixed w/the larger cement pavers and small pebble


    Artline/Unilock in a charcoal (i'd get the Romabio in a darker charcoal/gray colors and try 'painting' your brick first. get a few sample jars to try it)








    here's two slate options. a gray slate flagstone



    Gray slate in rectangle layouts.



  • lindacottonwood
    2 months ago

    We built our home 2 years ago but have an ongoing of custom homes in our immediate area.

    The homes needing pavers now are waiting at least 2 months. If you can lay them yourselves that is a huge benefit. We have one neighbor that has waited 4 months just to get them put in. Mind you they aren't going with just any person. It is a lot of pavers that I'm sure requires more skill.

    We move here from Sunny San Diego. Landscaping has proved to be the biggest challenge.


    The house should dictate the landscaping.

    You are right about that.


  • jackpug
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Thank you Laurie and Houssaon. Laurie, I used to joke that mid century was just another word for old house but I hadn't really appreciated our own house. Houssaon, our landscape architect used the word crisp when he saw the pictures the first time. He's really pleased. He used the word drab for what it looked like before and he's a very kind person and rarely says an unkind word. I'm happy with crisp and it feels fresh to us. The neighbors have all given a thumbs up although we had one neighbor say something funny.


    My husband was on a ladder cleaning the windows because the painters left a mess! She saunters over...She's probably in her mid seventies and she says, "I have some thoughts." My husband keeps working and he's very! friendly and says 'Sure, what are your thoughts?' without stopping what he was doing. "Well, the bricks on the side of the house that are raised?" (The middle section of bricks are raised.) 'Those need some color,.' Okay, he says, what else?...(he knew I'd love this conversation.) 'I'm still thinking' she said. Indeed. That's the only commentary we've heard other than genuinely head over heals thumbs up from our friends and neighbors.


    I'll find some before photos but it really was drab and the color did nothing for the house. We had it painted 15 years ago by a painter who did a fabulous job and it lasted a very long time.


    I need to post this as the screen just jumped. Beth, I want to talk about your pictures and thoughts!



  • jackpug
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Shoot, I posted another comment but it's gone?


    Beth, I mentioned your idea of painting the pavers to my husband but he said it wouldn't last and that any high points would wear differently than a lower point. It was a good idea though! Thank you. You're a constant source of good ideas and inspiration.


    The first picture you posted is very close to what we're thinking of! Even our front door area is similar with the step up.


    I'll post some photos of our front door area so you can see what we're working with. I didn't really show any pictures of the front door. It's a bright pinkish red now with the original vertical wavy pane of glass next to it. It works fine for now and I'll show what the new door will look like.


    I just baked a cherry clafoutis because the cherries are so good right now. I'd never made one before but I saw a recipe and it's very easy and came out great and is delicious. Give it a try if you've got fresh cherries on hand.


    Beth, we have large beds with those grey large rounded pebble rocks in them. The rock store has been out of them for a long time so I have no doubt that the pavers will be a wait as some are saying. Our neighbors were having theirs put in a few weeks ago and my husband got a card from the the person in charge. None spoke English. They did a nice job and that's what we care about.


    With the pool, pavers, palms, bamboo, and front doors still to go plus assorted other issues it will take time and I'm okay with that. Everything is a process and I'm a patient person. I don't enjoy the shopping process as much though. I don't like wandering big tile stores. I prefer the landscaping shopping and being outdoors.


    Our painters were a nightmare but they're gone. My husband has had to go behind them to fix the mess they made. He painted the windows himself and told them not to touch the windows. They put tape on them and pulled off the oil enamel paint he used when they ripped off the tape. That all had to be sanded and repainted. Some people just want the money and don't care if they do a lousy job. Others knock themselves out to do a good job. Those are the people I remember and refer.


    Thank you again for the encouragement, ideas and the heads up on the paver shortage. It all helps.

  • Sarah
    2 months ago

    Stone pavers will look gorgeous of course! Last summer we lucked out to get bluestone 2’ square pavers for our patio- at that time there were no composite or concrete pavers available (we wanted bluestone anyway). Once you decide on your materials go ahead and order then they’ll be ready when the labor is ready!

    I hear you about the smaller homes. Yours doesn’t look small slat all but a perfect size. My home is 1343 sf for 2 adults and 2 teens. What began as our plan to stay 5-8 years has turned into 13 with likely staying for 7-8 more. Since we don’t have $2M to move, I’m fine with it. Easy to clean quickly, too! And once the kids are off to college over the next 2-4 years it’ll be just right for us.

    Can’t wait to your new door!

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Sarah, I'd love to see pics of your pavers! Do you have any to share? Thank you.


    I posted some close up photos of our brick path to better show and give you an idea what we're working with but they're not showing up on Houzz. I don't know why. I'll try again.


    Sarah, I'm glad your house is working for you size wise. Our house is about 2500 sq feet and it's just my husband and me. It's funny but our driveway is bigger than the house by about 100 feet.


    Here are the current brick pavers. Am going to post one and see if it shows up and then post the rest.


  • jackpug
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Finally, not sure why it didn't post before. Here are more. They're out of order! I also need to shoot the step up to the front door. I'll shoot it tomorrow. We've had nothing but rain here but no storms so am grateful.






  • jackpug
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Here's a photo of the front door...Taken on a rainy day. Looks a lot brighter in full sun. The door 'people' called the glass rain glass and it's original. We'd like to keep it. To put the new doors in (there are two...One will go in front of the other), they will have to rip out the entire door transom but we'd like to keep the original rain glass. Our landscape architect friend was here today and he happened to mention if we want to keep the original mailbox to paint it white. I agree.

    the new pavers will need to go into the front door and into the foyer. There's a lower level so it won't interfere with the rest of the floor.

    We want to buy a new modern stone, wire or something to replace the chair so packages and whatever can be left there and not on the floor. I haven't started to shop yet but imagine it will be easiest to find online. We're not thinking of putting a chair there but a stand of some sort. Something simple and modern.

    We'd love to find an amazing ceiling light!

    Any ideas on pavers, a table or light would be appreciated...Thank you for looking.

    (Am feeling a little worn from 'looking' at palm trees and bamboo. Am going to need to find someone with a grinder or something to dig up the existing bamboo by our pool. I'll share the before pictures. That might be my favorite area when it's done but it's a bit of a mess now.


  • jackpug
    Original Author
    last month

    Wanted to share that we've decided to try something on the long brick walkway that my husband watched a youtube video on. He would trowel a cement thin set over it and then sponge it off and then paint it. If we wanted it he could put a finish over that but the videos I've looked at with him show a pretty great look for next to nothing with the cement then paint. With the step up and inside foyer we would match a shell/coquina tile that matches the paint color.


    My husband walks 10 miles a day and takes pictures of old and new houses and very few have walkways that match the step up and entryway. The majority of new houses are using pavers and people don't want those at their front doors.


    My husband put the original pavers down himself so I'm sure anything he does will be beautiful. Also, if we don't like it we can always retile it.


    It would save us many many thousands of dollars to not have pavers put on this walkway. It's long! I'd rather put that money towards our pool if possible. We have 10,000 earmarked on having the pool retiled and resurfaced so not putting in new pavers would be a huge savings. I'll share pictures when he redoes it.

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    last month

    We got lucky and found a beautiful Florida limestone tile today. I haven't snapped a pic yet but it's white and blond mixed and best of all it's in stock! We'll try to match the color on the walkway and if we don't like the look of it we'll use this tile there as well, replacing the tile that's there. I think the coating and painting process may work out well though.


    We had to find the tile for the step up and indoor foyer first before we could coat and paint the walkway to match. We got lucky to find a tile we like that's available!

  • krdpm
    last month

    Just want to say... I love your house! Think you're doing a great job, and I look forward to seeing the final pics :)

    jackpug thanked krdpm
  • Sarah
    last month

    Beautiful walkway and excellent brick work. I like your idea to update. Here’s my patio with the bluestone. This pic is from early spring well before the plants have filled in.

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    last month

    Krdpm, thank you for your kind comment. I appreciate it and am glad you're reading. If you have any ideas please chime in.


    Sarah, Your pavers are lovely. Can you tell me how they've been laid? Were you able to just set them in an area carved out of the grass or are they in cement? I'd love to hear about your process for putting them down. Did you have someone at home able to put them down or did you use a professional?


    What a great area to sit outside and enjoy the day, have dinner, read a book...Did you put up an umbrella or do you not need one where you are? It's charming. I'm so glad you shared. Do you move the furniture inside before the rain or how do you manage that?


    Looking at your pavers I'll share that my husband and I went back and forth between gray and a more golden tone. He was leaning towards gray and I wanted the white/gold stone. Yours make a good case for gray although I don't know what your house looks like. Our pool deck is grey and it always looks good without a lot of effort so I'm a fan of gray.


    I"m a fan Sarah! Thank you for sharing.


    I'll post photos of our pavers as soon as the pictures come into my email box. They're slow sometimes.

  • Sarah
    last month

    Our home is a Dutch Colonial, with painted cedar shakes (1930 home). But my husband and I love modern furniture! We had the patio installed for us- living outside of Boston means we have to deal with frozen ground and it required quite a bit of work. Our little yard had a dump truck in it! It was amazing to watch them work to level the yard, add all the required layers below, then properly slope the sanded bed before they lay the stones. Took the team 8 working days for our project. The furniture can stay out year round, just covered with the outdoor covers. I have teak and iron furniture on our deck. Only the iron furniture goes below deck for the winter. The teak stays out uncovered just fine. We brush off the snow if we have more than a foot. We put in the patio so we could have a heater and extend our outdoor time since the cold weather is 6-9 months of the year! No umbrella is needed as our deck is shaded by lunchtime in high summer so we lots of sitting options.

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    last month

    Boston is one of favorite towns anywhere! It makes me smile to imagine being able to leave your furniture out in the snow and to be able to sit outside without an umbrella in the summer. It gets so hot in Florida! I was gardening over the weekend and waited until 5 pm and I almost fainted from the heat. I'm sure it's hot right now in Boston but not sweltering like it is here.


    I'm glad you had the foresight to do your pavers 'right'. They'll last forever and you added to the resale value of your home too. They really are lovely. It's like adding to the square footage of your home when you add outdoor space that you really use. Well done.

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    last month

    Here are the Florida limestone pavers we chose for the step up at our front door and for the foyer inside. We'll try coating the existing brick (the herringbone pattern will show) and then painting it to match this tile first. If we don't like it we'll change our plan.. I have a feeling it will work fine.


    The tiles aren't laid out straight in the photos but they would be in a herringbone pattern also,






  • Sarah
    last month

    Oh those look beautiful! Can’t wait to see when you are done!

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    last month

    I'm posting this for two reasons...


    One is to show the blog post that gave my husband the idea of doing this to our red walkway, although he'll do ours somewhat differently and two, hopefully to help others with a similar dilemma save money by trying something similar on their home.


    Her brick had different textures so it didn't take the thin set evenly but I think it worked out well on their house. Our red brick pavers have an even texture so we expect them to take the thin set more evenly.


    My husband is going to add a bonding agent to the thin set so it will get into all the porous parts of our brick pavers and basically 'sticks' to the bricks. He'll mist down the bricks beforehand because that will help in the process too. With the heat index it's over 100 degrees in Florida right now so he'll wait until it cools off and do it on a cloudy day.


    I thought this was a great 'fix' for their house and it's what gave my husband the idea to try it on our house.


    The bid we got just for the work to lay new pavers was 7000.00. That includes removing the entire walkway and pouring a new pad. I mentioned they couldn't just put a thin paver on top of the existing walkway because the code has changed and it would be too high of a step up from the driveway.


    Before I paste a link to her blog post I'll share that I'll post pictures of work that's been done by our pool. My husband had tried removing a tremendous amount of bamboo himself and realized it would take a machine to do it. Nobody could get anything bigger than a stump grinder back there without taking down part of the block wall.


    We paid someone to use a stump grinder and after he'd taken out the bamboo he said he couldn't go any deeper and the roots of the bamboo were still there. Our intention is to have all new bamboo planted (a different variety) and we could see that he'd only removed roots that were 12 inches deep.


    After he'd been paid including for a lot of work he didn't do as the contract said 'removing roots' my husband went out and worked all day with a shovel and got the roots out. He sent an email to the contractor who had a crew with him and told them they'd stopped trying too soon and been paid for work they could have done with more effort.


    I'll share before and after photos soon.


    Here's the post about a red brick walkway...https://notinggrace.com/how-to-install-and-mortar-wash-a-herringbone-brick-patio/

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    last month

    This is a note to Beth H. if she's still reading. Beth gave me some of the best ideas and in fact I still look at her front door colors while we wait for the door to be delivered. We were talking about what to do with the front walkway about a month ago.


    Beth wrote: what do you think about using a masonry paint over them?

    Romabio Masonry Flat (you can tint it to any color) may be an option. you have nothing to lose if you plan on removing them for something new.


    She's posted her comment about a month ago suggesting that we paint the front walkway saying that we had nothing to loose if we didn't like it. I read her comment aloud to my husband and he said it wouldn't work because the high points would wear differently than the low points and we moved on.


    It was after reading the post I shared earlier today that he thought by using a thin-set first he could fill all the cracks first and even it out and then paint.


    I'd ordered some smallish rugs from a great company that 'made it' from their shop in our home town and they've become popular on a national level. One of the rugs they sent was wrong and we made three different trips there, all on consequent Saturdays and I went inside while he sat in the car. Each time he stared at their red brick stairs that had been painted white. They were unevenly worn and looked a bit like the photo from the girl's blog post and I think that seeing that and reading about the thin-set made him want to try. Her bricks are very uneven which isn't a look that would work for us but did for them but it made him think. Also, getting a bid of 7000.00 for labor only might have made him start thinking differently but Beth was on the right track long before we were although I read her comment aloud to my husband when she first posted it.


    It's not the first time Beth H. was ahead of us. At the beginning of this we were thinking of painting the trim of the house a light gray. She said 'why? Just paint it all white.' or something to that point and it made me realize we were over thinking it. We did paint it all white but I kept everything the same finish which nobody but me seemed to be in favor of but it turned out nicely.


    So I want to say that Beth H. had the idea about painting the steps before my husband decided on thin-set. He knew paint alone wouldn't work but she was two steps ahead of us by suggesting we try something ourselves and if we don't like it it wouldn't matter if we're planning on tearing it out anyway. I just showed my husband the post again and her mention of Romabio Masonry Flat and he said he'll get it if it's still in stock. As everyone knows lots of things aren't.


    So thank you Beth H!




  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month

    jackpug....how nice of you to write that! thank you. I can't wait to see how all of this turns out! I saw the other pavers you were looking at (ordered?) and really like them.

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    last month

    Betb, you really did help and I enjoyed talking with you about your koi and all things plant related too! I'm currently trying to learn about bonsai after having owned one for some time and then recently buying another. It's not an easy plant art to learn...at least for me.


    We haven't ordered any tiles yet. The tiles are in stock. Our landscape architect friend stopped by yesterday and loved them so my husband will go by and pick them up. (Before somebody else does!) He'll only need enough to do the 'stoop' and the indoor foyer.


    We have to wait until it's not so hot before he does the walkway and we're in the process of buying three foxtail palm trees for the side of the house and will have bamboo professionally planted behind our pool soon too. The three foxtail palms have to 'match' so that's been a little more of a challenge to find.


    I'll post photos of our pool area where the old bamboo was. The before and now and soon the after. It's kind of grim looking now.


    I'll share a photo of a fortail palm too. The foxtails and the bamboo should happen fairly quickly.


    Our final landscape project is the biggest and that's to have three bismarck palms planted in the front yard. Landscape architects often plant things using in a checkmark pattern. They use odd numbers usually and if you picture a check mark you'll see a standard pattern they use frequently. It's hard for me to see when things are in the ground but it makes perfect sense.


    My degree and background is in Fine Art and artists tend to work with odd numbers rather than even. Meaning a painter doing an extremely simple landscape would not put the horizon line in the center of the page but rather divide the page in thirds...Both on the horizontal and on the verticle. It's more pleasing to the eye as even numbers are 'expected'. My husband and I are both photographers and dividing a picture plane is probably not unlike what landscape architects do when they divide space but for whatever reason I have difficult 'seeing' the way they see. I understand it but I can't conceive it. If I could I wouldn't need a landscape architect.


    Anyway, he has us planting three bismarck palms in our front yard in the checkmark pattern and I'm still getting used to the idea. They're also an extremely expensive tree so it's going to take me time to wrap my head around it.


    The foxtail is not inexpensive but compared to the bismarck it's not as big of a project as far as the budget goes. We just got the news or idea yesterday about the bismarck palms and my husband and I both think the bismarck is beautiful and our landscape architect said "It screams midcentury'.


    The bismarck palm is also called a silver palm for obvious reasons. We don't see them often. I'm sure I'll be learning more about them.


    Here's a foxtail palm....The one that we'll get three alike of to plant on the side of our house. I posted a photo above with a hedge in it and they will go in the bed next to the hedge. This photo of the foxtail doesn't show how pretty the fronds are...the trunk too. They're self-cleaning so the fronds fall off on their own and don't have to be trimmed...A big plus. I think they're one of the prettier palms though. We're on the border of the 'freeze' zone for them. We haven't had a hard freeze since 2010 but in 2010 all the foxtails in this part of Florida died.




    And here's a bismarck palm below...Kind of a short one but for whatever reason tall ones are hard to find. This one is exceptionally short but it shows how silver the leaves are and how incredibly full they are. Unlike any other palm I've seen. Our landscape architect said to get one with 4 feet of clear trunk, one with 6 feet of clear trunk and one with 8 feet. Clear trunk refers to how many feet of the tree is actually trunk. Sometimes palm tree nurseries will trim the fronds super high to say there's more feet of clear trunk than there really is. I don't know if they could do that with the bismarck but they do with lots of other palms.







  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month

    wow. those palms are really nice. being in so cal we have tons of palms around here too. I have a super tall one in the back (date palm? queen anne palm? not sure) that grows those orange fruit pods. they drop, make a huge mess and little palms sprout from them. The fronds don't drop so it's a chore to have someone climb and cut down everything. I hate palms!

    we rarely freeze. maybe once in a blue moon it will get down to 36 for a day or two in december/jan, but it's very rare. I'm only 30 miles or so from the beach. further inland gets colder. prob the same as where you are.

    I totally understand the placement thing. As soon as you talked about3rds, I started to think about photography. (I used to be in to it in my younger days). Thought about how most people always center their subject when offsetting them to 1/3 actually looks better.


    Little buggers are hard to photograph! I purposely cropped it so that they weren't centered. (maybe i'm wrong w/these? I have a few that are centered. I guess it just depends on the whole subject matter)



    sorry, I always get off subject! lol.

    What kind of bamboo are you doing? do they plant that straight into the ground? I know that stuff spreads something fierce and thought it had to be contained. I like the foxtail palm. never knew the name of it. Sagos are popular out here too but they get very wide. I have one in a container that's been there for 20 years. I should really do something w/it besides shoving it in a corner. It's just been so hot the past month. mid -high 90's every. single. day. horrible. You guys have the humidity though. I went to miami in August once. It was hell. literally. I couldn't live there. we had a few days last week where it was 80% humidity (after a short rainstorm) and I didn't even step outside. my plants loved it, my hair, not so much.

    Looking forward to seeing this yard when your guy is finished.

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    HI Beth, photographing birds in your backyard can be a challenge. I think you did a good job. The third image is your best one. Have you read about depth of field at all? It will help you to understand an important concept. It's a topic that's necessary to understand if you decide to take up photography seriously again...Read about that and it will help you understand why it's important and how you can control it with your camera settings.

    The bamboo we bought many years ago was not a clumping bamboo and traveled our of control and became invasive. Bamboo species that are available now have changed quite a lot and the one we're putting in next is called 'Graceful bamboo' or Bambusa Textilis Gracilis. It's pretty much the only bamboo people plant people are installing...Not the only bamboo but it's the most popular bamboo for residential purposes. It's a clumping bamboo so it will get very tall but won't 'travel' and won't become invasive.

    We left a massive bougainvillea plant/tree because when it grows in between the bamboo and it's beautiful. It's a hot pink flower and I don't remember planting it but we had it in big pots next to the pool and somehow it began growing many, many years ago and I wouldn't be able to wrap my hand around the trunk now...It's huge. So we had them dig around it and I'm glad we did.

    There's so much space in one corner we've considered putting a studio space in. One of those buildings that you buy as a kit and put in yourself. I no longer have a studio at home to draw and do mixed media in and my husband knows I'm missing it. Something like this. https://allwoodoutlet.com/allwood-solvalla-172-sqf-kit-cabin-free-shipping

    I don't see why we would have a porch space but it just gives an idea of what we're talking about My husband and I need to talk about it more.

    It's funny but palm trees in Florida and palm trees in California are often very different. You would be hard pressed tp find a foxtail palm in California because they grow in the kind of heat you experienced in Miami. They grow near Miami and growers here have them brought up to central Florida to sell. They'll grow here after they're well established but they're only grown in two areas in Florida and both are down near Miami.

    Miami in August would be hell for me too. The last time I was in the Florida Keys it was January and it was heavenly. I wore sleeveless dresses and sandals and it was beautiful. The temperatures in Florida vary tremendously. I used to love spending time in Miami but it's changed a lot. It has great Cuban food though.

    Beth, I've started learning about bonsai and it's so fascinating, I bought a small jade bonsai at a market 10 years ago but ended up treating it like a houseplant. Finally it got so gangly I knew it needed to be repotted and pruned. I watched a lot of youtube videos before I did anything. When I repotted it the roots didn't look like I 'd hope they would so I started to study. The jade is doing fine but at the same time that I repotted the jade we came across another small bonsai called a fukien tea at a nursery and I bought it to grow indoors. My husband decided to set it outdoors in the sun one day and it got scorched. I have no idea why he did that but he didn't take the instruction that I did from the man selling it. We didn't have masks on and even though we were outdoors he was right to stand back. I listened to the seller carefully but stuff happens. I'm hoping it will survive but these two things happening got me started studying this fascinating art form. There are quite a few bonsai nurseries not too far from us but we haven't had a chance to go to one yet.

    My husband did pick up the pavers today and they really are pretty. I love the way they feel. As a native of Florida I'm always barefoot and they are so smooth. I like the way they feel when I rub my hand over them.

    I'll get pictures posted of the bamboo area by our pool.. Our neighbor have an obnoxious oak tree and its roots are causing problems for us and the leaves get into our pool. It's not a live oak which we treasure in Florida but a laurel oak which are just junk. They do tremendous damage during hurricanes because their roots are not strong like the live oak and they fall down easily. This one is going to end up on their roof but they don't have the sense to figure it out. It takes all kinds I guess.

    Keep making photos of your wonderful hummingbirds. I wish we got more of them. We get a few but probably not nearly as many as you do in Ca.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    so those pics were taken w/a zoom lens on my nikon D5500. it's just the cheap lens 16-80 and I have a another zoom to 150? I believe. I understand depth and f-stops, but this particular lens needs a lot of light. adjusting the f-stop wasn't really an option. some of those others may have been done w/another lens. Can't remember!

    I know you don't want the background (depth) to be in focus so you want to open the f-stop, yes? larger lens opening blurs the background?

    This one for instance, I wish the background was blurrier.

    It says on the info "16.0-80 mm f/2.8-4.0 (same as the one you like on my previous comment. same readings)


    this info says the same, but the background is blurrier (same tree) I may have been farther away?


    AGain, same parameters. But they're a little dark. (and ugly background. I tried to move the feeder to diff spots, in order to get better backgrounds)


    The bird is super crisp on this one, difficult to get w/these guys. I know this particular lens sucks up the light. I just didn't want to drop thousands for the better one!

    this was my Cannon at 75-300mm with f/4.5-6


    I have on bonsai my son gave me almost 5 years ago. I have transplanted it, but I do nothing else w/it. water it every 3 days. I know nothing more about them!

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    last month

    Depth of field is controlled by the f stop and the camera lens and a few lesser aspects you won't need to worry about. While it's true that you generally want the background to be out of focus when you're shooting a bird and it's important to understand so you can work quickly between stopping motion via the shutter speed and working in low light. Some lenses are so expensive because they're faster, meaning they open to a wider aperture or f stop and allow the photographer to shoot in lower light without sacrificing their shutter speed. That's really only for pros so don't worry about it. (meaning fast lenses) Understanding depth of field is critical so you can control it and take advantage of working with a fast shutter speed to stop motion. You can't usually have both unless you're in very bright light.


    It's important to take a class...Not only to learn tech info but more to see others work and they yours and to get feedback from a teacher and students as well.


    The birds could be a bit larger ideally and something that's easier to explain in person with other pictures to show the point but when shooting animals or people you don't want to put someones face pointing too close to the edge of the frame. It creates tension. Sometimes it's done on purpose for that purpose with people but your third hummingbird is an example. In a perfect world I'd turn him around so he were facing the other way. He's so close to the frame but if he were turned it would give him space to fly into so to speak. Does that make sense? The background is lovely and the bird is sharp but I'd just like to see him placed on the other side of the frame.


    On the first two images I'd like to see the bird larger and the background much like the background in the third photo.


    That is not the critique I'd give a complete beginner. You want to leave someone with the idea that they want to take more pictures...Not that they failed in any way. You most certainly didn't. I know your sense of design is strong so I'm sharing that with you because I know you can take it so to speak. I like that you have an understanding of depth of field but work at either using a longer lens or just getting closer if you can and making the birds a larger part of the composition...Like in the third shot. If you bird were right where he was but turned around it would be a truly great bird shot.


    Be aware of the background. It's hard to separate the bird or animal from what's behind it and the animal isn't going to move so it means you need to move next time. You want to make it stand out as much as you can. Sometimes I see people never crouch down and take all their photos while standing. Try changing positions and moving in general to change the background. That's why the depth of field (wide aperture) or a long lens of both was used here...The depth of field is so shallow the bird stands out beautifully.


    The most important thing? Keep shooting! You won't get better and better unless you do and you're doing well now so keep it up and please keep sharing. You can even use your phone if it'a all you have with you. I hate to but I do. It makes me feel lazy and there's no substitute for a 'real' camera but we usually have it with us and it's okay to use it. You can learn to take better pictures than the next person with it too.


    Thank you for sharing Beth. I'd enjoy seeing more.




  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month

    well thank you! It;s been a long time since I took a photo class (HS actually) Totally makes sense about what you're saying. I don't have the photoshop expertise to turn things but I know that's done, yes? I think what I did in that one is cropped out the bird feeder. that's why I couldn't get him to face the other direction. in order to take the shots, I had to have the feeder close by, and then cropped it out of the photo.

    While I could get pretty close to these guys, the lens I was using was sub-par. Oh to have one of those fancy lenses!

    I'm a big Peter Lik and Thomas Mangelsen fan and have a few pieces of their work.

    This leopard photo is from the latter. it's my fave piece. I just love this print. photo of it doesn't do it justice. the blue green of the tree is gorgeous. He also shoots w/Kodachrome!


    thanks for all of the pointers! I appreciate it. I rarely get outside w/my camera any more. no excuse really. It was my career of choice back in HS. was all set to go off to a commercial photog school, but one slight change happened and it completely altered my career path (happily). I did continue w/my camera, but it was just a hobby.

    One more, if you don't mind?

    I came across this cool oak tree.

    this was mid-day, so not the best lighting.

    Played around w/some high contrast black and white


    then went back in the later afternoon to try and get diff vantage points.





    what would you have tried? I couldn't back up much further because there is a drop off on the road. I tried every angle. close-ups, etc. wondering what you see? thank you so much for giving me pointers! I know this topic has veered, but I am looking forward to seeing your photos when you guys are finished. In the interim...... lol

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    well thank you! It;s been a long time since I took a photo class (HS actually) Totally makes sense about what you're saying. I don't have the photoshop expertise to turn things but I know that's done, yes? I think what I did in that one is cropped out the bird feeder. that's why I couldn't get him to face the other direction. in order to take the shots, I had to have the feeder close by, and then cropped it out of the photo.


    While I could get pretty close to these guys, the lens I was using was sub-par. Oh to have one of those fancy lenses!

    I tried enlarging him, since you said he needs to be bigger?

    the original and a cropped. yay-nay? would have been nice to freeze those wings, but I was losing light and the cheap lens couldn't do it. Oh to have an 8K zoom lens! I think the picture would have looked better if the wings were crisp like his body. w/the wings blurry like the background, there is no distinct delineation and the subject kind of gets lost? (am I on the right track??)

    (This is the male Rufous hummingbird. rather small. vibrant autumn coloring!


    I edited the other pic to enlarge him . again, couldn't freeze the wings on this one.


    I'm a big Peter Lik and Thomas Mangelsen fan and have a few pieces of their work.

    This leopard photo is from the latter.

    it's my fave piece. I just love this print. photo of it doesn't do it justice. the blue green of the tree is gorgeous. He also shoots w/Kodachrome!



    thanks for all of the pointers! I appreciate it. I rarely get outside w/my camera any more. no excuse really. It was my career of choice back in HS. was all set to go off to a commercial photog school, but one slight event one day happened and it completely altered my career path (happily). I did continue w/my camera, but it was just a hobby.



    One more, if you don't mind?

    I came across this cool oak tree.

    this was mid-day, so not the best lighting. Here's just the overall shot


    Played around w/some high contrast black and white


    then went back in the later afternoon to try and get diff vantage points.


    I think using a wide angle lens might have worked from this spot. Again, I don't have a very good one that won't distort too much




    (I prob should try going in the morning to see the diff lighting)

    what would you have tried? I couldn't back up much further because there is a drop off on the road. I tried every angle. close-ups, etc. wondering what you see? thank you so much for giving me pointers! I know this topic has veered, but I am looking forward to seeing your photos when you guys are finished. In the interim...... lol

  • Alice Edwards
    last month

    Beth, i see a carving!!??

  • jackpug
    Original Author
    last month

    Beth, I want to strongly suggest you take a class. It will really help you in a profound way to have other people to bounce off of. It's important for growth and also to get your creative juices flowing.


    I always took my classes on field trips to shoot and so we could be out of the classroom sometimes. I'd suggest a night class at an art center. Nights because other adults who work during the day tend to get out more at night, and an art center because they attract all kinds of interesting people.


    If a local college is closer and easier then that can work too. It's really about who's teaching. If you hear good things about that person then that's a good sign.


    Yes, pros use photoshop but the purpose of being a pro is so you don't need to. The idea is to get it right without having to spend more time in photoshop. Edit it right, expose it correctly, frame it...all said nobody wants to spend more time than they need to on a job, so photoshop is more for doing things you can't do when you're shooting. Removing smoke from fireworks for instance. It's not possible to do that in the camera.


    I can't say what I would have done because I wasn't there. It's about what you see when you're there. Another person may shoot from the same location but at something in a different direction. It's about expressing who you are, not who somebody else is.


    I like the black and white version but I loved working in a darkroom and that works well in B&W.

    The next to last picture has nice light streaming through the trees...


    Please take a class. I think you have something that wants to express itself via a camera and I encourage you to keep shooting. I taught for many years, both creative photography and technical photography for NASA on the shuttle program. I don't miss teaching but I sincerely do hope you'll pursue photography.


    That's funny Alice noticed the carving in the tree. Were you trying to shoot that Beth?





  • jackpug
    Original Author
    last month

    Beth, I forgot to say that yes, it's a good idea to go back and shoot the same subject at different times of day. Photographers call the time when the sun is just rising and also setting 'magic hour' and it's the most desired time of day to shoot.


    I used to give assignments to do just that though. To shoot a subject early in the morning, mid-day and late in the day. You'll be surprised how dramatically different the images will look just because of the light. You're shooting the light as much as you're shooting the subject.


    There are times when I shoot into the sun though...to get that 'flare'. It's something of an art form to get that burst or star of light in your image but don't be afraid to try things. Learn the rules first and then try breaking a few.


    The problem is when people get a stellar result they don't know what they did to get it so sometimes it's a good idea to keep notes when you're experimenting so you can do it again.


    I hope you'll keep making photos because I've seen your furniture and other creative efforts and all that crosses over. Keep at it!

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    jackpug,,yes, I did mention going at two diff times and possibly going back in the morning.

    I did try to get light streaming through. a little sun flare!



    thank you so much for the kind critique. I will look around for some local classes and see what's offerered.


    No, I wasn't trying to shoot the carvings, they are just local lover initials!


    I'm sure you're thoroughly tired of looking at this tree, so I'll stop now. lmao

    poor tree has taken a beating. it's probably over 100 years old. these calif oaks are all over the place behind my house and are protected by the state. You can't even trim one on your property without getting approval from the city.

    I just thought the way the hillside eroding to expose all of the roots was really cool looking. I'm sure at another time of day with diff type of lighting, a better lens, it would make a decent shot.

    Again, I appreciate your time and help.

    Now, back to your yard!