Thursday, June 28, 2012

French Style Landscaping: Using Terracotta Planters

I must say I didn't always love terracotta pots.  Then at some point it was like a light switch flipped and every planter needed to be replaced with terracotta.  They should be, they provide many benefits over plastic containers. For example:

1) Terracotta is porous, making it nearly impossible to overwater your plants.  Plastic containers hold in water.  Terracotta allows for water to move through the clay and evaporate.

2) This evaporation is good for the roots, as it allows for cooling just as if the plant were in the ground.  The plant roots can breathe.

This home was designed by Jack Arnold of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  His home designs are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen.  Like great architects, he too knows its all in the details.  These little details, like the perfectly placed terracotta pots, work together with other elements to give an amazing feel to the space.  As you might already know from previous posts, the home we will be building and featuring on this blog was designed by Jack Arnold.  It should be fun to see one of his homes built from start to finish.

How interesting is this terracotta factory?  There are so many shapes and sizes of terracotta to choose from! I feel most people just think of using terracotta for planters, but terracotta has been used for thousands of years to create sculptures, tiles, and bricks to name a few.

These terracotta pots really do their job of taking your eye right to the wood door.  I like how they use trees to add height to the space.

This terracotta pig is just too neat.  I want one!

The classic terracotta pot with boxwood ball.  Very French / European.

Residents of this town really believe in the use of terracotta roof tiles!  They should, they last for many many years, and are very tolerate to the environment.

This French designed home has a great couryard.  There appears to be no landscaping in the front other than the terracotta planters.  In addition to the planters, this house really has it going on.  A beautiful stone exterior home, with light blue shutters that are functional.  I also like the small oval window on the second floor, as well as the large square window with copper roof.  I can only assume this large window is in front of a gorgeous staircase.

Another traditional use of terracotta, but in a round ball planter.

Terracotta is a great material to use for your planters, so get out there and start planting!  As always, hope you continue to follow along as we build and share our French Inspired Home designed by Jack Arnold.

Hope your day makes you smile!
-Rob and Tonya

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

French Style Furniture

This past weekend was just made for a road trip.  We drove up to Chicago and stayed with some friends who live downtown.  I don't think we could have asked for better weather. We always enjoy walking up and down Rush Street.  FYI, there is an amazing gelato stand in Mariano Park near all the action.

One of this weekends highlights was searching for French inspired furniture and decor.  We hit the jackpot!  Near the Wicker Park neighborhood, we came across an amazing warehouse that we had driven by at least 50 times and never noticed.  The inside is a treasure chest of French style furniture, French decor, art, you name it.  We decided we would share some of those images today.  If there is something you see let us know and we'll share the store with you, unless of course it's something we plan to go back and buy!

These faux cakes look just as good as the real thing.  There were cake stands all over the place!

Love the French style bookcase and topiary pots with lamps to match.  Artichokes and boxwoods continue to be a theme throughout the entire store.

This rustic outdoor table looks fantastic with these white folding chairs.  The antique French hutch would look great in any home, so long as you have tall ceilings!

I had never seen a topiary with candles.  It would look outstanding on the outdoor table above.

Since there are so many dog lovers out there I thought I would share this great painting.  The green and white serving trays and platters would be great for a Christmas party.

This combination works great together.  The French sideboard is a staple for anyone using French design in their home.

French decor is everywhere!  There were at least 20 large hutches, bookcases, and shelving units.  Some of the antique French hutches were at least 9 feet tall and 6 or 7 feet wide.  Just be prepared to break out the gold credit card for one of those pieces.

If you need a long wood table or a long wood bench this is also the store for you.  In two floors we walked through, I bet there were at least a few hundred chairs.  The majority were French country, but there were also many napoleon style chairs.

Even though they were fake, these flowers still look great, especially on the sideboard with the lamp.  As you can see, more cake stands and matching party supplies fill this table.

One thing we have been looking for is a large round wood table.  This store had at least five round tables that could seat 10 people easily.  The one shown here is actually one of the smaller tables.

This French country wood table is just what we had in mind.

Serving trays, candle sticks, lamps, and books fill the showroom.

More of the tables and benches I mentioned earlier.

If you want more information on this store find let us know!  Most of these treasures are still there, as we had to resist buying on this trip.  We plan to move into a temporary residence during our homes construction, so there just isn't room to store any additional finds.  We also want to get a feel for the new space prior to making any more large purchases.  Since all of these great items are still out there, go get them!

If you are reading our blog for the first time we hope you will add and follow us during our homes construction.  If you are returning we hope you continue to enjoy our posts!

Have a great week!

Rob and Tonya

Do you shop at a similar showroom? Comment and let us know!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Exterior French Doors: Which would you choose?

If you are like us, then you love a good French Door.  Over the years, we have collected nearly 100 photographs of some of the most gorgeous doors to use as inspiration.  Today's photographs show some of our favorites.

Not only are these French doors to die for, but so is the entire entry!  Love the glass detail and traditional French door hardware.  The transom above lets in so much light into this otherwise windowless space.  A great old world look in a new space.

This wooden door features an arch and glass.  It is surrounded by a beautiful stone entry, with a Napoleon arch to top it all off.  I would take this entry in a heartbeat.

This door is also found on the home above.  You can see that they continued with the same arched wood door theme.

I am really starting to like black doors and black trim.  There is something about it that looks so clean and upscale.  While this six panel door is not French, it does have a French look when you add the arched transom and black light fixture.  The black railings also help to frame it all in nicely.  We all have said the difference is in the details.  Well this entry features boxwoods above the entry, lots of great hardware on the door, spiral boxwoods (in pots of course), and window boxes.  I wish I could read what the little black sign says!

What an impressive entry!  These french doors trick the eye a little while saving a few bucks.  From a distance, the glass appears to be arched (a costly feature).  When you look close, you see that they are actually square framed doors with three quarter curved glass panes (less costly).  The design then carries over to the arched stone entry and second story arched window.  I love seeing those little round windows off to the side.

These French doors are simple and elegant.

Now this wood door just may appear at our front doorstep.  The arch is smooth and not too round.  The panels give it a high end elegant feel.  It features a small glass panel to allow visibility to your guests, while still providing privacy and security.  We currently have glass down the side of our entry door that extends to the floor.  Bad mistake if you have a King Charles Spaniel and  Lhasa Apso, unless you like barking of course.

When we planned for a large grand entry, this style was a possibility.  So much light is allowed into the space through the use of glass transoms.  We have since downsized the entry space because of the style of home we chose.  Still, anyone wanting a spacious entry would appreciate these doors.

We will share our final door options as we build our French inspired home.  Until then, we invite you to become a follower. There will be giveaways during the entire building process so join us now so you don't miss out on something great later!

The next post will feature photographs from the future building site!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

French Style Landscaping: Plantings at our current home.

Good Morning everyone! It's going to be a beautiful Tuesday here in Indiana with what should be perfect weather! We really appreciate all the comments and emails regarding our blog. We are excited that so many people are eager to follow along as we build our French inspired home in the coming months.

We hope that you too will join our growing number of followers. If there are other methods for following that you would like to see added, please comment or send an email and let us know.

Today’s topic continues with landscaping.  Our first post on French style landscaping was so popular that we have decided to dedicate one day each week to the subject.

It was so gorgeous last night that we took our camera along for our evening walk with the dogs.  These images were shot around our current home, soon to be up for sale for all you would be buyers wishing to live in Indiana.

You should know that I love fountains.  This one welcomes visitors as they approach our front door.

The birds love to sit on top and catch a drink during the hot summer months.

These planters provide for a pop of color as you approach our front door.  The concrete planter was made by Massarelli in New Jersey.  They make terrific outdoor planters and fountains.

Approaching the covered patio at the back of the house.  The maple had a rough time this year with a late freeze that destroyed all of the buds.  Its a little thin this year.

My favorite fountain, also made by Massarelli, features a welcoming pineapple.  This fountain is a bird paradise during the day.

I just love Knock Out Roses.  They require very little care and look great all summer long.  These will be a staple in the new homes landscape design.

 Again, love our fountain!

The red umbrella is actually on our neighbors patio.  The landscaping is located on a burm between our two properties.  Its funny how pictures can trick the eye because their home is not as close as this picture makes it appear.

And now introducing the star of the show, Bentley, our King Charles Spaniel.  Our Lhasa, seen behind, was on his own mission of investigating the lawn.

We hope you enjoyed some of the photos captured on our walk.  Again, please help us make this blog a success by signing up to follow the design, construction, and decorating of our home.

Have a great day and keep smiling.

-Rob and Tonya