Friday, June 28, 2013

Inspiring exteriors & landscaping

Now that we've purchased our lot, friends and family have been asking about our house plans. Being a visual person myself, I thought I'd put together a few posts explaining some of our plans and inspiration photos.

The exterior & landscaping

The house below is located in one of my favourite Ottawa neighbourhoods - the Glebe. What I like about this one is the large windows, and the mix of exterior finishing materials. Ours will also have a mix of exterior finishes: cedar, brick and stucco. As our lot is 33-feet wide, it will be a narrow home (probably about half the width of this house, which I originally thought was two townhomes).

The two photos below (taken at different times of the day) are of the same Vancouver dwelling. Although it's not a complete match to our plans, I was surprised by the similarities when I stumbled upon it. The placement of the front door, the cedar around it, and the large window left of the door mirrors our plans. I'm loving the warm feel that the cedar brings, combined with the modern, clean lines.

The simple, streamlined landscaping here is perfect. We plan to xeriscape our yard as well as we're not interested in spending our free time mowing and watering a lawn. We'll install an in-ground sprinkler system to further cut down on maintenance. Just like this house, we'll have cedar soffits above the front door.

The back of this house has more great big windows, allowing sunlight to flood the space. We'll also have some big windows at the back to let the sun shine in as our backyard will be south-facing. The balconies lined with greenery here are fabulous, as is the green (or should I say pink & yellow) garage roof. If we lived in a more temperate climate I'd be tempted to try something like this (our house won't have any balconies - I can't imagine having to shovel the snow off).
More photos of this beautiful West Coast house can be found here.
We're nixing grass in the backyard too. We'll install some hardscaping, garden beds and hopefully keep a couple of trees that are already there. Although the house below is quite traditional, I'm smitten with the flagstone patio and the way they've lined it with flower beds and small trees. It looks like such a cosy spot to curl up with a good book, or with a glass of wine among friends. 

This shot gives you a better idea of the combination of garden beds and planters. If this were my patio I'd never want to leave.

Although I like the glass front doors in the top two houses, there are times when we like to pretend we're not home (e.g. when salespeople and Jehovah's Witnesses are making their rounds). For that reason, we're going with a solid front door with a peep hole.
My Aunt Mary's front door has been in my "new house inspiration" file for awhile now. I love the warmth of the wood, the use of a pull instead of a door knob and the simple fact that it's totally unique. I'd like our front door to make a statement, just like this one does.

More posts to follow on the interior plans soon.

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