Earlier this week I shared the finished interior of my design studio and today I'll give you a tour of the exterior! It's my own little piece of paradise in the heart of Atlanta. In this post I'll take you through what we did to the exterior of the studio, as well as all the work we did to the backyard itself!
The one thing I get comments about the most are the front doors! I decided to go with a pair of French doors because I need the a wide opening for larger pieces of furniture. It also allows for a bit more light on this wall, since I knew I wanted no other windows on that wall [it allows me to place my desk and a bed along that wall].
Everyone loves the color of the doors and I do to! So much so, I've actually used this color before, on the front door of the main house and on the shed in the far end of the yard. It's a gorgeous green-blue [Peacock Plume by Sherwin Williams] and brings just the right amount of light and brightness to any entry. On each side I placed two of my vintage bistro chairs [the other pair and the matching table are inside]. No frills, but it's a lovely little entry I'd say!
I debated painting the studio to match the main house, which is a light gray [Mindful Gray by Sherwin Williams] with a darker gray trim [Dovetail by Sherwin Williams]. The exterior is painted in a mid tone gray [Gauntlet Gray by Sherwin Williams] and the trim is a simple, bright white [Eider White by Sherwin Williams]. I opted for a deeper gray, since it helps the studio recede into the yard and at night it feels a bit more discreet and tucked away.
Along the front of the studio, we planted a beautiful, slim lined Japanese Maple. I wanted to plant a tree here, so that from the deck, we would be able to have a view of some greenery and not just the facade of the studio.
This shot doesn't do a great job of showing the deck, but when we added it on in 2013, we didn't cover up the lower portion. I knew eventually we'd get around to planting shrubs along there, and as soon as the studio was nearing completion, I knew that had to happen immediately [it's not the most attractive view, looking out at the underbelly of a deck]! In this shot, you'll also see in the distance on the right a tall pear tree and a light green Japanese Maple. All the trees were planted at the same time this spring and I tried to get the tallest specimens I could find [without them being astronomically expensive!]. The pear tree has grown so much in the past month. It's already beginning to cover up the view of the neighbors [yay!].
Grass has never done that well in our yard, but we're giving it a second try this time. Rather than the rectangular patch of grass we had before, we now have an L-shaped lawn that's actually much larger than I'd thought! if anything, our amount of green yard space has increased since pre-studio. We transplanted some of our existing Japanese Maples [have you noticed I have a thing for those trees...?] along the side and back of the yard. So far the grass is doing well, despite the efforts of my dogs to murder it!
The most profound change to our exterior has to be this gorgeous concrete and paver path we had installed spanning from the front drive all the way to the studio. It allows me to wheel furniture directly from the car, and gives me an even, accessible walking space for guests and clients. Over time, I'd love to plant more along the path, but for now we've got a couple shrubs and impatiens along the edge.
I knew I'd love the studio and make good use of it, but I had no idea how much I'd fall in love with our backyard again! It's becoming a proper garden, and is so clean and manicured [zero thanks to me, I just do the planning and positioning of things!]. The summertime is unbearably hot here, so we're holding off on doing anymore planting until the fall, but it's already a completely transformed extension of our home!