The Beach House renovation: exterior


Concrete stairs

Before diving into the future renovation at the beach house, I wanted to give a little recap. If I am honest, to lift my spirits. To remind me that even when thing looks scary, with rubble everywhere, good looking spaces are coming. 

When we moved in, Marlon's first order of action was to change the driveway. The old driveway was grubby, too small, dived in two by a planter. After tearing it all out, Marlon found chunky beams nd used them as dividers, and we filled the much larger space with gravel. 

The smaller back walkway on the other side of the house was even muddier, and grimier so in went some of the beams and finer gravel. We bought so much we had enough to fill one part of the terrace, in the back.  I knew I wanted to have wood tiles as stepstones, and it took a while till we found the right washed-out beachy greyish ones. I wouldn't say I like ceramic grey fake wood; it never lives up to driftwood, always too gray, not faded enough. But we finally the right one came along, in a deadstock pile. Win!

One afternoon I swapped my usual workout for a lot of shoveling and carrying around a wheelbarrow, and seeing that we bought too much tile, we used them in front almost all around. And it is damn cute ( and resistant).

For the tiling all around, we substituted a terracotta one, again a very Italian choice but not suitable for the geometric lines of the house; we chose a simple stone-like grey with uneven sides, a bit softer and more European than you would typically do in a midcentury home. But seeing that inside, I will keep a lot of the more traditional touches; it seemed appropriate, not too modern.

The outside stair was a bit of a gamble; nobody knew for sure if the arches underneath were not put in place to fortify it. We found out they were just built on sand, again for misguided beauty's sake. Our architect was cheering when they went down. 

The stairs were travertine, a sort used in the region, but they were still filthy, even pressure washing them. So we had a concrete made offside, and I love them now!

We probably should not have put the tiling in front of the door, seeing that there is a demo going on right now, but this whole spring and summer, I've spent every single day outside, working, reading, eating, and it was bliss. I love how the palm trees make shadows on the gravel. I love watching Lana keep watch on the stairs, and the wooden beams have that nice faded quality now. Our outside shower is a bit rudimentary, so a nice one and lots of olive trees roses will make it even better. But for now, it is my absolute favorite place.