Central Park Makeover
An unsuspecting homeowner Lori Burgess gets a landscape makeover that reminds her of home.
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Unsuspecting homeowner Lori Burgess is about to be taken back to the East Coast as host Susie Coelho and the Outer Spaces team transform her West Coast backyard into a Central Park outdoor living space. Designer Jules Moore and pond expert Greg Wittstock help create this makeover with New York City flavor for this homesick wife.
Before: A non-descript round patio and some unhealthy plants comprise the corner of this property. The homeowner would like a place to have a cup of tea in the morning and catch up with her husband at night while being reminded of her New York roots.
Jules Moore's plan calls for a mini version of Central Park with a dramatic water feature in the form of a pond, bronzed sculptures that remind one of New York City and cushioned benches with chess/coffee tables in the center of the existing round patio.
The five elements of a well-designed water feature include rocks/gravel, plants, fish, a mechanical filter to handle wind-blown debris like leaves and a biological filter to make sure the water stays clear. Fish actually reduce maintenance of a water feature since they are part of the natural ecosystem (if you submerge a pond heater pump during freezing weather, the fish will hibernate).
Self-adhesive floor tiles--scored with a utility knife into smaller squares--cover two 64-inch square surfaces that double as coffee tables. Each piece of a children's chess set is glued to wooden toy wheels to form a more substantial base, and then painted to match the color scheme. Three holes punched with a nail into a wire mesh waste basket allow a wooden round covered in foam and fabric to be screwed to it and a larger round attached with mirror clips completes these unique opponent stools.
Once small statues are sprayed with primer, solid coats of dark bronze spray paint and subtle gold highlights sprayed lightly from afar make the pieces look like weathered bronze. If using plaster statues, be sure to seal them with marine varnish for outdoor use.
sofa cushions (Grand Tuscany in desert bronze with tan/camel) (Green Thumb Nursery and Hardware)
mesh waste baskets (Target)
New York chess set (amazon.com)
vinyl floor tiles for chess tables, lion statuette (Lowe's)
pigeon statuette (Big Lots)
squirrel statuette (Orchard Supply Hardware)
street light and stand (Lamps Plus)
pond kit (Aquascape Designs)
This unassuming 1930's cottage is home to one of the most sophisticated and magical gardens in the country.