We had a wonderful time partnering with Soho House Chicago and with our party sponsor Grey Goose hosting a summer soiree with Soho House Members. Everyone got to enjoy a private tour of the home and then sat down to a BBQ feast served family style on the back lawn. In between tours and feasting there were plenty of Grey Goose – Vodka cocktails served. Guest enjoyed their cocktails with some croquet of the lawn, swimming + lounging by the pool, meanwhile we soaked in and admired the serious display of period appropriate attire [caftans + turbans], we love even more that some brought, and made, wardrobe changes. If only every Saturday in summer had a soiree like this, we will just keep dreaming and in the meantime will share some of our favorite photos from the event.
Pool right before the guest arrived. [Soho House Chicago Photography]Here are a few more photos taken by Bob Coscarelli.
At this time of the year we get to wake up to these amazing views out the front windows. All it takes is some rain + humidity + sun + mother nature. We can stare at these scenes all-day, but they only last a few short hours at best. It is always great way to start your day.
Here are a few others from last season, around the same time of year. It is fun learning the seasonal changes of the house and garden.
We recently had the honor to host Jon Spencer and his band for his current tour ‘Jon Spencer Sings the Hits‘ traveling the US and UK. Who knew that underground rock legends like modernism too, when they asked if they could pop in for a quick visit – of course we said yes. Besides, Bob is a huge fan and was totally in music heaven meeting some of his favorites, and possibly sneaking in some requests for autographs. After a tour of the house, espresso shots for all, Sam Coomes tested out our old-school piano in the basement, Bob Bert and M. Sord geeked out over the space, and answering the million questions on the details from Jon, it was photo time. Bob took a few snaps before they hit the road for their next gig. Thanks for stopping by lads – hope to see you again soon.
We think this one could seriously be an album cover, sharing a few more from the quick photo session.
Last summer we managed to get a empty side-lot transformed into our little oasis. In four months we went from a grassy side-lot to a hidden swimming hole with a garden that blends with the established plantings. It was a fun process, and thanks to the design work by Julie DeLeon of Groundwork Design we can now enjoy our compound and watch the low maintenance garden grow.
Here are the plans for the side-lot, viewed alongside the house and the existing garden, that is essentially directly in front and behind the house.
We had some changes that needed to be made to the designs to accommodated: budget; permits; city-planners; pool design; changes in terrain due to pool dig; and other countless design issues that occurred along the way. So things look a little different, as our plans evolved and looked more like the this plan [pictured below] …. again with some modifications. We have kept the existing garden as is, adding some plants into the existing beds, but it is largely un-touched. The area we impacted was the side-lot.
POOL: We started the design with the pool selection and placement. We wanted to have long narrow pool that mimicked the shape of the house. Julie cleverly placed it in the back corner for a few reasons: 1] least amount of disruption to the large existing trees; 2] maximize our hours of sun on the pool finding the least shaded parts; 3] flattest area of the side lot (it is a basin and is lower by 4-6ft from the front side to the rear property line.
FENCING: We had to have a fence around the pool, and we wanted to also have it reach around the house to contain the dog. This was going to make a HUGE impact to the look of the house.
The design that we REALLY wanted came further into our front property, but the city would not allow it at 6ft to go past the front of the house. The ruling was made so it didn’t prohibit drivers from seeing cars backing / approaching the street from the driveway. We tried to convince them, that the placement left lots of visibility. We were able to get them to compromise, and we had to go with it. Otherwise it would have required us to apply for an exception – and that was going to be more time and $$$.
So we ended up with this [see below] as a compromise. Because the change in location meant it hit an area where the land started to lower + dip – we ended up having to backfill under the fence to reach up to 4ft in some sections. We do miss that they fence was going to have a break and short turn. The short fence bridging the two long expanses, was going to be vertical bars, designed to be open to a feature a tree trunk and allow Banksy to have a view to the street. No clear view for the pup.
As for the style .. we were inspired by our neighbors pool / yard fence that is made from aluminum & actual wire-mesh safety glass [pictured below].
We also loved this image [pictured below] that our Landscape Designer – Julie shared with us. With that we were off to the races to find a solution for a fence, we have another post to give the details on the design … it can be found here.
PLANTS: Julie choose plantings that matched those that were already in the garden, along with period appropriate options, in 1964 we didn’t have access to the vast selection of varieties that we do today.
FURNITURE: We have kept outdoor furniture around the house in the existing garden period appropriate with vintage pieces – all knoll of course. However, for the pool area we selected more affordable options that were still minimal in style, came with a warranty, and something we didn’t need to panic about as we witness them taking some serious use and abuse. We went with Design-within-Reach EOS furniture line in white designed by Mathew Hilton in 2011. They are proving to be durable and survived our winter. The only drawback the chaise loungers absorb the rain and hold onto the water – in a major way. The leaf blower is good for dealing with that issue, when turned on it pushes the water out fast, and they are relatively quick to dry. The umbrella’s are a classic, and we first saw them in Palm Springs at The Parker, you can buy them here.
Earlier this Spring we finalized some details, we need to add irrigation, and yet some details – like landscape lighting, have still not been resolved. The plants have a lot of growing to do for the hedges to form and the trees to mature. You can find us this summer in the side-lot admiring the view. It is so nice to be able to enjoy the pool and garden with friends and family this year without all the construction and mess. It’s cocktail time!
The screened in porch, we call ‘The Aviary’ is our favorite spot in the house, it is a vacation just to sip coffee in or listen to the birds in the garden. We are entering into our third season using the porch and it is always evolving. Originally, it was furnished with Woodard ‘Rose Vine‘ outdoor furniture [as pictured below from the real-estate listing].
These are a few shots just after we closed.
Whilst we still have the original furniture in storage, we have replaced it with the design classic ‘sculptura’. We mainly switched it because we have always coveted the design pieces, and when we had the perfect spot to put them – we started collecting vintage pieces. They were all white when purchased from etsy + eBay + charish, and we had a local company powder coat them black for us.
Year-after-year, the furniture remains in the same spot and is divided into two zones: a dining area that is located close to the kitchen; and a lounging area with views over the garden onto the pool. Planters are used to divide the ‘rooms’ up, and this year we are adding ‘flor’ tiles to make a rug. The rug will be placed under the main seating arrangement, just to mix things up, and to make it cozy under our feet when the sun goes down, the terrazzo can feel too cold for most of the year.
For plants, we have found that ferns seem to be the least maintenance, and will tolerate some hot weather and long spells without remembering to water them. The added bonus with the ferns, they can be found in Lowes in April and they last until January when the temps really drop.
Back to the Sculptura Chairs – we have been searching for a pattern, or an example of the cushions for the lounge chairs. I was able to buy a set of original pads for the dining table from F&F Vintage. As for the loungers, we had some made, they were expensive and not well constructed. So the search continues … but here are some photos of the original cushions in case anyone is looking for inspiration:
Even in the winter the space is lovely. We switch out the screened panels back to plexiglass-glass and hope that the ferns make it thru.
We are excited to partner with Indiana Landmarks to host a home tour of the The Frost House this August 18th – 2018. We will be last on the tour so come join us for a drink by the pool. To attend you must be a member of Indiana Modern and/or Indiana Landmarks. We hope to see you there. Details can be found here.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2018
1 – 5 p.m. Central (local) time; 2 – 6 p.m. Eastern time
Sites in Long Beach and Michigan City
Sponsored by Indiana Modern, an affinity group of Indiana Landmarks.
Please note: The Lake Michigan Mod Tour is for Indiana Landmarks members only.Not a member? Join or renew at indianalandmarks.org/membership.
Lake Michigan Mod offers you the opportunity to tour modern landmarks in Long Beach and Michigan City on August 18, 2018. The tour, which is open only to members of Indiana Modern and Indiana Landmarks, begins 1 p.m. Central Time (2 p.m. Eastern Time), at the 1937 Coolspring School near Michigan City, designed by architect John Lloyd Wright. Son of the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright, John was a distinguished architect in his own right—and the inventor of Lincoln Logs—who lived in nearby Long Beach for more than 20 years.
Next you’ll visit the 1931 Long Beach Town Hall, also designed by John Lloyd Wright. Once threatened with demolition and on our 10 Most Endangered Landmarks list, the International-style Town Hall instead was enlarged with an architecturally compatible addition. Stay tuned because we hope to add a private home in Long Beach, perhaps another Wright design.
From 3-5 p.m. Central Time (4-6 p.m. Eastern Time), you can tour and enjoy refreshments at the Frost House in Michigan City as the guest of owners Bob Coscarelli and Karen Valentine. The couple bought the Mondrian-like house from descendants of Dr. Robert and Amelia Frost who built the house in 1964. Famed furniture designer Paul McCobb assisted manufacturer Alside Homes with the interior design elements. Coscarelli and Valentine’s purchase included most of the original Knoll furnishings. The house was featured in Dwell, WELT and Indianapolis Monthly magazines following the couple’s restoration. They’ll lead tours followed by cocktails around the newly installed pool.