Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bauer Pottery: classic California is back

This is one of my favorite styles for a garden fountain: a seat height basin with a gorgeous centerpiece to catch your eye and create some lively sound. In this case, the centerpiece is a glazed Oil Jar by Bauer Pottery (image from Sunset magazine's website). If you are at all into Mid-Century Modern design, you'll love Bauer. The original Bauer Pottery hit its stride in Los Angeles in the 1930's and this new line, reintroduced under the Home by Sunset label, is a chance for those of us who can't afford a vintage Bauer Oil Jar to get some of that incredible style for our own gardens. The colors are incredible: some are exceptionally bold like their classic Bauer Orange, and others are wonderfully subtle. I, of course, love the aqua. No big surprise there.

© Kate Wiseman 2010. In San Diego? Want your own waterwise landscape design? I'd love to help! Please visit www.sageoutdoordesigns.com for more info.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Trend garden color: teal

 I get obsessed from time to time with a color. I had a pretty long obsession with red. I've flirted with dark chocolate, sage green, french blue. My latest has been a surprisingly long lasting love for anything teal (or turquoise, or seafoam, or anything else that is a bit blue and a bit green). Especially paired with neutrals like tan, cream, or white, teal makes any space a whole lot more restful. I think it evokes cool water, beach glass, sunny skies: all things that make us feel more relaxed, less stressed, just a bit calmer. Funny thing is, I think the lasting appeal of this color right now has a lot to do with the recession. Really, who couldn't use a little more calm right now??

It is such a gentle color that I encourage my clients who are worried about straying away from neutrals at all to use it. It will never overwhelm a space or jump out at you alarmingly (as my old friend red sometimes can). I know that you are worried about the resale value of your house and beige seems like your safest bet, but please, don't let your whole world be beige. Try a little teal. You'll like it, I promise.

This photo is from Sunbrella's advertising, so I can't give the designer of this space credit. I'd love to, though, because it is gorgeous (and the way they blurred the boundary between indoor and outdoor is admirable), so if anyone knows who did this, please let me know in the comments!

© Kate Wiseman 2010. In San Diego? Want your own waterwise landscape design? I'd love to help! Please visit www.sageoutdoordesigns.com for more info.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sage Outdoor Designs in San Diego Union Tribune

We are proud to have a Sage Outdoor Designs project featured in this weekend's San Diego Union Tribune home section in Lou Shook's weekly column Distinguished Digs. Here is the full article:

By Louis Shook

The Mission Hills home of Judy Flemming and Ishman Clarke is a Tudor-Craftsman style home with views of Coronado, Point Loma and the skyline of downtown San Diego. Built in 1914, the home has been meticulously restored to exceed its original beauty.

The home has been in Flemmings’s family since 1952. When her mother passed away, Flemming and her husband Ishman moved in and began the process of fixing up the house and the landscaping.
“The backyard was in bad shape. It was a typical 1950s style with two patches of grass,” said Clarke who worked as a plant disease control expert for San Diego. “I really enjoyed that type of work,” he said. Retired now, he proudly described a memorable project of renovating the Casa de Estudillo garden in Old Town.

Although Clarke had strong ideas about the type of plants he wanted in his yard, he wanted help with the layout and design. For the design he hired Kate Wiseman of Sage Outdoor. “It was really a pleasure to work with Kate, she helped us pull it all together,” Clarke said. The backyard is now a very inviting area with stonework, an arbor and a variety of plants, fruit trees and exotic palms. “Our plant material comes from areas of the world with similar climates. It all flows together nicely.”

Clarke and Flemming worked with a number of local contractors. Stained glass windows were ordered to match stone tiles on the 100-year old fireplace. The wood floors, window frames, banisters and ceiling beams were beautifully refinished. Interior walls were textured and painted. Clark praised David Lown for the work he did on the wood refinishing, texturing and painting. The exterior of the house was painted by Jose Lemus who has painted a number of homes in the neighborhood according to Clarke. High quality craftsmanship is evident throughout the house.
For interior touches they hired Linda Balinger of Balinger Design Studio. “Linda was very instrumental in the remodel. She selected kitchen flooring and chose the color palette throughout the house,” said Flemming.

The kitchen has been completely upgraded. There are new stainless steel appliances, cherry wood cabinets and stone tile flooring. Clarke’s son, Brian Dingman, who works for Brookman Tile, did tile work in the kitchen and other rooms. The original house had a room known as a “California cooler.” According to Clarke these rooms were built into houses to store and keep food from spoiling. These rooms were used before most homes had the refrigerators we take for granted today. The small room is now used as a pantry and is naturally the coolest place in the house. The original house also had a coal shoot that is no longer in use.

“It was a pleasure working with all the contractors,” said Clarke. “The architectural features and the landscape work very well together.” ■

Louis Shook is freelance writer in Encinitas. He can be contated at lou.shook@yahoo.com

© Kate Wiseman 2010. In San Diego? Want your own waterwise landscape design? I'd love to help! Please visit www.sageoutdoordesigns.com for more info.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Selecting outdoor planter pots: Campania

In the world of planter pots, and especially precast concrete planters, there is a little bit of nice out there.... and a whole lot of ugly. Most of the concrete fountains that I see are so horrible and trite that I am shocked anyone buys them (or sells them)!

So when I find a reliable gem out there, I just have to pass it on, and there is one company that I feel like is a much needed exception to the rule: Campania International.

Their fountains and pots are surprisingly tasteful and they have a such a wide selection that I can almost always find one that is the style I need, whether my project is Mediterranean or Modern. In San Diego, there are a few dealers, but I like to work with Column One. Restoration Hardware often has a few of their fountains for sale (in fact if you see a concrete fountain on their website, it is most likely made by Campania).

For your viewing pleasure, here is a selection of their fountains and pots:

From top to bottom they are:

1. Echo Fountain. This fountain is lovely for a transitional design that is a little bit Mediterranean but a little bit Modern with a clean aesthetic, and it fits in tight spaces that need a vertical element. Think of flanking a doorway or gate with two of these.
2. Alandra Jar. I love the glaze and shape of this jar. It makes a great fountain centerpeice or works well on top of a short column.
3. Arabesque Window Boxes. These are perfect for a Moroccan design or a very Classic one.
4. Sarinac Planter. This one is a perfect Modern Minimalist planter. I think it might also make a nice small fire pit.
5. Williamsburg Absett Hall Urn. There is something about the egg shape of this planter that I adore. This is perfect for a Colonial look. Place one on either side of a Chippendale Bench or try them on top of two short brick columns for a grand entry.
6. X-3 Fountain. There are not a lot of pre-made fountain that can hold there own in a very Modern landscape design, but this one can (obviously skipping the silly little dove accents). Its smooth lines and bold shape make it a statement piece at a fraction of the cost of a custom fountain.
7. Andalusia Wall Fountain. Precast concrete wall fountains tend to take my top prize for horribly ugly, but not this one! It wins me over by keeping it simple. This would work with an Italian landscape, or a French Provincial one.
8. Lerida Bowl. I adore how wonderfully aged this bowl looks. It looks like it has been out in the elements for a lifetime. This one is in their Aged Limestone finish, which helps contribute to this look.

© Kate Wiseman 2010. In San Diego? Want your own waterwise landscape design? I'd love to help! Please visit www.sageoutdoordesigns.com for more info.