Spring has sprung—and does anything make you happier? I can’t think of anything better than getting out our cute clothes (I mean, have you seen Hazel in a sunhat?), dusting off our patio furniture,...
Sourcebook: The 11th Street Retreat Outdoor Design & Patios
If you’re looking for outdoor design and decor ideas, I’d say my first Huntington Beach, CA house is the blueprint for designs you’ve seen on my HGTV shows. Why is this house, the 11th Street Retreat, so influential in my design career, you ask? The #11thStreetRetreat was the first house I ever built! Brett and I purchased the land in 2010 and scraped it – meaning we knocked down the old house and it was just dirt – in 2011. In 2012, I left my full-time job to manage the construction of this house, and the rest is history. I never went back to work and this house is where my career accidentally started. I intimately know every single detail of this home and can’t wait to share them with you.
The 11th Street Retreat Sourcebook: Part 1, The Exterior
For the exterior of the house, Brett and I decided on a “California Cape Cod” design. Mind you, we made this version of a Cape Cod style up, but we really wanted a home that reminded us of the traditional homes we’d come to love while going to school in Boston, MA. These homes felt timeless and the materials felt well considered, while not being in-your-face. White trim, gray shingles and copper gutters were all prominent features in those homes we admired. I wanted to add black lighting and hardware to give it a little bit of an industrial edge as well. We also wanted the home to feel casual and to fit into the neighborhood. The other thing that was super important to us was to use building materials that needed very little maintenance. We did a ton of research trying to determine if natural wood shingles would work in our California climate and we ended up choosing to go with a cement product called Nichiha. The entire house, though it looks like wood, is actually built with cement board.
The other important consideration for our exterior was the color. We tried SO MANY different shades of gray before we landed on the perfect color, Sherwin-Williams “Silverplate” (SW 7649). The white trim color is Sherwin-Williams “Extra White” (SW 7006). We also tried at least 10 different shades of yellow for our front door and finally landed on Dunn-Edwards “Rubber Ducky” (DE 5390).
The Front Door
If you’ve watched Seasons 1 & 2 of my first HGTV show, Hidden Potential, you know I love using a Dutch door on a home’s exterior design when I can. And my own first home was no exception! Maybe this is the project that really cemented my love for a good Dutch door, now that I think about it. While almost the entire front elevation of this home reads as neutral at first glance, we put a pop of fun on the side of the house by painting our front door a cheery yellow. Coming home to a yellow door just makes you happy!
Everyone who knows me, knows that I’m a sucker for a good smart door hardware set. Never worry about losing a key or getting locked out again! Here’s a good view of the Nichiha siding as well.
Adding wall-mounted plants across from the Dutch door was a great way to bring greenery into the area without blocking the entrance to the side of the house.
The Front Patio
The hardscape and architectural stacked stone is really important to the design of this home. Having these natural elements makes the exterior feel more welcoming and grounded in nature. We tried to find stone that had the perfect mix of gray and gold, to tie into the inside flooring and countertops. The biggest challenge was to find stone that didn’t read purple in the shade. I love the stone we finally went with and I’ve used it on multiple projects since.
Here’s a closeup of the stone we used around the fire pit and elsewhere on the exterior. This fire pit area is a place where many a gathering was held!
The Courtyard Patio
The cool thing about this house is that it has both the front patio and a courtyard patio that connects to the kitchen. We made it the ultimate grill hangout area (because, hello, my husband has an entire Instagram account dedicated to cooking meat, ha!). The board and batten siding on the chalkboard wall continues the Cape Cod feel to this courtyard. And, if you notice, the stone used on the grill is the same as the stone we used for the fire pit.
The Dog Run
Okay, I know this is weird but I actually get a lot of questions about our dog run! We had 3 dogs when we moved into this house and zero yard.
We decided to use every square inch of our property and asked our builder to install extra drains in the concrete on the side of the house. I then had a local turf installer come out and install pet turf with a 1” rubber grate underneath. That way, when the dogs do their business it drains through. We picked up regularly, but once every two weeks I would go out and hose it all down, bucket it with diluted bleach, and then treat it with this natural odor eater spray.
The Back of the House
The back of the house opens up to an alley, but it was still important to us for it to look nice! I found a garage door from All County Garage Doors that had a bead board detail, just like our cabinets inside. I then decided to paint it Sherwin-Williams “Thunder Gray” (SW 7645), just like our kitchen island cabinetry, the main bath cabinetry, and the built-in bar on the third floor. By using this color repeatedly throughout the house, it creates a cohesive design story that flows from the outside in.
The outside of the house is sometimes an afterthought to people when it comes to design, but it shouldn’t be! If you tie in your home’s exterior with your interior design, it will set the tone for your whole house and make everything feel cohesive and intentional.
Thanks for touring the 11th Street Retreat’s Exterior and Patios! Make sure you stick around to check out the Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room and Entryway!