Front Yard Landscape at aquahaus

Hi blog friends.

Well, if you’ve kept up with my blog for a couple years, you know that we have been renovating our house in Austin for the last year or so.

The last project has been the landscape.

When we bought our house, a friend described it to me as a “taco shack”. I guess the bright aqua color will do that.

 before fence

A lot has changed since this original picture. First off, we removed the weird spiky iron fence.

The tree unfortunately suffered a fungal infection and fell over in a wind storm one day.

We also replaced all the windows with more energy efficient glass. You can’t tell, but the small window behind the true was actually a half-window. We enlarged it to match the other and gain more symmetry.

 before aqua4

 before aqua

The yard was a complete and utter mess. Obviously. The concrete walkway was broken, and uninviting.

There were weeds all around the front porch, and yard for that matter. (Do you see tiny Archie on the front porch?)

First, we decided that to get the modern, mid-century feel we were looking for, we’d have to paint the house. We chose white.   We left the aqua eaves as a nod to the history of the house, and hence was born the aquahaus.


We then moved on to the yard itself. After many failed attempts, we met an awesome landscape designer who really listened to our wants/ needs, and he came up with this.


It has all the elements we like: 1) rectilinear & minimal design 2) elements of concrete 3) contrasting gravel 4) structured but drought tolerant plants 4) warm wood elements 5) steel planter.

Then the demolition started. Weeds like this were ripped out.


The demo process was impressive.


They razed our front yard in a matter of days.



Then, they added the rainbow gravel up front and prepped the walkway for a new wooden ipe boardwalk.


No more ankle breaking, hazardous concrete pseudo-walkway. I am pretty sure our mailman is stoked.

Archie loves the new boardwalk.


Yucca and Mexican feathergrass were planted in the long concrete planter, and limestone pavers in black basalt were aligned in front.



Sometime later this week, I’ll have the full reveal pics.

Happy humpday.



Can’t leave well enough alone…

Isn’t that the truth?

After last Thursday’s One Room Challenge Reveal, I couldn’t leave well enough alone.


Despite this being a great wall to display my macrame,

macrame wall

I couldn’t shake the feeling that it would be more fun to be looking at the pool, while sitting in the hanging chair.

And so, it had to be. I just needed ONE MORE WINDOW.


So we cleared it ALL out. I know, it really hurt.

And my amazing handyman came over, and made it so…in just a few hours.

And here we are now…


aquahaus-window wall-2

aquahaus-window wall -3

Definitely worth the effort in my opinion.

And the view from outside. I have to paint the trim later this week.

Reminder of the exterior before:

Yay! Progress!

We did get to enjoy it.
pool time

Well, J & I anyways. Archie hates the water.
water dog

Have a great week!

I’m planning a post about the penny bar top later this week, so stay tuned.

Here is the full shot that didn’t make it into the reveal (I have no idea why).



Week 5 of the One Room Challenge- A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned…

Until you think about how many hours you’ve lost gluing…

Hello hello!

Welcome back to aquahaus, and this week’s progress in the One Room Challenge, an endeavor to re-decorate a space in 6 weeks, hosted by Linda of Calling it Home.  This is the most fun internet party I’ve ever been a part of.  Please check the amazing line-up here

First off, let’s all stand and do a slow clap for Amal Almuddin, the beautiful and smart barister (lawyer in British speak) who hooked Clooney.
A + G

And let’s congratulate him too, for he apparently designed this 7 carat of a stunner himself.

Well done Georgie. (both images from

Back to the ORC. Well, to make up for my slack-tastic last week, I hope to make it up to you this week, with pretty pictures, facilitated by my numb fingertips and aching biceps.

Enough teasing, here is the pool house in all its white- walled, empty glory.  


When you paint those walls white, and take out all the crap, it’s a pretty nice room.  I should probably just stop here and call it a win.

But nope, I decided the room would probably be more useful with furniture.


I moved in all my prized thrifted finds:  the vintage sofa, chrome/ wicker rocking chair, drum coffee table…

I also hung this vintage rattan hanging chair on a stand from Pier 1.  


I’ve been hoarding this chair FOREVER (more than a year) since picking up a pair off Craigslist (yes, Craigslist).  And I’ve been waiting for the perfect place to hang it. 

You may have noticed those black cabinets in the corner.  They will serve as the base of my new bar.  Of course there would be a bar.  What pool house doesn’t have a bar?  Where else do you go to refill your gin & tonic?

I picked up these 15″ base cabinets from Home Depot.  


They got the genius Erin Williamson India Ink treatment.  (Yes, I copied her in the SAME ORC)  Because as I said before, she’s a genius!  I mean, can you blame me? How else can you get the perfect black, with visible wood grain, for $4 a bottle? 



But cabinets alone do not a bar make.  You need a countertop, dodo!  

I had lofty ideas, but too little time and $ for custom countertops of marble.  

Easy, cheap solution with big impact?  The answer is right in your change jar.


You want to paint the back a dark color, because it will show through the gaps in the pennies. 


Then you get to have fun and come up with a design.  I went through some iterations.



Version 2 was too pricey.  Those dimes add up quickly!



I decided to stick with version 4.

I stuck them down with plain old Elmer’s glue.



Finally, after many hours of mindless gluing…here she blows in all her glory.


I like the gradient of all the different shades of copper. I still have to work on the edging around the bar top, and I plan to seal it with epoxy.I hope the dark cabinet/ penny bar top combo turns out okay.

I have a ton to do in the next week, and too bad I’m not doing anything this weekend since I’m hosting a Derby de Mayo party.  

Can you say Mint Julep Margarita?

Have a great week!  I see some late nights ahead for me next week. 


One Room Challenge Week 3- Macrame for the win

Welcome back to aquahaus, where I and innumerable other crazies are trying to re-do a space in 6 weeks. We are halfway through… or theoretically supposed to be, I now understand why this is the panic point in the One Room Challenge….

This week, I finished painting.  Uhhh, painting the edges and corners sucks!!

Here is our final space, all glittering in white paint, just waiting for that American flag to be hung.








Painting sucks.

To reward myself for all that hard labor, I treated myself to shopping.  and not just any shopping, my favorite- thrifting on Craigslist.

You see, there is a small side patio to the shed that is dying for a little sitting area.  


I knew what I was looking for…

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the equipale chair after seeing the below photo in this article.



I sat with my cup of coffee, tapped on the computer keys as quickly as I could..and a few minutes later, I hit Craigslist gold.

Hello little pretties!  How did you find your way into my home?  Muahahahaha.


Please ignore the fact that this room is in shambles.  It will hopefully be for a future One Room Challenge. 

Back to my obsession with these chairs, which will definitely make their way onto that side patio.  That long piece of wood (that’s what she said) in front of the chairs is for yet another project.  Let’s see if I can get my shit together for that in time.

Lastly, in an effort to bring back some boho into the #rockerbohochic, we have some macrame.  Yes, macrame- can’t have boho without it!  


I actually made this piece at a macrame workshop (yes, these exist in the utopia that is Austin) last weekend at Mockingbird Domestics.  (If you ever come to Austin, please go to this awesome store). I plan on hanging this beauty somewhere in the pool house.

Next week, I need to come up with a semblance of a room plan and buying accessories.

Have a great week! and please check out all the other kickass makeovers happening here.