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Sweet Spot

October 13, 2010




Repurposing something that would normally be discarded is pretty exciting. In the picture, above, the largest pavers are actually the sides and top of a concrete incinerator our next-door neighbor was getting rid of. I’d always admired the hulking concrete box as it sat next to his driveway, hoping that one day he’d want to get rid of it and it would be mine … well, the day came and he gave it to us, but to my surprise it was in pieces! He’d dismantled it … My original plan to employ it as planter dashed, I had to come up with another use. Looking at the pieces, I loved how the surfaces that had been inside the firebox featured deep ridges and an interesting turquoise patina. Scanning the Rancho, I set my sights on a small shaded spot that was still unresolved: Paul had tried a couple of projects there but they hadn’t panned out; and the last one left behind a quantity of decomposed granite. Then it hit me: I’d turn this sad little area into a shady spot for reading, talking on the phone, or napping with the pooches — all Paul backyard activities. With the incinerator’s sides used as pavers, their unusual surfaces would still be visible, and a small patio would make the area usable: Perfect!


Textured base


Moving the concrete pieces by dolly to the patio area, I laid them out in a staggered arrangement. They wouldn’t completely fill the space so I looked around for filler. There were a few pavers leftover from other projects, random in both size and material but mostly concrete, so I added them to the arrangement. Moving all these pieces around, I was pleased with the mosaic-like effect and its random cohesiveness. Needing a bit more visual interest I added some bricks and some river rocks and backed up the whole area with larger stones for definition and stability. For seating I used a small metal bench I’d gotten at a garage sale. It was the right scale, but the seat was in sad shape. Using a length of colorfully embroidered ethnic fabric, I re-covered the seat. For a table I used a vinyl-strung footstool topped with an enameled metal tray. Overhead, a votive chandelier makes for an elegant finish. The new patio is always shaded but boosted by the colors of the bench’s fabric seat and the makeshift table, and at night the votive’s glow will supplement lanterns hanging in the tree’s branches. A purposeless area has now become a sweet spot for relaxing, and the discarded has become useful again.

Up-close patina


14 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2010 1:32 am

    Sweet, indeed! Geez, how many acres do ya’ll live on?

    When do you come to Sacramento, cuz I’d like to give you a print of The Ghost of Madame X?

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 14, 2010 2:31 am

      Ginny, really?! I will definitely be coming at some point now! I’d love to have a Madame print… We only have a double lot and since the house is pretty small I have lots of room to play with, as you can see… talk to you soon…

  2. October 14, 2010 3:36 am

    Nice work, as always!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 14, 2010 3:37 am

      Just a little something I threw together ; )

  3. missps permalink
    October 14, 2010 3:52 am

    I especially love the addition of the chandelier, it makes the whole thing feel like it’s own little room. Nice work!

  4. Mrs. Marriott permalink
    October 14, 2010 10:09 am

    I love that floor. I beg you to post a tighter shot of the pavers, though. I want a closer look at the turquoise patina!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 14, 2010 9:38 pm

      Check the post again for a closer look at the subtle patina

      • Mrs. Marriott permalink
        October 15, 2010 4:09 pm

        I love it!

      • reubix1 permalink*
        October 15, 2010 4:13 pm

        It’s not in-your-face and unexpected

  5. November 24, 2010 4:47 am

    Love it. great textures.


    • reubix1 permalink*
      November 24, 2010 4:50 am

      Thanks, Dustin, and welcome… had a look at your blog and that Aristolochia gigantea will be in my dreams tonight…

      • November 28, 2010 6:23 am

        I can start you a cutting once it is warm again… if you like.

      • reubix1 permalink*
        November 28, 2010 3:31 pm

        Sure, Dustin … I’d love one (I’m assuming you mean a cutting of the Aristolochia gigantea)

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