I’ve said if before and I’ll say it again, “Good design should begin at the mailbox!” (Gosh darnit!)
Our custom mailbox. Forgot the story? You can read about it here.
You know, the box that advertises your address and essentially says, “I’m with THAT house.” It should add style, not taketh it away. So if I’m that insistent on mailbox flair, you can only imagine how seriously I took the design of our fence.
I drove the streets of Santa Barbara searching for inspiration.
Sometimes I struck out….
There were Google searches…oh, the searches.
And I found many styles that were quite nice.
But none gave the modern look we were going for.
But wait, that’s a story unto itself. Last year we bought a Ranch Style home that was architecturally anemic. It had enough clean lines and 90-degree angles that would suggest modern, but add some trim and design flourishes and it could just as easily have gone traditional. Like Michelangelo letting the marble tell him what sculpture lay inside (“David, are you in there?”) we let the house whisper in our ear and tell us what it wanted to be.
And it shouted modern. Thus, a modern fence.
So I got all droolly-mouthed when I saw this…
I don’t actually think this house pairs very well with the brick exterior of this home, but if I could transport it to our property, I would like it very much. Except for the fact that everyone could see inside, which just occurred to me. On second thought, you can keep your “Feel free to peer inside my yard, I’m always wearing pants!” fence design.
This one also has a little bit of peek-a-boo quality, but it’s just cool, right?
But still none was quite right.
Because, we wanted modern and we had the issue of…
AN EXISTING CHAIN LINK FENCE!
Which made us think all might be lost and we were going to have to just live with a chain link fence and its set-in cement posts.
That is until Nicole Curtis of Rehab Addict (such a good show!) shared her brilliant tip to remove only the chain link portion and use the existing posts as the posts for your future fence. Thanks, Nicole!
So we removed the chain link and left the posts.
1. Attached 2 x 4 s to the posts with metal straps.
2. Constructed the horizontal portion of the fence from 1 x 6 boards of redwood leaving a gap the size of one medium-sized nail between each board. Now when the backyard is lit and you approach the house from the driveway, there is a nice glow through the boards, yet someone would have to struggle to actually see through those tiny gaps.
3. Attached the horizontal portion of the fence to the vertical 2 x 4s with additional 2 x 4s.
4. For a finishing touch, we will eventually encase the metal posts with more wood, but since we knew we would be taking part of the fence down (to allow heavy equipment access to our forward-leaning retaining wall) we haven’t yet done this so it still looks a little funky on the back side.
But now it is so much prettier from the front!
Our new modern fence!
After the great Modern Gate Latch search, I finally found a source that made modern gate latches. Now we just have to make the time to install the darn thing!
Selecting a fence style made me suddenly very aware of fence styles whereas, before this, I must admit the words “French Gothic Picket” would not have rolled off my tongue. If you are thinking about building or rebuilding a fence, here is a great cheat sheet of some of the most common styles.
PS, For my readers who prefer projects to design musings, don’t worry, more projects will be coming soon!