Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This is the first post of Build it Once Design.  That isn't an actual business but it is a style of building that we are becoming more and more fond of.  Northwest style is generally lots of wood, preferably cedar, which of course means lots of maintenance.  We now know ourselves well enough to know that we are pretty good creators but not stellar maintainers.  So instead of wood, we now build every arbor, fence or wall out of steel and or concrete.  We may use wood as an accent, but no longer use it structurally.

The wall is inspired by artist Richard Serra, we love his work, and by our strong desire to create and move on and leave it, literally, forever.  No rotten fenceposts, no yearly staining etc. We are developing a creative love affair with rust.   It has always been, and always will be with us so we might as well utilize it.

The upper arbor is made from steel salvaged from our local scrapyard. The posts have salvaged rebar interiors with cinder block exteriors and are then filled with concrete. The patio blocks are poured concrete.

When we were building gardens, professionally, many jobs consisted of replacing wisteria arbors.  Left unattended wisteria can literally (we saw this) take down a house and at the very least, they dismantle the structure built to support them.   With steel and concrete that should never be an issue.


  1. Very well stated. We are learning lots from you! G&L

  2. That's lovely.
    BTW, can you tell me who does your furniture recovering? Do you do it yourselves? I have two chairs that really need new fabric, but the labor cost of recovering them is keeping me from doing it. Thank you!

  3. Hi Karen,
    Heintz of European Upholstery in Bremerton is the best around. He is reasonably priced and there is no one better.