Mandy Moore Exterior Tour

If you’ve been following along my IG stories, you know I have had my mind on exteriors since we have been working on ours at our #samuelfamilyfixer this week. So while I have been sharing the Mandy Moore project tours here, I couldn’t help but jump to her homes’ exterior. I sure do miss having this magical place as a job site.

I wasn’t involved with the exterior design, other than a few supportive oohs and aahs, so together we can ogle at the work Emily Farnham did with Landscape Architects, Terremoto.

Can you handle these views and that incredible poolside furniture? Here is a bit about the site from Emily.

Progressive landscape architects Terremoto brought rigor and drama to the exterior environment. They gave the property the well-composed entry sequence it deserves, and an inspired view from every vantage point thereafter.  I worked closely with them to capitalize on all possible indoor-outdoor connections.  They added amenities to the site including an entry court fountain, a fire pit, and beautifully detailed outdoor benches.”  

And about that outdoor kitchen, also from Architect Emily Farnham

“We collaborated with Terremoto on a pool-side entertaining pergola including an outdoor kitchen and dining area overlooking the pool and mountain views beyond.  We chose Fire Magic outdoor appliances for the kitchen.  They have a great minimalist drop-in outdoor grill as well as a pretty stainless-steel under-counter ice machine and refrigerator.  During the design phase Johnston Vidal, Terremoto and I realized that all have the same favorite engineer – Craig Phillips.  We asked for only 4 columns on our pergola and Craig obliged by pre-cambering the support beams to achieve the impressive long span.”     

For the furnishings, Emily noted that she looked to Terremoto’s raw aesthetic for inspiration.  She selected pieces that had elemental geometry and a sculptural quality and turned to some of her favorites brands, Croft House, James Perse, DWR and Sutherland. Outdoor furniture can easily get clunky and I am always on the look out for pieces that don’t scream “hey look at me, I’m outdoor furniture!”. Emily nailed it with every single piece. They are sculptural as well as functional and complement the architecture so well. 

Shop the Look: Poolside Lounge Chairs by James Perse // Chair, Sofa and coffee table from Sutherland // Dining Table from Croft House // Outdoor Appliances by Fire Magic

Now onto the before and afters…




The most important thing they did (in my opinion) was bring back the original terraced look of the eaves. At some point someone replaced them with flat stucco (shown in the first photo of the series) and I know they hoped that the original was still hidden underneath but on further inspection it was not. Emily worked with the contractors Bronstruction to completely re-build them, replicating the original design.







Stunning transformation don’t you think?!

Interior Architecture by Emily Farnham 
Interior Design by Sarah Sherman Samuel
Landscape Architecture by Terremoto
Photography by Tessa Neustadt 
Built by Bronstruction and Johnston Vidal Projects

See all of the progress and tours of our Mandy Moore Residential project here. 

A-frame Outdoor Tour: Before & After

a-frame - outdoor space tour - before & after - sarah sherman samuelIt is just starting to get into the really good season for Palm Springs so I am ecstatic to take full advantage of all the outdoor space at the A-frame and I am equally thrilled to be able to share the full exterior tour today! We worked on the landscaping of the a-frame bit by bit over the last couple years so while I was going through old photos it made me realize just how far we’ve come. You may recognize the photo above if you subscribe to Sunset Magazine. We were completely honored to be September’s cover story!!


Here is a reminder of how it looked when we first purchased it. The yard was incredibly overgrown with so many weird, broken, and downright scary features like a human sized bird cage (one of multiple cages actually), a cess pit (basically a giant open hole in the ground that all the sewage dumps into), and dead trees that were due to fall over at any time. The first thing we did was clean it up, we had to rent a big construction dumpster to get rid of everything (twice).  But eventually, after all of the clean up, tree and miscellaneous shed and cage removal, paint, and more paint, adding plants, crushed rock, and some furniture, filling in a non functional koi pond, taking out a bridge that literally led to no where, a large broken fountain, two defunct hot tubs and a swamp cooler, and replacing the entire roof, we made it to here…


A while back I posted about a few of my outdoor plans and shared how Wayfair really helped to deck out the exterior rooms. We created the dining area in the front of the house (which took the place of an old fountain) using their concrete stools as seating, paired with an Ikea dining table and Target chairs. I found these cushions on H&M which were the perfect size for the stools.

The only thing left on my list to do is to replace that zig zag patterned board below the window but lets pretend it is not there for now.

a-frame - outdoor space tour - before & after - sarah sherman samuelProduct Sources:
Front Dining Area: Concrete Stools from Wayfair // Dining Table from Ikea // Seat Cushions from H&M // Side Chairs from Target (no longer available find similar here)


If you continue around to the side of the house we come to the patio off the bedroom. I wanted to make this into a relaxing spot for morning coffee and mountain views so we added some lounge chairs and an umbrella.


a-frame - outdoor space tour - before & after - sarah sherman samuel


Just off the patio, looking towards the mountains, is a big open space that was begging for a gathering area. Shortly after we bought the property a big storm came through and blew down the fence you see here. After replacing the fence and cleaning up the landscaping, we added this beautiful fire pit and butterfly chair grouping from Wayfair (inspired by The Parker, one of our favorite PS spots) which is just calling for some late night chats.


a-frame - outdoor space tour - before & after - sarah sherman samuela-frame - outdoor space tour - before & after - sarah sherman samuela-frame - outdoor space tour - before & after - sarah sherman samuel

Product Sources:
Fire Pit and Bedroom Patio Area: Butterfly Chair from Wayfair // Fire Pit from Wayfair // Lounge Chairs and cushions from Ikea // Umbrella from Hayneedle


Back around to the front of the house is the main entrance where there was a pergola on its’ last legs. We tore it down and built a new one to match, and extended the living area out onto the patio with some outdoor furniture.


a-frame - outdoor space tour - before & after - sarah sherman samuela-frame - outdoor space tour - before & after - sarah sherman samuela-frame - outdoor space tour - before & after - sarah sherman samuela-frame - outdoor space tour - before & after - sarah sherman samuelI couldn’t find an outdoor rug large enough for the space that I liked so I ended up buying four 5’x7′ ones of these from Target and layering them. I also couldn’t find a large outdoor coffee table that I loved that didn’t cost an arm and a leg so I DIY’ed this one out of an Ikea dining table top and used three stoneware planter pots as the feet (do you want to see this in a separate post? this one is already the longest one ever!).

a-frame - outdoor space tour - before & after - sarah sherman samuela-frame - outdoor space tour - before & after - sarah sherman samuelThe modern lines of this outdoor sofa had me at first glance. Last weekend we all sat out here on it in the early early hours and it was SO quiet and still and peaceful. I never wanted to leave. You can see above how we filled in the dysfunctional koi pond, turning it into a plant bed and filled out the rest of the rocks with more plants as well.

a-frame - outdoor space tour - before & after - sarah sherman samuelThis was a shot from our Sunset magazine shoot, in my dreams I am right here, always… and maybe Archie is playing quietly to the side while I sip my cucumber water and read a really good book.  Ok but in reality it was 110 degrees and shortly after this shot Archie ran into the frame, grabbed an entire brick of cheese off the plate and took a big bite of bree, rind and all and I was off to set up the next photo. Buuut I do have to say, now that the weather is cooling down, I intend to get some real reading time in that chair even if it is limited to Archie’s nap time.

Product Sources:
Main Patio Area: Sofa from Wayfair // Rugs from Target // Hanging Chairs from Candelabra // Coffee Table DIY // Butterfly Chair from Wayfair // Cement Side Table from Wayfair // Side Table from Ikea // Woven Floor Cushions from CB2 // My Dress by Doen // Sandals by Kyma 



a-frame - outdoor space tour - before & after - sarah sherman samuelWe always wanted to put a pool in this spot but once we got a 45K quote for the one I wanted I quickly came up with plan B and used a stock water tank as a little plunge pool to cool us down. I’ve seen a few of these around, Morgan from The Brick House painted hers white and since she lives in the desert as well, I figured she was on to something, plus I love the more finished look. Ours is still a work in progress as it still needs another coat of paint and we plan to hook it up to a small sand filter to keep the water clean but for now we have been just filling it up enough for Archie to splash around and then switching it out when needed but its just what we were looking for.

And that is pretty much the full tour! Somehow I forgot to shoot the clawfoot tub which is our outdoor shower, we have cleaned it up and it is one of my favorite features but I am claiming pregnancy brain because it is a real thing and the more pregnant I get the more I am forgetting.

Product Sources:
Pool Area: Stock Water Tank // Outdoor Chairs from HD Buttercup (find similar here)

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel // Except the ones I am in, those are by Thomas Story for Sunset Magazine (which you can tell because he is the real pro)

Special thanks to Wayfair for gifting some of the product that made my outdoor dreams possible.

A-frame exterior plans + progress

a-frame exterior - desert landscapingNow that construction is starting to wrap up on the inside of our A-frame, we have turned our attention to the exterior! The front yard, the back yard, the patios and all that good stuff. And as you can see we ended up going ALL white for the outside. We did it bit by bit, painting another section then living with it for a bit, and painting another section and living with it, and then finally we knew we had to go all the way.


house update: exterior color & patio building

house progress exterior color

exterior paint palettes // smitten studioI can finally check the exterior painting off our to-do list! I mentioned I was trying to decide between a charcoal palette and a white based palette, so I thought I would show you both! Color palettes and patio talk after the jump…


progress: exterior paint


A little green, a lot of charcoal, and a new foxy door knocker all make me crazy happy to be rid of the last of that old red paint color! Here it is with its brand spanking new exterior colors.

exterior-cabin-painted-charcoalexterior-cabin-painted 3exterior-cabin-painted-charcoal 4

You will have to excuse the clutter as we are still deep in reno mode. We also still plan on putting the wood up around the chimney like my rendering here. To see the progression of the exterior check here, herehere, and here.