Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bye Bye Fence...Hello Lights...Hello Party

Here's another great "tear down the fence story."  I first noticed our neighbors, who live kiddy corner behind us, when they painted their house a fabulous, deep, rich blue. I thought to myself, finally some panache in the neighborhood!  Of course a house like that comes with a perfectly manicured garden and two adorable neighbors named Joel and Robert. But there's one thing it didn't come with (until now)-- an invitation to their frequent house parties. Oowa, oowa.

Joel and Robert have two street lamps perched in their backyard, at least one fire pit and a cozy set of outdoor sofas.  When the backyard lights come on, all of us neighbors on the East side of the fence perk up and peek out the windows. We say to ourselves, Our neighbors are having another party. (Their lights come on often).

Last Spring, our kids were messing around in the backyard and destroyed the fence Megan and Alex share with Joel and Robert. With no fence to keep us apart, it was the beginning of the beginning.  

First Joel and Robert came over for dinner.  Next thing you know they started bringing over flats of tomato plants, bottles of wine, Vodka from the freezer, even a tree once. And then it came-- an invitation to one of their parties.  Robert said, "We're having people over Saturday.  When you see the backyard lights turn on, come on by." I thought, Oh yes Robert... we all know what happens when your lights come on!

My house is right there in the upper right hand corner of the photo.  As you can tell by this photo, I'm on the other side of the lights now!

This was also the first time I saw the inside of Robert and Joel's warm and inviting home.
We discovered a lovely spread and a lovely group of people

The stairway leading upstairs is an art gallery.  Robert was naming all of the famous artists featured here but I lost track.  There were so many!

The art is so nicely curated on the walls.  Hanging art on a stairway is a real art in and of itself.

The angels are so sweet...the one on top is for protection

Cozy living room with even more art

These DIY-ers laid new tile on their fireplace surround themselves and then spent a week painting them to look like bricks.  Robert went brick-by-brick to make each one unique. Then they had a custom built gas fireplace insert made. Love the flaming rocks!

Joel and Robert's bright and sparkly kitchen reminds me of them.

The party carried on downstairs into the garage converted to a swanky lounge
My sister called it the Garounge...garage lounge.  Apparently in NYC, where she just moved from, they try to make restaurants and bars look like garounges  This one's natural.

R & J have cable wire running both sides of their garage.  When it's party time they hang up white fabric to hide the garage storage.
They use simple clips to attach the fabric to the wire. ...I wonder what's behind the sheets?
Guess what's on the floor? Carpet padding-- that's it! So clever and comfy!

Doesn't this load bearing post and beam look so much more interesting in party mode?! I found out that R & J bolted the foundation themselves thanks to guidance from a friend of theirs, Dan Weiss of Weiss Construction.  Dan guided them step-by-step.  But even still...Who bolts their own foundation?! I see a DIY contest award in    R & J's future!

Joel produces a Wine and Food radio show on AM 910. R & J are good to go on the food and wine! If you're coming over for dinner, bring flowers.

Joel and my sister Michelle having a great time

Robert having an even better time!  R & J are always smiling!

Stop it! sez Joel.  Do you know who these two adorable ladies are?

Joel does!  The one on the left was a workout video maven in the 80s and inspired the creation of the character "Crissy" on Three's Company! So fun!  I totally see it!
Corey and Jen happy in the garounge. Jen works for the Health Department and inspects restaurants.  I didn't want to hear any more about that...Don't tell me your dirty secrets, Jen!  Ignorance is bliss!

Thank you Joel and Robert for turning the lights on!  We're happy to be on the other side now...and SO HAPPY we got to know you because our kids busted your fence! 

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