The yard is officially a mess. However, the hardscapes are going in and will add another architectural layer to the project. The wall along the steet will be covered with stone to a 24" height. The top of wall and sidewalk will be bluestone as seen in the photo on the right.
Though not required, I wanted to create a more formal/urban connection to the street. Somehow it just seems more neighborly. To accomplish that we will have 3 sets of two steps that rise from the street. The wall sits back two feet from the property line and will accomplish two things: making the usable area of the yard easier to maintain (and) creating a single parking space in the right-of-way. That one parking space will be outlined with cobbles and topped with gray concrete pavers. The rest of the area between the wall and street will be landscaped in a way to restrict additional street parking.
It is already too hot to install landscaping, so we'll wait until September to start that. At that time, we'll being to move some of the plants that were pulled away from the house during construction. These are currently stored in our back yard and along the side of the front yard. They have held up ok during this time. The contractors will do their required seeding of bare areas for erosion control measures, but that will most likely be temporary until a permanent stand of grass can be developed.
Inside, the floors are sufficiently dry to walk around. There will be one more coat of poly to go down once everyone is finished inside. The deep color changes the way you perceive the space a bit. There is much more contrast with the walls now and the reddish color expands the spectrum slightly from just the oranges and browns. Our furniture and artwork will further expand the range of color.
To see the most recent set of images, go to my Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uklars/sets/72157623940837893/