It has long been held that the “American Dream” focused on the serene image of a cozy little home nestled behind a white picket fence.

As such, when it came time to update and completely renovate a 111-year old home located at 604 Second Street in Old Town Brentwood, California, a picket fence was most certainly included as part of the historic restoration – but with a few important exceptions. 

The home was originally a catalog mail-order kit home, built around 1906, that was among an estimated 600 small bungalows constructed in the nearby coal and copper mining communities of the day – and later moved intact to its current location at 604 Second Street.

When the project planning began, homeowners Robin and Mike McClellan met with Carey Brothers Remodeling and all agreed that great care and effort would be made at every opportunity to skillfully incorporate today’s latest technologies and advancements – in both home building products and materials – while still striving to maintain the authentic vintage look and appeal of the original century-old home… and with that, even the picket fence was under consideration.

“After doing some research, we found exactly what we were looking for in a highly improved and upgraded fencing system offered by European Garden Living,” states Carey Brothers’ designer, Carol Carey. “While it offered all the charm and aesthetics of a traditional picket fence, it was engineered with a number of hidden benefits and premium features that were hard to resist.”

“Rather than white, we opted for a natural wood look – finished with a warm stain called “Golden State” –  on their European Picket line of classic decorative fencing,” she notes.

This fencing also offered state-of-the-art engineering of the highest quality European Spruce, which is far denser and stronger than redwood. Production-wise, after exacting German milling to achieve a premium profile, each solid wood picket is first pressure treated with organic preservatives that extends lifespan and then attached (with screws rather than staples) onto same-wood cross members to create easy-to-assemble 72” wide by 42” high panel sections. A matching gate is also offered for a fully coordinated look.

Among the most appealing features is that the system installs in half the time of conventional fencing, due in part to the fact that there is no need for concrete (eliminating drying time) and an innovative “dynamic panel” design that adjusts to various landscape contours, such as a hill.

“We strive to push the boundaries of outdoor living with great designs that have proved to sell well throughout Europe to our demanding customers,” notes

Rolf Behrsing, President of the European Garden Living LLC. “Our products have renown European quality and sophisticated design, along with our own special attention to detail – such as intricate carvings, subtle grooves and intriguing patterns – that adds an artistic touch our customers consistently appreciate.”

“We envision you sitting and relaxing in your garden… and enjoying our highest quality products for many years to come,” he adds with a smile.

“Picket fencing has taken a giant leap forward with European Garden Living’s Decorative Fencing collection of panelized European picket fencing,” states James Carey. “The system was easy to install and ties perfectly to the home and surrounding privacy fencing. The factory finish is attractive and will offer years of attractive wear that won’t require repeated painting or staining by the owner. Ease of installation, low maintenance and an attractive product that increases curb appeal — it simply doesn’t get any better!”

Homeowners Robin and Mike McClellan agree, “It provides a wonderful backdrop for our landscaping and enhances the authentic look of our vintage home. It defines the front yard and the picket design is both attractive and unique.” To which, Carol Carey adds, ”The classic rounded-top picket fence around the little 604 Second Street house reminds me of the Summer gardens in Germany…. and beyond being beautiful and charming, it surrounds the home like a picture frame.”

Finally, in case you are wondering why it is called a “picket” fence (was there a “Mister Picket?” Nope.) The name traces back about five centuries, to the 1600’s and a time in Europe when sharpened pieces of wood called “piquet” (from the French word “piquer,” meaning to pierce) were used to form barriers.

It still holds true today… only the folks at European Garden Living just made them better and more beautiful.

For more information, visit www.europeangardenliving.com. Follow the progress of the historic renovation by visiting http://604secondstreet.onthehouse.com.