Our Backyard Updates

How is your summer going? We had a busy week of graduation celebrations around here and everything is finally cleaned up and back to normal after our BBQ bash on Saturday. The plan was to have most of the party outside, but the weather forecast wasn’t looking so good leading up to the big day. On Friday we decided to prepare for the worst and cleaned up the garage and made it as party ready as possible. It was a good call since Saturday brought everything from sunshine to strong wind to heavy rain and hail. Not the best conditions for a party! Nonetheless, everyone had a great time and that’s really what’s important.

Prior to the graduation party, we worked really hard to finish up projects around our yard. It’s amazing how the thought of fifty people coming to your house can motivate you to get things done. If you’re finding yourself dragging your feet on home projects, plan a party and I guarantee you’ll have a little more pep in your step. I thought I’d share some of our most recent backyard updates.


Backyard Updates- Cordovan Brown Stained Deck with Wicker Lounge Chairs


One of the first projects we tackled was re-staining the deck. Although I liked the look of a darker stain, the product we used the first deck staining go-around had a bit of a red undertone. I wanted more of an espresso look, but achieving it with a semi-transparent was pretty much impossible. As well, there were certain parts of the deck that had worn down to the bare wood from our dog coming in and out, as well as regular wear and tear from the winter. It was looking pretty rough.

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Front Porch Reveal + New Door Color

A couple weeks ago, I posed the question, “Which color I should paint my front door?”, and you definitely gave your input. The top response was blue, with black and yellow being close contenders. Basically, it was a mixed bag, which meant I probably couldn’t go wrong with any of my considerations.┬áTo refresh your memory, this is what our front door and porch looked like before.



As I always do when selecting paint colors, I held my fan deck up in the location and began flagging colors that stood out to me. I then taped the larger swatches from my Benjamin Moore color kit to the door and stood back. It didn’t take long for certain colors to jump out, and I quickly had it narrowed down to (you guessed it) blue, yellow and black!

Yellow was the next color I eliminated as an option. Our house faces southwest and yellow was far too bright with the sun shining on it. I could also tell by my husband’s and son’s reactions that it wasn’t their favorite color (although they usually defer to me when it comes to decorating decisions). Blue and black, however, were capturing my attention equally, and I decided to sleep on it (all this over a door color!).

The next day, I considered our landscaping colors and it made my decision much easier. Not only do we have a large tree with plum foliage on it throughout the summer, but most of the perennials in our front yard have purple or yellow blooms. I felt that adding blue would just be too much color. In addition, I’ve always loved the sophisticated and classic look of a black door. After looking at several blacks, I decided on Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron. It has a blue undertone, which seems to complement our siding and trim.


Front Door Paint- Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron 2121-10

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Front Porch Freshening + I Need Your Help

How was your long weekend? Although we did take some time to enjoy ourselves, most of our time was spent finishing outdoor projects before it gets too cold. Since our basement renovation took longer than anticipated (you know big projects always do), I held off staining our front porch. With trades coming in and out over the past few months, our front door, spindles and porch floor saw their share of dings and marks. Now that we’re on to the furnishing and decorating phase of the basement (more on that later this week), I felt it was safe to give the porch a little TLC.

Here’s what the porch looked like last week after I started to fill holes and cracks with an indoor/outdoor spackle. (And, no, our house isn’t pink. It’s just the way the light is bouncing off the light grey siding.)



See how the dark grey has faded over time and how dull everything looks. Not the best first impression I want to make! A good lesson to see what’s wrong with any space is to take a photo. I’ve always thought the light fixture looked small and it’s blatantly obvious in this photo (something to change out down the road). [Read more...]

The Orange Fence is Gone!

You know those projects that start out with good intentions, but turn out to be a major miss. Since we moved into our home several years ago, my fence and I have not had a good relationship. We started out with a tall grey fence along the back that the developer put in, and a simple cedar fence was added on either side of our house. It sounded like an alright idea at the time, but I didn’t realize it would turn out to cause me so much grief.



From the minute that fence went in, I hated it (such a strong word, but nothing else would suffice!). I didn’t want to stain it to match the grey, so I thought I’d try staining over the grey to match the cedar. ‘Natural Cedar’ stain sounded like the perfect solution.

It looked okay to start with, but when the sun was shining, it gave off a terrible orange glow. I almost didn’t want to look out my back window- EVER! I ended up living with it for a while because at least it blended better with the cedar fence and looked a little more uniform. In addition, I wasn’t very excited about having to pull out the paint brush, yet again.



After not being able to go one more year looking at my orange fence, I decided to finally do something about it. I knew it would be a big project, but it was worth it to me. [Read more...]