Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Well Hi!

I have got another really great back yard project to share with you. 

This started like so many of our projects:

Hero: We should build a pergola on the back patio.

Me: Absolutely!

And we were off.

Hero is all about working designs out in his head, followed up with Google searches to confirm and solidify the plans and then off to Lowe's for supplies.

And then drilling holes into our freshly painted garage walls.

But not to worry! I know Hero has this all figured out. And if not, he is pretty handy at fixing things.

This is a common occurrence - Hero dangling off a ladder or something.

It seems like he knows all the good tricks - Like how to get a post attached to a cement patio. And then making it look pretty spiffy.

With just a few posts and boards, we really had a good idea of how this was going to feel. 

This patio was pretty much useless in the summer from 2-7pm - It is on the west side of our house and there is absolutely no shade at all. It was so unfortunate that we couldn't use this area for anything.

Hence the pergola.

We stained all the boards ahead of time so we could just throw them up as needed.

We set up shop in the garage for that. Even around the latest car project.

If you ever have to stain anything, you should use latex/non-latex gloves. Stain is such a pain in the butt to get off.

And you should use old rags - Just do your staining and then toss them out. I am not a fan of complicated clean-up.

We wanted to add something that looked like wrought iron for an industrial kind of vibe. These poles are electrical conduit. 

Cue the black spray paint.

Not sure what is happening here, but it looks like Alex was helping to get the poles up in where they belong.

We used canvas drop cloths cut into long strips and all hemmed up as "sails" between the slats to offer tons of shade. We ended up hand sewing them around the end pole to get them all consistently taught. I of course tried a few other things first thinking they would be easier (snaps and velcro), but both of those ideas turned out to be the worst ideas ever. Picture wanting to throw the snap setter and the sewing machine out the window. 

And then all the pieces became a pergola.

And here it is:

It's like a resort - We are in love!

Instead of making the patio feel smaller, it feels so much more useful and cozy. Like an outdoor room.

When the sun is setting, we just close those curtains and they flutter in the wind while giving us just the right amount of shade.

Do you see those little twinkles?

Yep - Party lights. It looks amazing at night:

Oh. My. Goodness. We could not happier with how this turned out. 

Hero has the best ideas.

How about a quick where-we-started photo:

To this after:

We are loving this space and using it sooooo much more than we have since we moved in 4 years ago. It's just exactly what this space needed.
 photo signature.jpg

Monday, September 5, 2016

faux windows


We loved all the great comments on our exterior paint job - Thank you!

Today I'm sharing a little tricky thing we did to give the outside a little more personality. 

And it was super easy and practically free. Practically free because I had most of the supplies already. But even purchasing the few things needed would be pretty darn inexpensive.

Here is where we left off:

In love. This is a million times better than the beige and brown.

As much as we love all the white, sometimes you need a little something to break things up. So we decided we needed windows.

With painters tape I taped off the top row of rectangles on the garage door. I didn't measure - I just eyeballed them with the existing lines. Piece of cake.

Already looks a little more interesting, right?

Once those were done, I pulled out the black paint. 

And colored inside the lines.

Pretty spiffy, huh? 

Tape removal is the best part.

They look pretty real, don't they?

Seriously, this project took about an hour. And it was super easy.

So great!

Here is way before:

Getting there:

And a few afters:

And we did the same thing in the back.

While Alex and her cute boys were here visiting, we put her to work. She painted some faux windows for us at the back door. It definitely needed a little something interesting.

Since this space used to be actual windows, it was a no-brainer to make it look like windows again. 

Alex didn't need tape since it was recessed enough to make a straight line. And she is a champ with a steady hand.

And she was so happy to be put to work.

Seriously, she was a trooper and we had tons of fun getting these things all buttoned up for the previously mentioned graduation party.

You can see we painted the back door red to match the front. I was a little wary at first, but we totally love it.

How cool is that? It totally looks like we have windows there, but we don't.

Super easy trick.

We also built something pretty terrific in the back yard. I'll share that next!
 photo signature.jpg