Keepin’ It Real, Baby

by Cait

Ok, so I definitely am not the sort to say “baby”, but I couldn’t help it in the title.

I think it’s time for me to put on my Big Girl Pants and show you what I like to call the Very Before of our backyard and back porch.  If you’re good and read all the way to the end there will be cookies.  No wait, there won’t be cookies, there will be a picture of the paint swatch we painted with out free sample from Valspar.  (Insert innocent “It our first blogging freebie!” squealing here, even though I doubt it counts as a freebie if you whore yourself out sign up for it.)  So now, without further ado, the Backyard of Doooom Tour.

This is taken standing at our backyard’s fence, which goes down towards the street (we live on a corner) but not all the way.  This is because for some reason when Robert and Ryan were building the fence I convinced Robert that we needed a bigger front yard, I have no idea what I was thinking.  (Ok, that’s a lie, my reasoning went something like “All the kids in this neighborhood play in the front yard!”  Never mimd the fact that we don’t have kids.  So we made a little peninsula of yard that is fenced which is followed by a strip of yard that isn’t.  The weird strip is sort of like the strip of Oklahoma that is over Texas next to New Mexico.  Ok sorry, that is a terrible geography correlation, and possibly offensive to anyone in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.  I promise I don’t think your states are weird!  Florida is weird, the Panhandle? What is with that?)  But back to the point… So, we have barely any green stuff (it’s not grass, I promise), a stack of pallets that we were going to use for a rather large project involving a nail gun, the shed, and that weird bit of concrete and tile that juts out of the porch for no apparent reason.

Hello weird concrete and tile.  What the heck were the owners before Tricky Dick (does everyone know how Sara at Russet Street Reno calls her house’s previous owner Boozie Suzie? Tricky Dick is sort of like that. I am not original.)  thinking with that?  No one that has come over can figure out what they were trying to do with that.

This is our sad fence.  I suppose it’s not too bad, it stands, it keeps their English Bulldog in their yard and our crazies in ours.  To the left of this photo is a section of chain link.  On the plus side, Mr&Mrs Next Door/Behind (ok, their real names are Shawn & Mindy) are cool and they want to help with whatever fence we decide to put in one day.  Maybe we can even have a gate, because they have an awesome deck (from what I can see through the overgrowth).

Remember the concrete pad I told you about when I was talking about outdoor shower?  Here it is.  Just as classy as I described.

This is the overgrowth you can see in the first picture.  It actually doesn’t look that bad in person, most days I pretend that it is perfectly trained ivy growing on a stone wall (in this fantasy I’m also a lovely size 2 and my hair is always perfect).  Also note the chain link AND privacy fence.  Sadly these neighbors have never talked to us, and rarely even wave, so I highly doubt they will chip in for that fantasized-about stone wall to keep their constantly-outside-barking dog contained.

This is the porch that I want to make into a sunroom one day.  Note the tile that doesn’t line up at all and the rock bed planter next to the house.  The window you see is the master, and the grill is next too/below the window to the fourth bedroom (also known as the dog room, the place where things go to die, and The Place Where The Bastard Comcast Guy Drilled THrough My Original Would Floors.  That will be on another tour that includes the master closet and the guest room closet, I do not have the cojones to post all of that in one day.

And the porch from the other side.  Ignore the pollen-y pool table.  The window you see on the left is for the room mentioned above, and the window leaning against the wall is for the memo board mentioned in our To Do List.  We eat at that table when the weather is nice (and when it’s not covered in pollen), and one day it will probably move onto the patio we have yet to build.

And now, the oh-so-exciting picture I promised you of our paint swatch!

ignore the discarded living room set storm door, it needs to go to ReStore

Valspar helpfully suggested the existing color of our house as a “complementary color”, but I think we’ll still go with Gray Teal or Atlantic Gray as accents, what do you think?

13 Responses to “Keepin’ It Real, Baby”

  1. I think Valspar is a leeeeettle off on their complimentary color (salmon pink and yellow, really??) and second your Atlantic Gray with a little bit of crisp white thrown in for extra crispy contrast :o)

  2. Whenever you say the colors look weird in your photos, the pics don’t load for me.

    I wanna see pics too darnit!

  3. Oh fun I have something for Gray so I say go for the Atlantic Gray!

  4. just found your blog. Love it! I can see how that weird curvy concrete tile could seem out of place. If you have no ideas for it, I have one. Hear me out please. Ok, so you say you have no grass. That area seems to have a cement straight lines to it. What if: put down bricks(or some other rock or border blocks) outlining it. On the inside of the *box* lay down a little piece of tarp or black plastic they use in gardening which would be held down and in place by the border of bricks/border blocks. Get a bag of lava rock or gravel( so many shades and types it’s crazy) and spread that out evenly over the tarp. Maybe before you lay the rocks down you could put a stepping stone or two (seen them recently on Apartment Therapy in little squares but that looks like work sequencing them). Before doing any of it maybe pressure washing the concrete. This way you don’t have to demo it and it is completed and gives you a sitting area of yard. Just a thought. I am stuck in an apartment for a few more months…so I sit and dream of what things could be.

    • Thanks Alex! I’ve actually been thinking along these lines, trying to figure out what we can do to “make it work” (so to speak), but also make it so that it isn’t a pain to undo later if/when we DIY a “real” patio.

  5. I really love that sunroom. I wonder if you could easily cover the non-lined-up tiles by putting a cheap outdoor rug over them?
    I am so, so confused by the tile and concrete that peek out from under your sunroom wall. Don’t you just wish you could have been a fly on the wall when the owners were making these weird decisions??

    • Thanks Jane!

      The porch needs major love, which unfortunately has been postponed thanks to our need-based bathroom remodel. The tile doesn’t go all the way to the wall (which you can sort of see in the second picture), and it cracking, breaking up and just generally causing a walking nightmare. Also the screen lets in every bit of dirt, pollen, etc so we’d really want to fully enclose the porch one day.

      I really wish I knew what in the world they were trying to do with the tile&concrete outside the porch! So confusing!


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