Posts tagged ‘Backyard’

April 11, 2011

Zeroscaping

by Cait

The title is a terrible pun on xeriscaping.

You are probably getting tired of my frequent updates today, and anyone who follows me on Facebook probably saw my in-poor-taste update about our cactus’ demise.

Apologies if it offended anyone, sometimes I don’t think (or spellcheck- yes, like that one time, Brandt) before I update my status. For the record, this is the cactus I was referring to.

His name was Cactus (pronounced cac-toose), and one day I walked into the dining room (he split his time between inside and outside, which may have been the issue) and he had withered up & keeled over, his stem broken. I’m not exactly sure what did him, but I guess he decided that Robert & I make terrible plant-parents and went the way of my Elephant bush and Basil (pronounced Baz-ill) 1, 2 and 3.

The point of this post, as hinted at with the pun title, is that I’d like to have landscaping. Stop laughing! I’m thinking the best bet is hardy grasses. Or whatever grows in the African savanna. Or a lot of mulch. And gravel. And rocks. Do you think Dots will do her business on rocks? She’s kind of a a priss. Walks around with a bee in her paw pads (no really), rolls in the dirt, and digs holes, but refuses to go out in the rain or get her paws wet. You only think I’m kidding.

I’d like something like… well, go to The Brick House’s landscape category. The End. I love this post, and I really want a firewood holder like this:

I bet Ryan could make one of these (with one hand tied behind his back) if I pleaded a lot. With cookies.

So please, help a plant-murdering girl out. What would look nice and most likely not die by a combination of the Florida heat and my lack of plant skillz?

April 11, 2011

Living Outdoors: Part 2

by Cait

Apologies for posting a sappy post and now this one with pictures from Desire to Inspire, but I think a deck like this woud work where our weird concrete is.

our weird concrete



So today I’ll be daydreaming that I’m sitting on that deck at dusk surrounded by friends. And in my fantasy there are no gnats or mosquitoes.

March 30, 2011

Light Up My Life

by Cait

In researching my design board for the backyard and the back porch, I found a website called Barn Light Electric.  The website says they sell “true American-made and manufactured light fixtures”, which is awesome.  Unfortunately my wallet does not really agree with their prices, so I was forced to consider other sources for the extra exterior lights we need and I was surprised and amazed to discover some of the options available from Lowe’s.

1. Bel Air Lighting 1-Light Stainless Steel Wall Lantern $29.98

2. Portfolio 1-Light Outdoor Wall Light $21.98

3. Portfolio 1-Light Rust Outdoor Wall Light $19.98

I think when we get around to putting up  a couple more exterior lights we’re going to go with #3 (although #2 was a close second, and Robert really liked #1).  I love it when my favorite option also happens to be the least expensive!

While looking at the above options for around the outside of the back porch, Lowe’s thought it would be helpful to break my heart with the price of a light I decided we needed for the front porch (right now we have a lantern from HomeGoods that we retrofitted, but it hangs kind of low).  Thankfully I found another option with a quick Google search, and I like it even more!


1. Sea Gull Lighting Specialty Finish Metal Ceiling Fixture Outdoor Light $103.50

2. Grand River Lodge Fisherman’s Ceiling Light $39.99

I also loved this (and the price was much better than the one for $93.63 at Lowe’s), but that might be a bit much for our small porch.

Is anyone else thinking about changing up exterior lighting soon?

March 29, 2011

Design Board: The Backyard & The Porch

by Cait

The soundtrack to this post is here.

Now that we have internet back, I re-upload the photos from this postthis post and this post under a different file type.  Now hopefully anyone who they wouldn’t load for before will be able to see the pictures.  Because who doesn’t want to see the Backyard of Dooooooooom Tour?  (Yes, Lisa, this means you.  And anyone else they wouldn’t work for.)

Over the weekend we knocked out three of the things on our To Do List, which consequently knocked out our internet. (It’s always something, isn’t it?)  Then yesterday there were lots of lovely rumors flying around about the company I work for,  so in order to keep my sanity, I decided to daydream about the backyard and the porch.

The Backyard

1. Table & Chairs – We bought this table&chair set from Target shortly after we bought our house.  I’m not sure it’s the set I’d buy if I had it to do over again (for aesthetic reasons; I’d probably buy these chairs and this table), but the chairs are comfortable and the table has held up well.

2. Lounge Chairs – They make a chaise lounge version of our table&chairs, but I think I’m leaning towards the Ikea Applaro chaise lounge instead.  I see them working really well around the tank pool we want to build.

3. Umbrella – An umbrella for our table would be nice.  I’d love it to be a bright color (like green or yellow), but I think the Florida sun would bleach it out too quickly so cream or white is probably the best bet.  Something like this one from Target would be great.

4. Lighting – I imagine a lot of small lights.  Maybe lanterns, these Ikea solar lights or something like these Oxo Candelas.  I also really want some of these string lights from Target (I promise to find an LED version soon, but this is my daydream, and I have wanted this style of light for a long time).

5. Tank Pool & Deck – As I mentioned above, we want to make a tank pool out of a livestock tank, and ideally I’d like a small deck around it, and maybe a shade sail over it.  The idea for the pool was born after seeing this pool (which is actually a silo, I think) featured on The Brick House.

6. Outdoor Shower – I already discussed some of our plans here, but I started saving some other amazing ones (like the one shown) on Houzz.

7. Firepit – A fire pit would e nice, too.  The Incinerator that our friend Ryan’s dad used to have in his backyard was amazing (so long as you didn’t stand too close to it wearing something that would melt, like Cintas work pants).  Recently we were at a friends’ birthday party and there was a firepit made from a semi truck wheel (which was awesome), and  it got the wheels turning on how to DIY our own unique fire pit.

The Porch

1. FanA while back we scored this Hunter Fan from ReStore for $50!  Color me incredibly excited!

2. Lounge chairs – I nixed these  for the patio/deck/whatever, but I think these Ikea Ammero chaises would look great in the lounge area I envision for our porch.

3. Stump Side Table – (image from West Elm) As I mentioned a while back, we already had a stack of stumps to turn into tables and just picked up a few more (my neighbors love me</sarcasm>).  I think that at least one of them would look nice on near the lounge chairs.

4. Lighting – The last time we were at Ikea we bought one of these Ottava pendant lights to go over our pool table.  Originally we thought we wanted the Kroby, but now we’re thinking one Ottava on either end (we need to buy one more soon).  We’ll also need some more lighting in the lounge area (or at least to find a better bulb for the Hunter fan- it came with a spot light bulb, probably because that’s the only bulb the previous owner could find that fit).  I love the look of barn lights and these gooseneck lights, maybe we can DIY something similar with the old light from my parents’ kitchen.

5. Industrial Touches – (light switch image from here) It may seem odd, but I want a bit of an industrial vibe for the porch.  One day we’ll build our dream garage with studio above it, and I’ll have an industrial inspired studio with exposed brick walls.  Until then we can have an industrial-inspired porch to tide me over, with details like  exposed conduit, Ottava lights (and maybe cage lights) , and whatever else we think up.

6. Bead Board – I’m not sure that beadboard goes with the industrial look I just discribed, but I love the way it looks, and it would be a quick, hopefully cheap, and easy way to fix the painted ply currently adorning the walls.

7. Flooring – I loved the pallet wall in Will’s old nursery, so what about doing it as a floor?  We already have a stack o’ pallets, so maybe we can slap some boards from those suckers down to cover the hot mess that is the mismatching tiles.

8. TV – We are thinking about wall mounting a tv (with a bracket like this one) so that we can watch footbally or something nerdly like Mythbusters while playing pool.  We would probably obscure the tv with a curtain or a cabinet or something when it wasn’t in use.

9. Bar Stools – Initially I forgot that we also want barstools (and mabye a small pub table).  I can’t decide if I want mismatching yard sale/Goodwill finds, or something matching (and maybe stackable).  Currently loving the Ikea Sebastian stools.

Hopefully we can tackle some of these things slowly over time, because I would really like to use our backyard a lot more this summer than we did last year.  Cue the staycation.

March 26, 2011

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?

November 4, 2010

Living Outdoors

by Cait

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what I want to do with out backyard.  Yes, the backyard, not the front yard that all the neighbors see, that would make far too much sense.  I introduced this topic on the blog a while back with our DIY Wish List, and have pretty much been dreaming about and sketching the perfect way to layout our petite backyard ever since.  I’ll try to scan the sketches Robert and I came up with tonight, but I thought I’d share a few of the photos that have been inspiring us to plan our backyard.

From Tighe Architechture (Ocean Front Walk project), seen on The Brick House

It’s easy to fall in love with the lighting and the view in this photo (our backyard certainly doesn’t have one of those two things), but I’m also in love with those walls/planters.  I think something like that would pair well with the other elements I want for our yard, like a flagstone patio and a taller slat fence around one back corner of the yard.  I love the look of the overhang, too, but I would want ours a little more rustic, like the one on the left below.

Patio photo from The Brick House and Ikea chairs seen on Making it Lovely

I love this photo (above right) of the Ikea Ammero chair that I saw on Making it Lovely.  I’m a sucker for sunset lighting, but I think something like this would be perfect for the patio I’m dreaming about.  Or maybe two of the lounge chair version with a small table (or a garden stool like we have on our front porch) in between.

From At Home magazine, seen on The Newlywed’s Paradise

I have wanted to incorporate a glass garage door into our house ever since I got the idea from my mom (I told you she was full of great ideas!) and so ever since I saw this I have been dreaming of a way to include one in our future sunroom.

What have y’all been dreaming about for your backyard?  Or for your house in general?  I’d love to see photos or links if you have them.