It's a Doozy

We've never purchased or owned a perfectly complete home. And this house is no exception. There's always another project looming, a to-do list. With this house, our next project is a serious doozy. 

Summer 2013

The back yard. 
Behold the ugly truth …

Summer 2013

We purchased a home with an overgrown, neglected, disaster of a backyard. The privacy it provided seemed like a plus, when it was all green and lush, but come winter a different story started to present itself. Weeds, mostly. Lots of overgrowth. Not much in the evergreen department. It's not pretty. 

Fall 2013

We did take care of a few obvious issues, like trees overhanging and touching the house, with a tree service this past summer. You can read more about that here. And, John spent several grueling weekends removing a lot of overgrowth from the very back corner of the yard. In return he was treated to a serious case of poison ivy.
Needless to say, our work here is done. 
It's time to come up with a plan and call in the professionals. 

Winter 2014

Here's the plan:
1. rip out everything from the mature (past their prime) azaleas, to the monkey grass to all the other shrubs and roots.
Just like in Chicago, we've decided that less is more. Working with old, overgrown and yukky plants is a lot harder than starting from scratch. This yard is getting a clean slate.
2. regrade the entire yard.
After living here for almost 6 months, watching the water render the grassy area a muddy cesspool - we've decided to face the problem head on. 
3. install stairs connecting the "deck to nowhere" to the yard. 
What a novel concept. An outdoor space that allows you to access your yard! It's a must. And quite frankly, we have no idea why the deck didn't have stairs to begin with…
4. address the awning situation.
Basically, the awning is old. Really old. The seams have all ripped, there are several holes and it's not waterproof. About all its good for is a bit of shade. There is a lot to think about here and unfortunately, none of the options are inexpensive.
5. layout/seating.
The deck is long and narrow, which makes for awkward seating arrangements. It doesn't help that we are utilizing furniture from our old Chicago screened-in porch and patio. One option would be to add additional space in the form of a patio at ground level. Or just rework the layout/seating on the existing deck. 

Winter 2014

On the other side of the backyard is this existing raised bed that currently holds a fig tree and other miscellaneous plants. We plan to transform this into our kitchen garden. Our whole family loved our raised bed gardens in Chicago (you can read more about the boxes, here and the finished garden, here) so why not try our hand at it again, this time on a bigger scale. 

Here's the plan for the kitchen garden:
1. replace rotting railroad ties with something more aesthetically pleasing - like stone.
2. create beds within the overall space, separated by gravel pathways for easy access.
3. upgrade the soil. This seems pretty self explanatory. Gardening requires good quality soil, of which there isn't much at the moment.
4. grow some stuff

Nothing is set in stone, and I am sure there will be changes as we go, but we are excited to get this whole project underway. We'll be sharing inspiration, sources and play-by- plays whenever possible. It feels strange to hire in for this sort of thing, we are so used to doing it all ourselves. I know we will all be missing images of John toiling away. Don't worry, I'm sure I'll be able to snag one or two for you. I wouldn't want to deprive you, after all.

until next time,  

Planning a Playroom

Making our playroom more entertaining, engaging and (quite frankly) attractive has been on my wish list since we first moved into this house. Not to mention on the goal list last year and again this year.

But until recently it has served other purposes. Originally it was Mr. DD's workout space. Then it became the temporary kitchen. After we moved back upstairs into the newly remodeled kitchen, the basement sat virtually untouched (perhaps too much time spent living down there).

I've finally decided that now is the time and here's why:
As our oldest is growing; so is her toy collection.
Winter is upon us; the hibernation is setting in and we need a place to go.
I need a space that can be torn upside down on a daily basis. As I am learning, that's half the fun!

The plans thus far include:

Selecting a suitable floor covering for the "cork" vinyl planking
Incorporating a craft space - i.e., table and chairs
Creating a chalkboard
Organizing all the craft supplies
Creating art display space
Creating kid friendly art

That should keep us busy for awhile...or at least this weekend.

Check me out on Pinterest for a sneak peek at some of my inspirational images. 

Until next time, 

The Plan for Nursery Updates

It's official, this baby is coming in just a couple of weeks and I have got to get on with the updates in the nursery! 

Have I mentioned that I am being induced on the 24th October - yes, one of the many joys of Gestational Diabetes! I think I mentioned that this pregnancy has not been a glamorous one. But enough about me, let's get back to the project at hand.

The nursery started out like this when we moved into the house a short two years ago.

After a bit of TLC it went on to become this. 

And this.

But something just didn't sit right with me; I was never really sold on that small tree decal. 

So I switched it out for this much larger and more substantial tree decal.

But then our little girl graduated to her very own Big Girl Room next door and the nursery has sat vacant for almost a year. Mocking me with all it's wicker and decal over load. 

So I started planning, knowing that I wasn't going to change the overall scheme of the room, but still wanted to make some updates.

I'm also planning to work on a minor furniture rearrangement, a wall collage,

as well as an update to this existing shabby chic armoire.

Stay tuned as these projects will be happening rather quickly.
At least that is the plan!

Speaking of our newest planned arrival, I'd love to have some guest posters lined up to keep the content fresh while I'll be taking a little RandR. If you'd be interested, please contact me via email.

Until next time,