When we landscaped our front yard two years ago and wrapped our pillars and added patio furniture – it felt really complete. There was only one thing left on our list to complete that project – update our exterior lights to match our newly renovated yard. Back when the project was fresh on our minds I found a couple lights I really liked but could never pull the trigger because they were just a little too expensive for my liking. I decided to do some more searching and if I couldn’t find anything comparable I’d go ahead and make the purchase. The project was sidelined. We had a baby and suddenly updating my exterior lights weren’t even on my list!
With my dad’s most recent visit, I was lining up projects he could help me with. I walked around the home surveying items that needed attention and I noticed the outdated exterior lights once again. I was ready to make a move. I did some research and I’m so glad I didn’t go with my initial light choices, I found some I like better and they were less expensive. (the joys of Amazon!)
We had four of these flushmount lights on our front patio. We went from dark and dirty…
…to bright and modern. What I love about this fixture is it has glass on the sides, but no glass on the bottom. This makes it easier to change bulbs, but more importantly it doesn’t collect dead bugs! The wide opening makes it easy to clean when needed. They’re made by Globe Electric (aff. link) and can be found on Amazon – they’re 13″x13″x5.5″ – so they’re pretty good sized.
After replacing the flushmount lights we replaced the sconce lights – two by the driveway and one by our front door. I wanted something to compliment the flushmounts but not necessarily lights from the same line. I chose to do the same lights for both locations – although the sconce by the front door is a larger version.
These lights were especially bad as they collected debris like crazy – when we first moved in our inspector called these a fire hazard – we’ve continually emptied the contents to avoid any problems. It was time to bid them farewell!
New sleek lights to update the space. The lights that flank the garage are 11″ long where as the one by our front door is 14″. They’re made by Chloe lighting (aff link) and they compliment the flushmounts great – and they were far more affordable than some of the options I had looked at.
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Today is our Home-iversary – we’ve been in our home 6 years now and although there’s still so much we’re changing and updating, we have come a long way. I’m just going to focus on the outside changes in today’s post.
Here’s how she looked on move-in day and funny enough – I didn’t have a vision for the outside when we bought this. There was so much that needed love on the inside that the outside was an afterthought.
Within the first month we tore down the gingerbread.
The house went from blue to gray, we removed the picket fence, planted a few plants and changed out the front door. It sat like this for a long time.
But our grass was all weeds and our sprinkler system didn’t work right so we sought out sprinkler repair man. Several came to look at the project and they all told us the same thing. We needed a completely new system and needed to retrench all the pipes (we had a couple broken lines below the surface). The conversation then shifted. If we need to dig up the whole front yard – is there any landscape we want to change before that happens?
Which led us to this picture. Six orange trees completely uprooted and laying flat in our front yard. We tore out every living item and even non-living items like the sidewalk, light fixture and mailbox. We wanted a clean slate.
Which is what we got… Just two months before Briggs was born. The home seemed suddenly exposed.
My dad came down and helped me build out the posts and run the landscape bricks. Just weeks after Briggs was born we got back to the project and planted all the plants, ran all the landscape lighting and drip lines and had sod put in. And here we sit…for now.
There’s still more to do, but we love where we’re at and we’re not going anywhere, so we’re taking our time. If feels like we’ve been here far longer than 6 years and with each passing year our roots grow just a little deeper.
I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that Hallie’s room still hasn’t been painted since her insulation fiasco last August. I have to explain to everyone why there is a large patch of drywall along one whole wall. I meant to paint it sooner. But I wasn’t quite sure if we were sticking with blue or choosing a new color and quite frankly it was out of sight out of mind.
But like most unfinished projects, at some point I get annoyed that I’m having to take it off a list (because everything else on the list was completed) and write it again at the start of a new list. I’m tired of writing, “Paint Hallie’s room”. I’ve made it my goal to get it done before school gets out which I thought was completely realistic until I tried deciding a color. I painted two of my very favorite grays (the two on the right) that I’ve used in other rooms and they just didn’t work like they have in other rooms. It was as if they were a completely different color.
So I rushed out on Saturday morning and grabbed a new sample (on the left) – a color I’d seen in a friend’s house and I was sure it was the color I would use. I painted it on the wall and it wasn’t dark enough.
I painted the samples on other walls just to see if the lighting made a difference. (notice the patched drywall above the samples!) I wasn’t sold.
I went out this morning and grabbed two more samples – less gray and more aqua in color. (Hallie’s choice). I should have known better than to grab a sample from home depot – I’ve never had luck when they try to color match from someone else’s book. Both the samples went up and I think we might have found a winner.
The problem – I had them match another brand and they completely botched the color match…but we actually like the botched color. So now I’ve got to figure out how to get Dunn Edwards (where I buy all my paint) to match the botched color from Home Depot – which was trying to match an original Dunn Edwards color. Confusing to say the least. Hopefully we can figure it all out because I’m afraid if we don’t get this room painted soon it’s going to look like this until summer ends!
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I was at a DownEast Home one day when I found these plank shelves from West Elm for $10 a piece. I snatched up the three shelves they had and knew exactly how I wanted to use them.
I tend to like the industrial look -I like when metals mix with wood. Several years back I opted for industrial pipe for our curtain rods and I’ve loved the look and feel. Using the same material as the curtain rods, I made shelf brackets.
I used 1/2″ pipe and it comes precut in 8″, 10″ or 12″ lengths. You’ll also need a flange and a cap and spray paint in the color of your choice. I like the hammered spray paint by Rustoleum – it gives a durable finish.
My shelves aren’t very wide, so I only needed two brackets per shelf. I screwed the pipe directly into the wall through the flange. It would’ve been ideal to screw them into a stud – but there never seems to be a stud where I need it. So I used some strong mollies in the drywall to screw into to prevent them from ripping out.
The shelves are just sitting on the brackets. For safety, you can add a pipe bracket underneath that would screw into the wood to keep it in place.
I really don’t like the staging part of these projects, but after a year we finally have items sitting on the shelves. I ended up using his toys/books as the decorations. Not toys that were purchased to be cute on a shelf, but the toys he actually plays with, the robots, cars, wooden dinosaur and Baby Lit books. So it really only looks like this every week when I tidy up the room and put everything back in its place. The shelves ended up being more functional than decorative and they fit the space perfectly.
The hardware for the bookcase doors (or Murphy doors as they’re also referred to) are relatively simple. The bottom hardware is a ball bearing and the top hardware includes a metal pin. There are no hinges. It seemed as though it would be a relatively simple install. But it wasn’t. In order for the hardware to function properly, everything had to be exact – with little to no wiggle room. We were dealing with pretty square bookcases in a somewhat square opening. Not to mention the entire wall leaned in. We worked and readjusted and tried again. It was late, we were frustrated and finally – the bookcases fit into the hardware. And they opened – which was my biggest fear the whole time.
I mentioned earlier that we decided to install the face frame after the bookcases were installed. Here’s why it was a stroke of genius…
We figured it would be near impossible for us to get the bookcases completely level with each other within this space. But in order to look good – they needed to be spot on. We knew we wouldn’t be able to adjust the bookcases once they were installed, but we would be able to adjust the placement of the face frame. There was a significant face frame overlap on all the edges so we were able to adjust the frame so they were completely level with each other. Mission accomplished.
See how nice and level these are?! They would not look like that had we installed them before installing the bookcase. It would have been all sorts of messy.
Once the face frame was attached, we had to cover the side gaps with trim moulding. The moulding is attached to the wall – not to the bookcases. This allows them to swing open freely and still gives it a finished look. We also added a trim piece to the left side bookcase to cover the middle gap. The gaps are necessary in the design in order for them to open properly. This means the left side will always have to be opened first.
With all the trim in place and the adjustable shelves in – the space looked completely different.
I’m beyond happy with how it turned out. It’s exactly what I wanted. Now if I would just dedicate some time to styling the shelves, we would be in business. But styling isn’t my strong point. They might look like this for a while and even then it’s an improvement from the crooked bi-fold doors!