Entries Tagged as 'Home & DIY'

Progress on the Yard – 2013



This weekend was one of those glorious weekends where summer still lingered on until the last possible second. It was glorious. We decided to take a last minute trip to the beach and it was once of the most enjoyable weekends ever. Sometimes last minute trips are the best.

It reminded me of all the progress we’ve made on our yard by the lake and I realized I have yet to share our most recently finished projects. We’ve worked hard finishing up the odds and ends with the bulk of the construction happening last summer.


I can hardly believe it looked like this a little more than a year ago.  So many white stones which were only good for reflecting the sun at a blinding rate and creating the maglie calcio poco prezzo perfect habitat for spiders, something had to be done. This was prime real estate. One of the main reasons we bought our home.


Outside 2013014 My Dad built this stone stairway which was an amazing how it transformed the yard. It completely changed how we accessed the area and we recycled as much of the white stone as we could to make the large stairs.

Outside 2013015

As you come down the stairs to the left he built a rock wall which we filled with sun loving plants. Sedum and Zebra grass from this angle along with an apple tree and some smaller ornamental grasses fill the top portion.

Outside 2013016

Further down the path the white stones were replaced with sod and we 2 raised garden beds which housed tomatoes, string beans, cucumbers and cantaloupe. To the right we added another garden in front of the above ground pool which helps to camouflage the not so pretty parts. Some maiden grass, a few iris’ flank either side of the pool. Outside009 We desperately needed some storage here for life jackets, fishing gear and all the miscellaneous items living by the lake cause you to acquire. Bryan built the shed to house all those things and a great added bonus is at certain times of day it creates some much need shade.

Outside 2013017


Another favorite area has to be the ground level deck Bryan and my dad built along the water’s edge. I got the idea to create almost a boardwalk right in front of the lake. Originally we had only planned to make it about 6 feet wide but when we priced out the lumber difference to jump to 10 feet wide there wasn’t much of a difference so we went with the wider deck and it has worked out so well.

Outside 2013013  I can’t tell you how many barbeques clam bakes and parties we hosted over the summer right here. We love it.

Outside 2013011

But probably the best addition has all has to be the the outdoor bar they built. It’s perfect for serving up drinks, setting out a buffet for family gatherings or just sitting and relaxing.

Outside 2013005 Outside 2013004

All in all it’s been a pretty amazing transformation and there are still a few odds and end that’s need to be wrapped up but we couldn’t be happier with the results.

Thanks to Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick for hosting another Before and After party.

One Room Challenge – Week 1 (The Living Room)



So I’ve decided to play along with the one room challenged this time around. If you haven’t heard of it it’s a challenge hosted by Linda of Calling it Home and 20 other bloggers sharing their progress on 1 room for 6 weeks. I started this thinking about putting this room together so long ago and even put a mood board together but never got much past changing out the pillows and putting back up the curtains.

Here’s how it looked just after we rearranged the furniture and painted.


Then I added a few pillows and it kind of stalled there for the summer while I got distracted by the warmer weather.


So here we are October again and I want to finally finish up this room before the Holidays set in and I’m distracted once again.


Here’s the inspiration board I put together originally. It’s very beach with the blues and green tones throughout. All the sources for the board are here.

As you can see I already used some of fabrics from the board for pillows. It’s a really good jumping off point I still love it I just need to tweak it up a bit. I’m thinking of adding cheap oakley some indigo velvet pillows to the sofa and maybe green trellis fabric for the curtains and houseplants. I’ve been dying over Emily Henderson’s abundant use of houseplants, so there’s that. So come back every Thursday for the next six weeks and I’ll share the progress. This should be good…I hope 🙂

Inspiring Ideas: Black Window Panes



Black Window Ideas

image via HInkely Lighting

So we have this sliding glass door in the cheap oakley sunglasses kitchen that has a broken seal and we’ve been dying to replace it with a big beautiful window instead. We haven’t used that door in months and there is another sliding door leading to the deck not 10 feet away. We don’t think we’ll miss it in the least. Eventually all the windows in the house will need to be replaced. They are either old or cheap vinyl and do nothing to frame our beautiful view. Of course I keep seeing beautiful black window panes everywhere I look and I think we just might go for it. So what do you say about black windows? Timeless or trendy?

Black Window Mullions | Black Windows | Kitchen Design | Marble Countertop | Detail

image via houzz

Clean Design | Large Windows | Window Door | Interior Design | Modern Architecture | Modern Detail

image via Interiors by Studio M

Black Windows | Large Windows | Window Door | Interior Design | Modern Architecture | Modern Detail

image via Feldman Architecture


image via Feldman Architecture

How to Make a Wood Tray



How to Make a Wood Tray

Hello everyone how was your holiday weekend? Can you believe Labor Day has come and gone already? Summer has flown buy way to fast.

Well last week when talking about how I like to style a coffee table.I mentioned  one of the essential pieces (in my opinion) is a gorgeous tray to help corral all of the other items and make them look like they have a purpose.  Today I thought I’d share how to make a simple wood tray for the coffee table (or anywhere really).

Wood trays are so incredibly versatile and can be kind of expensive depending on the one you buy . Building your own can be a great alternative. Bryan put 2 of those together for me one afternoon from scrap wood we had laying around. Once you see how you’ll be dying to make one for yourself.

The construction of it is really simple. It’s just a bottom piece and 4 sides. It does require a few tools though but would be a perfect beginner project for someone just starting out. Since we planned to paint it we didn’t even bother to miter the edges. But enough talk here’s how:


  • 1/2” MDF panel cut to size (we cut ours to the inside dimensions of the box which are 14” x 18”
  • 1” x 3” pine board for the side pieces
  • Assemble the pieces as shown above

Once your box is built spray with a few coats of high gloss paint for a sleek lacquer look and you have yourself a beautiful and versatile tray for your coffee table or anywhere.

Thanks to Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick for hosting another Before and After party.

How to Decorate a Coffee Table



How to Decorate a Coffee Table

How you decorate a coffee table can change the entire look of the space. Second only to the sofa the coffee table is the workhorse of the living room. The coffee table can serves as a make shift dining table, a place to put your feet up or the spot that house your remotes.

We’ve had our coffee table for as long as I can remember. It was one of the first pieces of furniture my mom bought as a newlywed. It seen it’s fare share of TV shows, hosted countless meals and a rousing game or two of monopoly. I was straightening up the house the other day and just decided it was time to shop the house and properly fancy up the coffee table.  The question I asked myself is how do you make it both stylish and useful.

Style a Coffee Table

After a bit of internet research and some cleaver observation here are five pieces that I think bring together both form and function and will turn your coffee table into a beautiful decorated space.

  1. Books – for your guests to read.  Duh They’re called coffee table books for a reason!
  2. Box – for storing those unsightly remotes in one convenient place.
  3. Flowers – for texture a color, don’t have fresh flowers consider a potted plant or succulents.
  4. Object, for something personal unexpected, my shell ball was bought back on a weekend getaway.
  5. Tray, for holding the previously mentioned items

Decorating a Coffee Table

Keep reading below to see my picks for a beautifully decorated coffee table. And tell me what do you put on your coffee table? Share you tips in the comments.


Coffee-Table-Decorating-Pro copy

Natural Horn Box – Serena and Lily*, Lacquer Tray – West Elm, Turquoise Glass Bottle Vase – Luna Bazaar, Decorate by Holly Becker – Amazon*, Sculptural Spheres – West Elm

Links with an asterisk contain affiliates, What this means is that if you make a purchase from one of these links Our Lake Life may receive a commission on the sale of the product

Thanks to Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick for hosting another Before and After party.

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