Entries Tagged as 'Outdoors'

Progress on the Yard – 2013

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09.10.13

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.

Outside010

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 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

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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.

Help Me Transform This Found Table

15

07.6.12

I just found this end table on the side of the road.

Even though it’s technically not an outdoor table I’ve decided to give it a new home on my deck.

Found End Table

Since it’s free I’m thinking a coat of paint and some marine varnish could protect it nicely from the elements. If it doesn’t work and the table gets damaged then I won’t be heartbroken. If it does work then score one for some fancy curbside spotting.

Found End Table 1

I like that you can see the individual boards on the table it top makes it feel more like a picnic table to me. It could be fun with stripes on the table top to mimic the new pillows? Or I could cut the legs down a bit and us it as a coffee table, mixing things up a bit and breaking up our matching set?

Found End Table 2

Or perhaps in a cool turquoise, fun cobalt, navy blue or lime green color like our flower pots and  lanterns? Or maybe something more subtle and understated? Seriously all ideas are welcome.

So here’s where you guys come in. I need your help. I’m calling everyone to help me decide what to do with this curbside find. Yes that means you, all my regular commenters, sometime commenters, first time commenters, lurkers and newbies …this means you.

Leave your suggestions in the comments I can’t wait to see what you come up with!!

Ombre Pillow Talk

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05.6.12

Target Stripe Ombre Pillows

On Saturday we went for a quick stop at Target to pick up birthday present for Nikolas’ three year old cousin. We eventually found a present but on the way to the toy aisle I found myself veering off the intended path (as I often do) and spotting the most fantastic coral and orange striped ombre pillows.

Target Stripe Ombre Pillows 2

Ombre and stripes…need I say more? I nearly died in the aisle at the gorgeousness of these pillows and they were on sale for $12.99 (unfortunately they’re not sold online or I’d give you a link ;) ). Score. I thought about it for a quick second, eyed them up again, looked over my shoulder to see if anyone else had spotted them…stalking me about to fly in and snatch them up right under my nose.

Of course, I couldn’t let that happen so in the cart they went and I never looked back.

Target Stripe Ombre Pillows 4

They’re not advertised as outdoor pillows but I think that’s more about what they’re stuffed with rather than the fabric outside. It’s a durable feeling cotton canvas material and because I love them so much I’ve decided they are worth it to keep outside for the summer and bring them in at night and during chance of rain.

Target Stripe Ombre Pillows 3

Did I mentioned they also had a coordinating drink tray? The ex-waitress in me is jumping for joy. The added bit of color is just what I was looking for in this space. I’m loving them so far.

Anyone else make any recent awesome purchases lately. Do you get paranoid at someone might snatch it out of your hands when you find something you really love?  Have you been to Target recently? They had so many amazing things this past weekend I could have brought the whole store home with me.

Well that’s it for me today, talk to you all tomorrow :-)

The Deck is Done, Finally!

3

09.11.11

We are victorious! Well that’s how it feels at least. It’s been a looong time coming. This is one of those projects that I wished was finished as soon as I started it! It was a monster of a deck to stain by hand with a brush. But it’s done and I’m THRILLED. We finally finished  staining over the weekend after being interrupted numerous times by rain,  snow and those dreaded days in between the weekends where you have to go to work.

But let’s start at the very beginning shall we?

It all started when we moved in looking a bit  like this…

…and then last fall like this…

…over time and a lot of hard work it turned into this…

…and finally it was ready to stain.

The actual deck has been done for a couple months but we had to wait for the pressure treated wood to sit out and dry for a while before staining. We’ve learned that the pressure-treating process soaks the wood.  When newly installed, it will not allow any type of coating to adhere well. A quick tip from our local paint store was to test the deck’s readiness to accept stain by splashing water on the surface.  If the water beads on the surface, more drying time is needed. If the water droplets soak into the wood, then the wood is dry enough to accept a top coat.

We wanted a deep red coloring so we went off to the local paint store. These guys seriously know their stuff. I always prefer going there over the big box stores in our are. They’re always friendly, knowledgeable and can find you the perfect paint chip in a haystack. Seriously they’re awesome. So if you’re in the area go to Sak’s Paint.

We chose Sikkens brand Semi Transparent Stain in Navajo Red. It’s an all in one stain and sealer. It worked out rather well although we had to stain each rail and board by hand with a brush according to the directions. With this type of stain you need to use a brush to really work it into the wood and because of the sealer a second coat isn’t necessary or recommended so it’s really important to get the first coat applied evenly and brushed in well.  Also this stuff is super duper STINKY so it’s good we were doing this outdoors!

I’ll save you the long boring details of watching paint dry. The whole the was pretty much a lot of stooping over and painting and ummm dipping. Yeah, that’s pretty much how our days went. We used 2 size brushes, 1 was a 2 inch angle brush to help get in between each of the board and a 4 inch brush for the large flat surfaces. The only awesome thing my father figured out about half way through was to duct tape a wood handle to the 4 inch paint brush to paint the floor. Which saved a ton of stooping.

So there you have it our Deck, Finished…for now that is :)

We’re loving it.

And loving that it’s done.

Hopefully, next year we’ll be working on adding some outdoor furniture to the space, maybe an outdoor rug and some potted plants. Oh I can’t wait!

So what do you think? Does anyone else have claw fingers from staining or painting. I bet you’re loving the results like we are though.

Psst: You can read about our total deck adventure starting all the way at the beginning by clicking here.

Best Laid Plans

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31.10.11

As some of you may have heard the Northeast got quite the snowstorm Saturday. Yes that is right SNOW in OCTOBER in New Jersey. If you live somewhere that experiences a foot or more of snow October you may be snickering at us right now. But seriously this is not normal especially not 1 foot or more of SNOW, in my opinion snow with leaves still on the trees just looks weird.

Needless to say it put a bit of a cramp in our plans to finally finish staining the deck. We were making some progress until the freak storm of 2011 took over. Unfortunately, I only managed to take a few pics of the progress before the storm arrived mostly because I wasn’t expecting the storm.

It’s looking really good, now let’s just cross our finger and pray that the snow melts and there is one more nice day to finish it up!

The good news is that since we had a forced day inside and a nice long nap time courtesy of my son, I finally have been able to take some time and focus in on some of the changes we want to make to our Master Bedroom. It’s a total departure from what I had original Yellow and Gray plan but I think I’m in love.

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