Farmhouse Table + Flowers

Our house was pretty landscaped when we moved in a year ago, and with a 2-year old, and an interior I wanted to get cracking on, we’ve literally done nothing – like nothing – to the outside of the house. Well I guess Jay did trim the bushes once last year – ha! But that’s been it! Oh and he’s built this table, which I’m obsessed with. Plan from Ana White, here.

Farmhouse Style Table

So this planter and been growing away over time … by now, it’s a bit overgrown. We had some basil in there that we transplanted into a small planter we keep in the kitchen for cooking.

Brick_Planter_Landscaping_Before

I’ve always loved the look of houses with tons and tons of hydrangeas all over the place. That or peonies but now that I have a kiddo and ants like never leave my life (ummm food crumbs all the time), the thought of a plant that attracts ants is not something I’m mojoing for too much.

We have a tiny little courtyard around our house, so I’d really like to give it a bit more of “us” character over time, and get rid of some of these tall wacky trees we have planted all over the place.

Tall_Bushes_Landscaping

These are some of the images that I swoon over when thinking about designing our backyard space.

Couryard_Patio_Plantings

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Do you think I could get away with turning our house into a tree, a la the photo above? I think Jay might fa-reak out 😉

Or what about turning the house into a bush, like this photo? Maybe I should just paint it green with a faux finish 😉 Something about that ivy/plantings growing over the wall just makes a space look old and lived in, I think. I love it!

Courtyard_Plantings

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Or this one (that table is a bit too weathered for my liking), but the droves of hydrangeas is definitely something I can get behind. And that charcoal shed tucked in the corner – mmm hmmm. Nice. Hydrangea_Backyard_Courtyard

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So one small step toward this oh so lovely vision was to turn our planter introduced at the beginning of this post, into a small spot for some hydrangeas to grow. We picked up two from Home Depot this weekend, and y’all I am so excited to watch these babies grow. Down here in NC things do grow pretty fast, so hopefully they take off quickly!

Hydrangea_Bush_Starters

I’m desperately hoping I don’t kill these beauties – I found this article helpful – and others attempting to grow hydrangeas may as well!

Next up, a porch swing (?) and some dark navy paint perhaps a la this photo. It hurts my heart I love this photo THAT much.

Outdoor Porch Swing

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Take a Walk Outside

So it turns out, when you’re used to having a eensy teensy house, if you move into one that’s just a wee bit bigger, you feel like you’re living it up Kardashian style. Our last house was a meager 1,300 square feet, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much more spacious our 1,700 square foot house now feels to us. From the kitchen, to the living room, to the big old back yard. You guys, we lucked out big time with the lot for this house. Since we’ve always been (and always will be) urban dwellers, we’re pretty used to sacrificing some space and amenities for a great location, so when we walked around back and saw this, our jaws kind of hit the floor.

Designing Back Yard

It’s kinda hard to tell, but this yard is ginormous. Huge. Mammoth. Perhaps we should install a swimming pool? 😀 Even though it’s large, for the most part it’s a blank slate. And you guys, I’ve got a confession for you. I’m totally yard dumb. Although I’m the kinda girl that can walk into a room (or a house) and know exactly what I want to do with it, I’ve gotta tell it straight, backyards – not so much. Although I have some general ideas of what I’d like to do with the space, for the most part I’m really grasping at straws over here as far as design for our outdoor oasis.

On the plus side, the front already has a lot of curb appeal, so in the immediate future, there’s not a lot to do up there. I’m totally a smitten kitten with the front walk. Lurrrve it.

Brick Front Walkway

Here’s a side angle of the front.

Trinity Park Durham

The house has siding on it, which is nice for maintenance, not as nice for a fickle design girl like me that likes to switch things up at the drop of a hat :) Luckily, it’s not blue siding, or purple siding, so it’s got that going for it. 😉

As you head around the back, you’ve got a side covered porch. When the weather is nice, I’m certain this will be one of our favorite spots to chill out and relax.

Side Porch on Home

Right off the side porch, there is the sweetest little slate path. I know it sounds a little crazy sauce, but I think this might be one of my favorite parts of the house. Odd, I am.

Slate Walking Path

I think I like it since it wraps around to a big old brick wall, which leads to our basement walkout. I’d like to think of something to make this brick wall a bit more interesting… maybe let the ivy grow over it? Time will tell.

Walk Out Basement

Right against this walkway is one of (2) azalea bush’s that are in the backyard. I just happened to catch this one when it was blooming last week – so pretty! But with the heat we had earlier this week, they’ve all since wilted off.

Azalea Bush

We’ve also got a small (but cute!) little garage that’s right off the covered porch. It’s not attached to the house, but it’s only a few steps over. It’s small enough that I’m not even sure our car will fit in, and we drive a Prius for goodness sake. 😉 Worst case scenario lots of good storage and great for bike parking!

Small Garage Off House

On the back we have a smallish deck. It’s in pretty good condition, with a few loose boards here and there. Overall, I’ve got pretty grandeur visions for what I’d like to do deck wise long term, but for now, we’ll have to make due with this guy.

Adding Onto Deck

Here’s one more view of the backyard, taken from the edge of the property line. That big Magnolia Tree is beautiful! I feel like a legit southerner with a Magnolia Tree in our backyard :)

Southern Magnolia Tree

Outdoor Oasis

Now that the floors are finally wrapping up, I’m moving on to some new projects I’ve been dying to get my hands on. When we ordered our cabinets through Lowe’s, one of the extra little bonus’s we got was a gift card for 10% of the total value of our project. This was a promo that kind of popped up right before we were going to pull the trigger on our cabinets, so needless to say, it was a very welcome surprise. Although I kept harping to Jay at the time that I wish they just would have taken that $500+ off the cabinet total, now I’m pretty pumped to have that money land into my lap! I’ve got some plans for it. 😉

Ready to play my game – I’ve got $532 – let’s spend it!

This is our outside right now. Not a whole lot happening. The garage, it’s like a Christmas themed pole barn. I’m waiting for the man with the bag to hop out and give me a present. Not working.

Outdated Garage

Although, this garage does have some really nice features (it’s HUGE), it’s lacking some ommph factor in my book. Nothing my gift card from Lowe’s can’t fix! The lights that are mounted right now on the garage are really just much too small. And kinda dated too. To help balance out the large garage facade, I’m planning on popping some larger lights on there. Here is what we have right now.

Garage Lights

Got my eye on these babies right now. $110 each. Not shabby considering they are 27″ tall.

Allen and Roth Parsons Light

Or maybe these ones? Slighter smaller (17″) and more expensive ($134) and also not from Lowe’s. Triple fail. But I like them. Le sigh.

Craftmaid Riviera Collection

Getting two of those will knock $200 off my total. That’s a chunk, but for the kazam factor, I’m going to take the jump and go for it. $332 left. Another thing I’ve been wanting to do is to plant some ivy along our little rock path, which runs along the side of the driveway. This area didn’t drive me so crazy before, but now it’s got a bunch of weeds popping up, and I’d prefer to have something more manicured there. Here is a shot of our not so happening patch right now.

Rocks along side of drive

I’m budgeting $30 for this. I’ll get a dozen or so starter plants, and just let them go. That leaves $302.

I think the front of our house is cute, it’s quaint, it had me at hello. But there are a few things that I think we can do to pump up da volume and bring this house from an 8.5 to an 11. Yeeeaaahh baby – off the charts. I’m painting it. $100 bucks, and ya got yourself a beautiful new abode. When I was mixing up the paint for the downstairs bath, I kept thinking to myself – gosh darn – this would look pretty snazzy outside, too. So, I popped a wee little sample up on the back of the house. Thoughts?

Benjamin Moore Northern Cliifs

Still mulling over the paint color (perhaps something darker, with more gray?), but all things considered, I’m going to budget $150 for all the exterior paint, since I don’t think we will need much (most of the house is brick). Within that, I’d also like a gallon to paint the garage door white. Never done that before (painted a garage door), so I’ll be sure to share all the grimy details, and twists and turns, that come with that one 😉

After paint, I’ve still got $152 left over. If I get my way, those dollar billz will go toward a gorgeous new trellis / pergola over the garage and some creeping vines (not to be confused with creepy vines). Young House Love recently popped a pergola up on their abode, which overall is the look we are going for. Here is my inspiration picture. Drool.

Garage Door Pergola