A Door Makeover Update

Our last house received a door makeover not too long after we moved in. The front door was lightened up with Benjamin Moore’s Wyeth Blue and an Andersen storm door was installed.  I actually prefer a front door without a storm but it’s just not in the cards for this light-loving and bug-hating girl.
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This door I handed over to someone who can keep the paint inside the lines. Here it is – new paint, new door knocker and a newly installed mail slot!

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The old rusty metal storm door left with the painter and mid-week a wood one will be installed.  Here is a a before picture.  It’s impossible to tell from the picture, but all of our hardware received a professional polishing and will likely never look this good again.  Made sure to take lots of pictures.

IMG_1858The shiny new door highlights our tattered, paint-peeling shutters, of course!  That project has moved up on the priority list and if the old shutters come down, might as well paint, right?

We have had to put shutters on most of our houses at this point.  I was hoping this house would at least have the missing pairs tucked into a garage corner or a lab closet, but so far no such luck.  Likely the ivy covering part of the house chewed the shutters to bits.

So, do I go wood or synthetic?  Jury is out.



A Perennial Border in Brief

This beast is fenced off now but this small run between the house and patio is the home of my future perennial border.


I have decided not to carve up the backyard along the fence line like I have been tempted to in past houses.  And, I am just going to leave it be.  It’s green, the fence is pretty and it’s far less maintenance.


Instead, I am going to concentrate on a small, narrow space that won’t be overwhelming to tackle.

Timing in gardening is difficult and takes some planning and plotting, and because I am a lazy gardener I like to go to the nursery 2 times each month starting in April and buy what is in bloom instead of trying to map it out on my own.

Here’s the corner with the fencing and the beginnings of a garden.  That is a eunoymous that I will train to grow on the fence and underneath that some artemesia.  I bought some catmint -Nepeta Walker’s Low and 5 orange perennials that were not tagged.  I need to do some plant sleuthing.  Typically the brightly colored flowers need sun, so I figured they were a safe bet.


I moved the potted gardenias from the steps into the bed for some height.  IMG_2282 IMG_2284There’s my handyman’s caulk gun.  He’ll be looking for that tomorrow, if not already!

And, just around the corner is the brick courtyard.  Last summer we dug out the old yew roots and planted Hydrangeas, Veronica, Viburnum and lots of Chicagoland Boxwood.

This was then:



Here’s how it look 9 months later.  The hydrangeas are much bigger and fuller and not quite in bloom. And, look at all that new growth on the boxwoods.

IMG_2293IMG_2292Imagine that brick house painted – will be so much prettier to set off the garden green!

Here’s the patio side of the lab.  I love walled gardens so I get to pretend I have one.  This one wall reminds me of the Charleston gardens I love so much.  I planted two passionflower vines that will hopefully climb and bloom quickly.

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The sun is out!  For a moment.

Pot (Bellied) Feet

I have, over the years and through myriad misadventures, store close-outs, indulgent moments, and Craigslist buys amassed quite the collection of flower pots big and small.  Mostly big and heavy these days.  And, with the big pots come big rings on our brand new patio.

It just makes sense to get the pots off the ground for drainage reasons, too but those clay feet just weren’t going to work.

I scoured the internet and found these:

There are more to choose from – all beautiful as far as pot risers come.  Problem is they run up to $30 each, EACH.  Do the math and you are looking at over $100 per pot.  At 12 pairs and counting, this little get the pot off the ground project was already dead in the water.

So, we used bricks temporarily.  Unsightly.  This morning we removed the bricks and here is a picture of the raised pot.  Can’t tell what’s under there, right?


Turns out for $10.99 and Amazon Prime’s free shipping there was a less decorative but far more affordable option.  “Invisible” Pot Feet!  It’s difficult to tell but this pot weighs 1.6 tons – not really but it is enormous and heavy as sin.  I couldn’t even lift it to tilt it to slide the feet under.  My husband helped and the risers are just barely visible.

Ever been to a Farm and Feed?  Neither had I until last weekend on our way back from a plant run to fill above pots.  This was my favorite ad posted on the communal bulletin board.


The Sunroom

Right off this room and through those French doors is our sunroom.


Last summer it received some love and attention. New windows, a bit of trimwork and some furniture. And, a first coat of paint in the white that our carpenter had just enough leftover from our exterior work. It wasn’t quite finished.

IMG_1555There was also the matter of this brick bully wall in the room.  The fireplace is on the other side so I will forgive this wall but it steals precious space and demands all the attention.  It’s very red and very bossy.IMG_1369 IMG_1368

If you know me, you know I love to paint brick.  I don’t touch the good stuff but uniform, bright red brick is not in the least bit safe around me.

And, so the primer went on this weekend.  It smelled up the entire house but was so worth the noxious fumes.


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Now for color.  Originally, I was dead set on white.  Pure white, creamy white, all one color – trim and all. Then I remembered Ashley Whitaker’s porch in House Beautiful awhile back.

House Beautiful

I know lattice is hot but that’s not what drew me to the room.  It’s that bright green that entices you to look out the windows and then on the flip side draws all that garden prettiness outside the windows back in.  I can’t go quite this bold on the walls as I have to consider my living room and the sunroom floor which is staying a brick red.

But I can go green:  Benjamin Moore Hollingsworth Green.

via Houzz

It is a soft green with blue-gray undertones which is precisely what I need for it to make sense with my living room.  A couple of green throw pillows to connect the spaces wouldn’t hurt either.



I have to sleep on where to stop and start the paint as it relates to the millwork.  I think I need to treat the paneling as one unit and go green.  IMG_1537

Speaking of green – our apple trees are planted and about to get a little bit of flair underneath!   IMG_2188IMG_2187

Back with the sunroom after in a couple of days.  Just pray for me that this green doesn’t turn into a hospital green on me after I invest in the two gallons I need for the space.