Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Creating privacy with a fence.

After waiting for grass for our first summer here, then considering our options last year and seriously considering a pool etc we left the fence for this year.
We did get several quotes to have a fence built by local company's but $3000-6000 was way over the budget for a run of fencing like ours. So we will tackle it ourselves as a DIY project. I will admit I am a tad scared to take on such a big project. It is my main project for the summer and it is a doozy.
 It is a must and it can not wait another minute as far as I am concerned. Our dogs have been living on leash since we put our house up for sale 2 1/2 years ago. Our dogs need some proper freedom finally. I need some serious privacy so I can use my yard without being on display. I am really excited to have a fence.
Because our fence is a big part of our curb appeal it has been hard to decide on a style of fencing.
 Mostly everyone around here has the good neighbour fence, with the back and forth boards and the lattice panel on top....well we are NOT doing that. We don't share this fence with anyone so it is all up to us and I would prefer a simple full privacy pretty white face with some simple clean details like the fence above with the board and batten style.
We are going to put a double gate front and center facing the street. This will give us an ample opening for larger items and it will make for a nice welcome.
I will be cladding the two posts flanking the double gate with a panel detail like the picture above, I want a really beautiful entrance.There may even be a couple of candle lit lanterns flanking the gate.
We are installing pressure treated fencing and staining it white but we will have to leave the pressure treated to dry out so it is not going to look so pretty for a little while, growing pains.

 Here is a little reminder of our yard its a little unusual as far as how to fence it in isn't it. Once we get our yard closed in and private we can use it freely all summer and then start the planning for all the backyard designs, porch patios and soon to be fire pit. I am pretty excited.

Here is my attempt to show you where the fence will be and what we have planned. I would like to set back the fence 6 feet from the side walk and driveway to allow for beautiful lush plantings . 
Let's start with the enclose this spot at the back by the existing fence, we want to enclose it of course but since the trees and plantings are so nice and lush we are going to build a shorter open fence most likely a lattice fence.
Since we have a site triangle beside our driveway we can not fence within it (for the safety of pedestrians) , we had considered angling a fence but I just didn't like that idea after pondering it over the past year. So I pulled back the fence to square it off and we are leaving enough space beside the driveway just in case we want to widen the driveway down the line. 
The materials are coming tomorrow (which I got on sale last week,score) the fence hole digger man is coming Friday and my work will start Saturday so I am hoping for no rain...please no rain.
I'll check back in next week with hopefully lots and lots of progress...wish us luck.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter 2014

I hope you all enjoyed a nice Easter with family and friends. We had some family come over for a late lunch I was happy to host as we haven't done a family get together for a while now. I was able to extend out our kitchen table a little into the family room to accommodate more people than our daily crew. My table however wasn't big enough to seat the 10 people properly with the two leaves...so I had to come up with a solution. I thought I could add a card table but they just were not the right width to match up with my table, so I kept searching for a better solution. Then it occurred to me, I could attach metal support to the under side of the table top and add a leaf at the end, so that's what I did. It was a gamble but I thought it was worth trying even if it was on the day before our gathering.
(just pretend you don't see the drill)

 I was able to use the white slip covered chairs I got for Christmas finally. I love the mix of chairs it makes for a pretty casual mix. The table cloth is from Target.
 My lovely sister in law made these adorable egg shaped krispie treats, so adorable.
 I baked up a little pineapple cake, it was so moist and yummy and not too sweet. find the recipe here http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/pineapple-cake , I used coconut milk and butter in the cake instead of oil and water as well as one extra egg.
 I made some pulled pork which I have made before it always turns out delicious find the recipe here http://www.cbc.ca/stevenandchris/food/pulled-pork
 Now that is some fluffy light frosting, Cool whip a pkg of vanilla pudding mix and drained crushed  pineapple.

 So finally back to the table extension I fashioned... it took 30 minutes or so to pull together.I bought  2 8ft 2x6 select pine boards and had them cut into 40" wide to match up with the width of my table. I attached them together with some scrap pine I had at home with some screws leaving some of the scrap strapping overhanging on one end.
I used my orbital sander to smooth everything out and to soften the edges.
 I attached these metal shelf supports to the underside of the table, my table is thick solid pine so it didn't cause any damage besides to the underside of the table and I was al-right with that.

 After it was installed with just the supports it was a little heavier than I had anticipated because of the thickness of the wood and because I opted for adding 4 boards instead of three so I added a little support leg which made it as solid as a rock. I covered the extra long table with two matching table cloths and it was a big success for me.
I removed the extension this morning and attached all the components together to store in the basement until the next time we need it. It definitely an out of the box idea but it worked for me. Now if I had a fine expensive table I'm sure this wouldn't be a good solution but for me with this solid pine heavy table it worked out perfectly.

There we go a lovely Easter and a little DIY project that sounds about right to me.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Well I finally committed to some color

After more than 2 years of considering what to do with this living room I have finally committed to paint and just paint. I want all the halls as well as the kitchen and family room to stay light and neutral but I thought it would be fun to add a little more color to the living room and dining rooms. I was considering dark grey for a long time.I even thought maybe the same shade of the dining room would be the perfect choice for the living room that also sits at the front of the house but then I headed back to Home Depot for more paint chips...
I went with Gaberdine by Martha Stewart, it is one shade darker than my dining room a deep navy blue with a hint of peacock. I wanted a dark shade to make it more cozy as it  used mostly at night. 
I still need to add crown moulding and of course wood floors eventually. 

The dining room, as you can see it still needs some work. This color is school house slate by Martha Stewart.

 These photos were all taken at the same time but this photo shows and much different shade. This room gets a lot of light so it doesn't feel dark if it didn't get so much light I might have gone with a lighter shade. The other photos show more of the true color.
 I am just glad to have some color in another room. I think I am inspired to paint the bedroom next. I was hoping that the dark color would help the tv cabinet blend in better and in these pictures it nearly disappears.
                                               Its ready just in time for some company.

There you go so what do you think of my color choice? Give it to me...

Monday, April 7, 2014

back porches

With spring here and snow finally melted it's time to start thinking about outdoor life again. Trust me we will be spending every possible moment outdoors this spring and summer. It has been a long hard winter.
Now last spring we were seriously considering a pool and in ground hot tub but when the price of our dream came in ridiculously higher than we could have ever imagined we took a step back.
But what to do? Well we need a fence badly and that is top priority this spring and as for the rest like a deck patio and outdoor kitchen it will come in good time.
I had been thinking a deck would be what we need but I don't want the weather to decide if we can enjoy days and nights outdoors so I started thinking a covered porch might be just what we need. Then that evolved into to a screened in porch with a wood burning fireplace it all came from a dream actually. I dreamt we had a covered screened in porch and then I thought of how beautifully it would function.
It would be a spring summer and early fall living space, and indoor outdoor space. A southern style back porch.
We would eat out there during the warmer months and entertain out there and nap and relax. A fireplace would allow it to be used earlier and later into the season then without. The perfect backyard retreat.

Warm days and nights perfect for outdoor dining.
I love the look of this screened in porch it's the perfect style for our house.
How could I not be inspired by these pictures.

This is also a great option , I love the idea of the metal roof, nothing like rain on a metal roof.

I'm sure this will be a big project so it may take a couple of years to see it through, so it's time to dream, design and plan.

First we need to build a privacy fence and enclose our backyard so we can enjoy the yard we do have.