Category Archives: Exteriors

Our Pretty, Simple Fall Porch

All the popular kids are posting tours of their Autumnal homes,

so that means I will, too

Here’s a little something from inside our house:


I’ve had that old lattice for years,

+ this was the first time that we’ve displayed it indoors.

I love the way its colors complement the gray of our walls!

Now, then.  Let’s go outside + see what’s happening on that new porch of ours:

Gone are summer’s hot pink caladiums + vivid green sweet potato vines:


In their place is this urn filled with ornamental grasses,

which are at their peak in Fall:



These pretty blue flowers were near the back porch.

They were so pretty, I thought I’d share them out front.

Sadly, I misplaced their tags,

but I do remember that they are some sort of morning glory!

A terra cotta pot is temporarily our mail box,

as the one we chose from amazon is back-ordered:



So much for the summer plants — the right side of our steps is devoted to Fall!




G.O. brought home some pumpkins the other day,

+ I popped the 2 white ones into my vintage yellow ware bowls.



Disclaimer: one of my friends said that I was being “brave”,

having the bowls out front, so I have since moved them indoors.

I’ll share soon!

For now, let’s get back to those steps of ours:


Another pair of pumpkins are inside our 2 small black urns.



The sweet mums in a basket

are the tiny ones that Home Depot has every September:




Well, that’s about it for our Fall décor on the porch.

told you it was simple!

My display at our last house, the brick bungalow, was a bit more “busy”:

fall at the bungalow steps

fall at the bungalow steps with tin bucket

fall at the bungalow trellis box up close

Those pansies + that ornamental kale are so cute!

Who knows?  Maybe I’ll get some if I see them,

+ use them to augment our simple display!

Stay tuned!



Chippy Vintage Outdoor Dining

We gave away our old outdoor dining set the other day.

I have no photos of said same, which is just as well.

Meanwhile, one wonders at this point:

what are we to do when we want to dine al fresco?

Luckily, I had a light bulb moment when I spied this table,

languishing unused in our cellar hideaway.


I thought — wouldn’t it make an unusual + charming outdoor table?


People.  That very shade of green is crazy in style now.


And who doesn’t  love the enamel table top?


Within minutes, G.O. + I carried our table outside

+ set it in front of our garden shed.

Please allow me to point out a couple items.

That DOOR remains in its awful before state, which I hate.


Fingers crossed we’ll re-do them yet this year.

 And please may I point out our shed’s roof finials?


I was after a colonial Williamsburg vibe at the time.

But back to the table.


Soon I started gathering a few things,

hoping that a quaint vignette would ensue.

Check this out.


It’s one of those weed/cedar trees that are all over the yard!


I thought it would look great in a pot,

 but shockingly, G.O. predicted it would never live.

So far, so good, but there is winter, looming.


Next — these vintage folding chairs were languishing unused in our garden shed:


I have to say that I love a good chair project

+ I’ve done plenty of them.


For these chairs, I decided that I’d sew some simple cushions,

using my go-to fabric — the blue ticking stripe cotton.

 I had hand-stenciled them with my go-to motif,

the red circle + white plus sign.


You can just see a peak of the pretty pale blue liner fabric:


I decided to attach the chair pad with ties

that I’d sewn with the same blue + white ticking stripe.








I’ll be sure + keep you posted re: our shed doors.

Stay tuned, later this wee, I hope!

Saga Of The Spring Bulbs

By this time, most years, I’m not as enthusiastic

too lazy to spend quality time working in our yard.

 Of course, this problem can be a tad troublesome

if one wishes to greet the following spring with a yard full of flowers.

Flowers like my favorites — Musari or Grape Hyacinths:


One of the few flowers that are a true (not purple) blue!

My color scheme in spring bulbs is blue (of course), white + soft pinks.

I ordered $80-ish worth of bulbs online,

+ they’re scheduled to ship right about now.  Yay!

Since then, we found some here in town + planted them yesterday.

This first batch is in the stone pathway side of our porch steps,

about which I recently posted.

The bulbs are underneath the mulch in this photo:


Here’s what we planted:


I love white Daffodils + had lots of them in our old yard!

Yes, the yellow ones are as cheerful as all get out,

but I like the white ones for being unusual + cheerful, all at once!

Win win!

Next, some Chionodoxa for my blue + white flower obsession:


I am pretty sure we had some of those cuties at our old house.

And in conclusion, another favorite:


These are the only iris flowers that I like, + I really, really like them!

Now, then.

My gardening friend told me that we mustn’t forget to add Blood Meal to the soil.


We found this at Menards.

She said to sprinkle a little on top of each bulb before they’re covered up.

It adds all sorts of nutrients that the bulbs + their roots need,

to get a good jump start.

For the planting, we used this tool that we already owned:


I’m pretty sure that it was another purchase

from the late, great Martha at K-Mart ‘experiment’.



Meanwhile, I would love to share what bulbs I have coming in the mail,


memory loss ahead.jpg

Looks like we’ll all be surprised when they finally land in our mailbox.

The mailbox which isn’t here yet because it is sadly out of stock.

mailbox of red

Stay tuned — to view our new mailbox

+ to be surprised (along with me) to see what bulbs I ordered!

Gotta Love Frenchie House Numbers

So.  Our front porch is almost finished.


I blogged about said same earlier in the week.

We don’t have hand rails yet, but perhaps G.O. will work on them today.

fingers crossed

Anyway, methinks it’s now time for our house numbers.

Okay, I know this is goofy, but we already have 2 different sets of them.

We just don’t know where they are.

HA!  We’re such losers!


I may not even remember what our “lost” house numbers looked like (I don’t),

but who cares?

I found some that I like better, inside my favorite mag:

country living cover september 2017

I shan’t mince words:

It’s a good issue — go buy it.

Here’s what I found on CL page 85,

4″ x 6″ enamel steel number signs from Kaufman Mercantile!

They’re my favorite color!  — dark blue!

numbers for house

So Frenchie!  Literally.

From Kaufman Mercantile’s online shopping site:

The family-owned company that makes these enamel house plates started in 1905, but you can trace its heritage of enamel-making back to the 1830s. At the turn of the 20th-century, the founder opened a small factory on the north coast of France and began producing decorative enamel objects, signs, and kitchenware. His great grandson continues to offer these items using the same methods as over a century ago.

I know!!  How cool, right??

Also very cool is that the numbers are on sale right now:

Were: $20.40 each, Now: $12.24 each.

number 1 for house

 I actually did some math this morning,

+ for our house numbers (we have 3), our cost would be $37.72!

  • *****

You’ll have to trust me on this one, but that’s a real bargain,

considering the prices of these dark blue beauties, 

from a Danish company, Ramsign:

number blue oval

Engelshom 9″ x 5.5″ @ $79.00

I’ve been such a fan of these signs,

but just today I learned that they’re from Denmark, not France.

That’s still cool.

Anyway, here’s the Danish company founder, Nick Brandt:

ramsign owner

Here’s how he describes his business:

Our Metropolitan house numbers are the quintessential classic northern European porcelain enamel sign. The white and blue single-trimmed signs are imbued with a rich history, dating back to 19th century Europe. Today, we bring over 150 years of tradition to your doorstep.

number blue

Lilleborg 8.5″ x 4″ @$69.00


But Kay!  you’re asking.

What about all the grays + blacks

you’ve chosen for that front porch of yours?

number house black

Havreholm 7.5″ x 5″ @$69.00

Okay.  I think I like this one better than the blue!

surprised baby

Perhaps G.O. will find those missing house numbers

while I continue ponderng the enamel ones.

Stay tuned!

Finally! Landscaping!

Somehow, during this spring’s canned ham makeover,

we’ve managed to do some landscaping for the Dutch colonial.


Here’s what’s happening out front:


Needle scratch.

Wait.  Where are the plants?

How disappointed was I that the mulch + plants blend too much!?

surprised baby

Buzz kill!

We’ll just have to fix it!

I’m mulling over some possible remedies, so stay tuned.

For now, let’s get back to the landscaping happiness!


We planted 7 barberry shrubs to accentuate our front bay

+ to complement the brick red in our beautiful stone foundation.


Of course, these will make more of a statement

when they mature at around 3′ tall.

In the meantime, for height, we added my beloved pedestal + urn combo.

Doesn’t the lavender look great against our white siding?


In front, we planted a row of pretty coral bells.

Their green + brick red color coordinates nicely with the barberries,

while their larger leaves add contrast, which is visually more interesting.


Now it’s time for some flowers!

Something spiky at either end could provide fun exclamation points,

so we chose red-blooming astilbes.

Ours are a tad lackluster right now,

but fingers crossed — here’s what we’ll have:


Aren’t those pretty?

Speaking of pretty, we planted one accent Knock Out rose at the far left side.

It will grow to about 4′ tall.



Our plans are to add at least one more of this same rose

on the opposite side of the front of our house.

We are going to repeat the coral bells over there, too,

which should add some much-needed balance

to our asymmetrical house.


Sooner than later — I hope — we’ll finally tackle + finish that porch of ours.

Notice how we painted the blocks black to add depth

+ make the lattice pop:


Our front yard looks like there’s been an explosion, but no worries!

Our nice neighbor recently helped us remove the original sidewalks.


We’ve already been shopping for bricks,

because my sidewalk hopes + dreams look a little something like these:




Yesterday our front porch posts were installed.

I’m pretty excited about this wee bit o’ progress.


While these look like wood, they’re actually fiberglass.

Soon they will be painted white to match the house.

* * *

SO.  This means one thing.

It’s time for me to finalize my railing choice.

First up, there’s your X motif — I’m a fan.

Let’s have a look-see,

starting with this charming cottage here in town.

I’ve always loved it!


Man, do I love that screen porch, or what.

They replaced the original X rail on the front porch + stairs.

Kudos to the homeowner who cared enough to continue the X motif.

Looks good! — except they’re kind of too stretched out, in my opinion.

I prefer it when the X is more square, like this:

porch railing -- X motif --

X porch rails in the tropics scentsational girl


My favorite of all the X railings would be when it’s “smooshed”, like this:

porch with X

Source unknown

So, the X it is!

* * *

Or IS it?

I just don’t think X railings are right for a Dutch colonial porch.

In all my surfing, I’ve not seen photos** of said-same,

 so I’m pretty sure I would have remorse.

G.O. hates it, so there’s that, too.


**Happily, I have seen at least one photo of what I really like.

Stay tuned for that!


Oh, dear.  I’ve changed my mind, yet again.

This is the very thing that upsets poor G.O.


I’ve decided against my original color choice for our front doors.

My starter plan was to use this pretty pale blue:

blue brittany

Brittany blue by Benjamin Moore

I wanted to complement the darker blue of our garden shed,

which, as you can see, is quite visible from the front of the house.

Oh, + there are our front doors, too.


(Insert snarky comment about the blue trash can

color-coordinating with our house.)

* * *

Back to our shed + front door colors.

Here they are, side by side:

blue spruce





Beautiful, no?


When viewing the house as a whole, there is a lot of paleness going on,

but there are also 2 very prominent, very dark features!


The charcoal gray metal roof  out front:


Here it is while the siding goes up, protected with cardboard:



Our black roof.

I mean, HELL-O!  There’s a lot of roof on our house!


Here’s what I think:

Black doors.


Here’s why:


 Our house looks a tad top-heavy,

because all the black is way up high.

That black roof, especially, kind of looks like it doesn’t belong on this house.

We need something black on the lower level.



 The rule of ‘three’.

You know that rule, don’t you?

When one chooses an accent color,

one should repeat that accent color  THREE TIMES.

Something about one’s eye being able to travel uninterrupted

throughout the space.

I shall be doing the same thing inside our house, with the color red.


Front Door Color!

Our siding is going up, + the good news is that I love it!

Here’s the finished 2nd story, out back:


SO.  The bad news?

Well, it’s not that bad — but now, in comparison,

the rest of our project looks even worse.

The humanity!

Take the original wooden storm doors.



I’ve decided to paint them a pale blue,

which will look great with all the white + pale gray.

I also want them to ‘play nicely’ with the blue of our garden shed,

as it’s visible from the front of the house.

Here ’tis, as of yesterday,

after we did a little landscaping to boost my morale:


My old trellis section, pedestal + urn, with some new lavender + mulch

We painted the shed last summer, using Benjamin Moore’s Blue Spruce.

blue spruce

To choose a complementary pale blue on our front doors,

I opted to consult the same color chart that the Blue Spruce was on:

2nd from top on the left

Blue Spruce is 2nd from top, on the left

I liked Santorini Blue (3 shades down from Blue Spruce):

 blue -- santorini


Front doors color, handled!

Now let’s have a look-see at some blue doors I spied on Pinterest.

These beauties reaffirmed my choice of a pale blue door!

Melissa Reading on Pinterest

Melissa Reading on Pinterest


blue door pinned by alison johnston

Alison Johnston on Pinterest

Time to head to the Ben Moore paint store in town

Stay tuned!


1st Story Siding Is Up + Running!

Progress at the Dutch colonial!

Its first story is now sporting white clapboard siding!


We chose 3″ white clapboards, as that was original to the house.

Disclaimer: I say “we” chose white, but it was my idea.

G.O. was not on board at first,

nor has he completely been won over — YET.

cat fight

I’m sorry, but this makes me smirk!

In fact, on more than one occasion,

when chit chatting with passersby,

G.O. has remarked, “That’s a LOT of white, isn’t it?”



Thankfully, everybody’s been pretty gung-ho about “all that white”, so far.

On Saturday afternoon, I over heard a guy-neighbor saying to G.O.,

It looks like an old farmhouse!”

Um.  YAY.

That’s what I had in mind!

* * *

Anyway, speaking of “old farmhouse”, I chose to further evoke that look

with a siding change for our house’s back entry.


I’m guessing this structure is not original to the house,

which prompted the switch out.

I want our house to look as if it evolved over time.


* * *

I can’t WAIT to get a light fixture hung over the door.

This morning, I’ll grab my credit card + order this  from Home Depot:

lighting -- kitchen over sink gilded iron

I think it goes with my “old farmhouse” vibe,

+ that black is really going to pop against “all the white”!

We/meaning I chose black for the garage doors . . .


cat fight

Couldn’t resist. 🙂

. . . so our back entry door

will soon be sporting some black paint of its own:


Stay tuned!

Wrapping The House

After waiting months upon months

+ living with our poor Dutch colonial

 in its so-sad Haunted House mode . . .


. . . there’s finally progress being made to its exterior!

See for yourself:


It’s being wrapped before it gets sided.

First up, the pink layer.

According to G.O., the pink stuff is

1/4″ fan fold insulation.


In addition to its insulating properties,

the pink stuff also provides

a nice, flat surface for the installation of the siding.

Next up, house wrap:



It serves as a vapor barrier,

+ also gives one the idea of how awesome our house will look!

Remember, here’s my inspiration:

dutch colonial exterior gray + whitedutch colonial darker upper story

White siding downstairs + pale gray upstairs.

G.O. is very happy about this, as am I.

The siding’s been ordered, so it won’t be long now!

Stay tuned!



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