Tag Archives: garage

Charming Up A Garage With Ivy

We planted ivy to grow up + around the brick walls of our detached garage.

Some of its corner bricks were lose + a few were missing,

+ I wanted to disguise that.


Look closely at the roof peak.
There’s my roof spire.

I’m sorry, but neither G.O. nor I can recall the name of our ivy.

I searched for the box in which I keep all my plant tags,

(where IS that thing?) but naturally, I couldn’t find it!


Our garage’s east side —
just beginning to get its ivy on.

In honor of the World Series, let’s just say it’s Boston ivy.

That works for me!

Anyway, in just 2 or 3 short years,

the west + south sides of the garage are covered.

I do like the way it looks — very much.

Ivy-covered buildings are charming,

+ trust me, our sad, little garage was in need of charm!


I painted the window sashes tan
to match those on our house.

In the fall, the ivy turns a beautiful scarlet!



Here’s a photo of the ivy starting to climb across the arbor

that, against his wishes, G.O. built above our garage door.

(I’m pretty sure he likes it now!)


He was not amused
when I wanted to paint our garage door tan.
He said it would ‘never last’, but thankfully, it has.

Now look at a couple photos where I’ve tried to be ‘Artsy’

featuring G.O.’s beloved 70’s-era Ford Ranchero.

I thought the white of the car would contrast nicely with the darker brick + ivy.



Oops.  Ansel Adams, I’m NOT.

I’ll try again later.  Stay tuned!

Happy Sunday

Yesterday a.m. was spent in our current** yard,

where I happily pulled 1,000+ weeds + fertilized a few things.

**Sure, we’re moving — but it’s still a morale boost to beautify what we have now!

* * * * *

We transplanted some coneflowers from our front garden

to some pesky bare spaces out back.


These are known as “purple” coneflowers,
although they’re actually pink.

Just a few years ago, we planted 5 of these beauties in our front landscaping,

+ they’ve reseeded + multiplied liked crazy!

Coneflowers might be my #1 favorite perennial flower . . .

. . . they come in so many varieties.

Look at this one!  I just found it online!

coneflower -- giant

Giant Coneflower

6′ tall — very strong stems + wind-resistant

I’m loving the wacky blue foliage!

I don’t “do” any yellow flowers here, but maybe at the next house?

* * * * * *

But back to yesterday.

It was a great day, with gardening in the a.m.,

a St. Louis Cardinal victory in the afternoon,

Go Cardinals!

Go Cardinals!

+, in the evening, we headed over to our new garage.


Look!  My pair of containers + new boxwoods made the trip . . .

. . .  + G.O. hung our cottage-y light fixtures!


All that white trim I kept bragging about is making its debut, too.

What do you think?

I couldn’t love it more!

Pot Belly Stove Black

After one “soft-black-but-really-dark-gray” paint purchase blunder . . .

. . . Pot Belly Stove black is up + running on our garage doors.


 There’s G.O., having what I call “an admire”.

I love the admire + do it so well!

* * * * *

In the days since these photos,

our garage is being tricked out with white trim, + lots of it . . .

. . . just like my inspiration:

gray garage siding #1

The white trim is really going to make it look GREAT . . .

. . . as is this pair of planters I impulsively bought the other week:


Aren’t they charming as all get-out?

They’re real wood with plastic liners.

Yesterday afternoon we finally bought the boxwoods @ 20% off.

These will flank the garage’s entryway door soon**.


**G.O. insisted that I wait to take them over until

after the white trim’s up.

Slight buzz kill, but oh, well!

* * * * *


Here they are, where I envisioned them . . .

. . . the day I brought them home,

when the garage was still very much in its “before” mode.

Continue reading

My Frenemy, Painter’s Remorse

Hey, look!  It’s Chloe the Dachshund!


She’s sporting some pale gray paint on her coat today,

which means one thing at our house.

 There’s a painting project underway!


I did my research + made my choices.

1. lots of pale gray,

2.massive amounts of white trim,

+ 3. glossy black doors.

Done.  Handled.

No drama when G.O. + I head to the paint store.

No painter’s remorse afterward.

* * * *

But wait.

I failed to share my inspiration pic with G.O.!

gray garage siding #1

How could I?

Imagine, if you will, me sharing

that I want him to paint his garage doors BLACK,

right in the middle of the paint department!

surprised boy

Poor guy!

I really did feel sorry for him (which kind of surprised me!)

He wasn’t swayed,

not even when I recounted every single past project we’ve done together

+ reminded him of the following sequence of events:

 1. he hates it,

2. I insist,

3. we do it my crazy way,

+ 4. he loves it.


So I compromised + chose a ‘soft’ black.

I said we could try a quart of it + see.

Here ’tis ^^, on a sample board, propped against the door.

Of course, in the photo, it looks black, but it’s not.  It’s the darkest of grays.

Here’s black:

Of course, now it seems like every other online photo is sporting an inky black door.

I spied these French doors yesterday

+ am now seized with the desire to paint all our interior doors black, too!

black french door

The New Victorian Ruralist

But I digress — back to garage doors:

garage black door

But wait.

Isn’t this place (below) awesome?

Doesn’t that color look like ‘soft’ black?

Oh, dear.

It’s the fabulous Winslow’s Home on Delmar Blvd. in St. Louis — just west of the loop in University City.

Spend a weekend in St. Louis + go there:

winslow's homewinslow's home #2

Get Cardinal tickets + see a game.

busch stadium

Hey, I digress again!

What I’m saying is that our old frenemy, painter’s remorse, is back.

No problem, I hope not.

I’ll just head over to the Dutch colonial later this a.m.,

have another look-see + (fingers crossed! ) decide.

Stay tuned!

Garage Makeover Excitement

I’ve not posted much about our Dutch colonial project,

because lately, all our progress hasn’t been that photogenic.

We’re talking framing walls, beefing up beams, etc. . . .

. . . which has to be done, but it’s just not that exciting (sorry, G.O.)

* * * *

The good news is that he’s finally bringing excitement back!

garage arbor blue morning glories

Now, THIS is exciting!

Yes — it’s time to complete our garage’s makeover!



Our plans are to turn this homeliness . . .


. . . into something a tad more cottage + charming, like this . . .

Speaking of inspirations,  this is our  garage's . . .

. . . using white vinyl siding, + lots of it.

Yes, that’s right — I said vinyl.

* * * *

Okay, okay.  I know.  Not cool.

Nothing screams “VINYL SIDING” more than an errant J channel!

What’s a J channel, you ask?  Here ’tis:

This is the J channel required by vinyl siding, to clad windows.

This is the J channel
required by most brands of vinyl siding,
to clad windows.

The good news is that at least one vinyl siding company . . .

 http://www.certainteed.com/ —

makes vinyl trim that eliminates J channels + thus, doesn’t LOOK like vinyl!


Cool, no?

So, off we go to the local build-o-rama, to order.

* * * * *

But wait.

You know that occasion,

when you’re telling the male sales associate +/or your husband

 what you envision + what you want . . .

. . . + they’re looking at you blankly, as if you were speaking Martian?

Of COURSE, you do!

That occasion was happening to me at the build-o-rama.

* * * * *


Time for lil’ mama to punt + go to plan B.

Here’s plan B:


4′ x 8′ sheets of real wood.




We are going to trim it out with real wood 1 x 4’s + 1 x 6’s,

which is going to be awesome.

Next, we’ll stain everything with solid color stain,

which comes in 100’s of scrumptious colors.


I’m currently searching for the perfect pale, pale gray, like this, for the siding:

gray garage siding #1

What do you think of that black door?

I like it!  A lot!

If I don’t have the nerve to pull off black,

a medium-tone gray would be cool, too:

gray garage siding #2

Or, if I’m feeling particularly adventurous, a gray-blue would be awesome:

gray garage siding #3

Stay tuned!

Our Garage Gets Its Makeover

Today our garage gets a new roof!

G.O. spent the past several days prepping things . . .


. . . with new wood replacing rotten wood + nailing down roof paper.

We’ll be siding the house with Sterling gray on the 1st story,

with a darker Flagstone gray on the 2nd story gables,

similar to this house:

Speaking of inspirations,  this is our  garage's . . .

Speaking of inspirations,
this^^ is our
garage’s . . .

. . . + we've chosen board + batten  (in white)  from Certainteed.

. . . + we’ve chosen board + batten
(in white)
from Certainteed.

I worried about vinyl board + batten’s looking + feeling cheapie

or screaming “PLASTIC!”, God forbid.

We investigated at our local build-o-rama,

+ it was really heavy and “real-looking”!

SO, while G.O. was busy working on our roof . . .

SO, while G.O. was busy working on our roof . . .

. . .  I kept MY nose to the house grindstone, here at home,

shopping online for garage light fixtures!

Here’s my absolute favorite:

$169.91  Budapest Lampsplus


I know! — hubba hubba, right?

But that price!  We’re going to need 4 of them,

+ sadly, 4 x $169.91 is a tad over our garage lighting budget!

My quest, then, is to find something equally groovy

but at a lower price point.

Galvanized, check! $30 each from Home Depot

Galvanized, check!
$30 each
from Home Depot

I really do like this ^^ one.  It’s a plain Jane lantern,

which is right up my lighting alley.

It’s got the rustic galvanized metal, which I love.

My thoughts are to ramp up its awesome-ness

by springing for Edison light bulbs — LOVE!

$15 Schoolhouse Electric Co.

Schoolhouse Electric Co.

Quick: somebody multiply $15 bulbs x 4 light fixtures!

 J/K! — that’s why God gave us calculators!

Anyway, back to the light fixture choicee:

here’s something that’s more similar, in style, to my favorite, too-spendy light:

Hampton Bay  outdoor cottage lantern $29 from Home Depot

Hampton Bay
outdoor cottage lantern
$29 from Home Depot

What say ye?  I think it’s almost as cool as its $169.91 inspiration,

but I’m a little leary of the shiny nickel finish.

I prefer the more rustic galvanized metal of the other 2 finalists:

But wait!

Surely we could do something to tone down the nickel finish sheen, no?

As luck would have it, one of my favorite bloggers

— the guys from The Cavender Diary —

just posted about their own metal do-over project!



Something about spritzing with bleach.  Read for yourself:


? ? ?

I guess this means I need to investigate adding patina to the pesky shiny metal.

Then it’s time for me to make up my mind, already,

+ place an online order!

Is anyone going to help me by choosing between substitute #1 and #2?

Garage Hopes + Dreams

Yesterday a.m. G.O. went to our fixer upper, as usual.

As you may know, we’ve been in demo mode, inside . . .

Are words necessary here?  I think not!

Our very, very naughty ‘before’ bathroom.

. . . so I was a little surprised when he came home for lunch

+ announced that he had spent the a.m. tackling the garage roof!



I just switched from house re-do mode to garage re-do.

Look at the inspiration I found:

Vertical board + batten siding from Certainteed.

Vertical board + batten siding from Certainteed.

For our garage, I want vertical board + batten siding like you see here ^^

 . . . in white, please, like this:

Nothing says cottage quite like board + batten siding!

Nothing says cottage quite like board + batten siding!

Look closely, + you will see the highly-coveted garage door arbor

(or is that a pergola?)

I dunno.



No garage door should exist without one . . .

. . . + every single one would have something climbing + flowering on it, like this:

What's prettier than the blue flowers of morning glories?  Nothing!

What’s prettier than the blue flowers of morning glories? Nothing!

But wait!

I also think all garage doors should be a color.

I think the dark door 'pops'.

I think the dark door ‘pops’.

Our door may be 1 of the 2 siding colors I have chosen for our Dutch colonial house re-do.

Remember, the garage will be white + cottage-y!

Sterling gray from Certainteed.  This will be the first story of our Dutch colonial.

Sterling gray from Certainteed.
This will be the 1st story of our Dutch colonial.

Flagstone gray, which will be on our house's 2nd story exterior.

Flagstone gray,
which will be on our house’s 2nd story exterior,
hopefully in shingles if our budget allows.

Of course, I can’t decide, because that’s how I roll.

But wait!

Another ‘must-have’ for the garage would be

your roof spire, like this:

Kay's arbor + roof spire.

Kay’s tan door, brown arbor + roof spire.

If you want your own cool roof spire . . .

. . . a fab antiques store in my former town has a really nice + very affordable one!

I blogged about the shop last month:


Call Karen Tucker @ 815.440.4931 + ask her to set it aside for you!

Artifacts Antique. Art. Accents. 221 W. Washington St. Oregon, Illinois

Artifacts Antique. Art. Accents.
221 W. Washington St.
Oregon, Illinois

Now the exterior lights!

I’m going to insist on something industrial to flank our garage door.

What say ye?

Barnlight Electric Co.

The Original Warehouse Gooseneck
from Barnhouse Electric Co.

The gray of the galvanized metal would complement my gray garage doors.


People.  This company has the most fabulous light fixtures.

Their motto is ‘Where Vintage + Modern Collide’ . . .

. . . I love it!

Anyway, here are more light fixtures in my most favorite color, ever . . .

Sydney gooseneck. $284  :-O

Sydney gooseneck.
$284 :-O

Sinclair 12" gooseneck.

Sinclair 12″ gooseneck.
Oops. Didn’t get the price.

Esso 10" gooseneck

Esso 10″ gooseneck
Darn, forgot to get the price.

Pretty cool, no?  Well, feast your eyes on the light fixture I really, really want:

Seaside radial wave 12" gooseneck.

Seaside radial wave 12″ gooseneck
$237 each. :-O

I’ve always thought that red is a great accent color when one has a gray house.

My very 1st house sported that color scheme!

I think it’s time for the sequel!



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