Tag Archives: porch

Finally! Porch Steps!

It’s August already!

What am I doing, still thinking of new plants + containers to buy?

I’m obsessing about these topiaries!

Blue+Spruce+Globe+on+Std

 

How sweet would they look inside a pair of these urns?

urn and pedestal charcoal

So what’s with all this landscaping dreaming,

so close to the end of summer?

Here’s what:

We’re finally getting stairs for our front porch!

This means we can now safely plant things next to them,

+ let’s be real.

Is that not the most up front + important spot in our entire yard?

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OMIGOSH!  LET’S DO THIS!

Calm down — back to those porch steps.

Here they are, in progress, just a few days ago:

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A few days later, they’re still unfinished

but are sporting their new lattice “skirts” on each side.

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So cute! — + matching the skirts underneath the rest of our porch:

G.O. started painting the new stair treads yesterday.

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It was a challenge, as it always is, coming up with the perfect color.

Yes, I chose gray, but not just any gray.

It has to “play nicely with” (a.k.a. complement) all the other grays of our house,

most especially those near the new steps,

on the foundation’s stones + the lattice.

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By no means do I mean that I want all the grays to match.

No way!

In my world, contrast is often more important than matching.

Since I really want the stair treads + porch floor to “pop” (a.k.a. contrast),

 I decided they needed to be fairly dark.

Here’s the paint color I chose:

Knight’s Armor from Pittsburgh Paints.

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Whoa.  That’s DARK! — isn’t it?

Disclaimer:  I really feared that it was too dark.  Yikes.

My instinct was to forge ahead, though.

In the past, I’ve had remorse when I settled on a safer, lighter color

because I’d been too timid to go really dark.

Not this time!

Let’s see how those treads look, in place:

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People.  I have only envisioned this bit of happiness for years!

It’s like I’m dreaming!

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Notice the porch ceiling.

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G.O. has started stripping the old paint off the existing bead board,

+ we’ll repaint it a pale blue.

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I like that light fixture (something discontinued from Pottery Barn),

but we’re thinking of replacing it with an outdoor ceiling fan.

Dunno yet.

Next, we’ll need some stair railings + posts + stuff.

Here’s what we have, at left, + here’s what I want, at right.

Stay tuned for a cool transformation (I hope!)

This concludes my porch musings, but wait.

Remember the pair of urns + topiaries that I want to get?

 

My plans are to place one on either side of our bottom step.

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Perfect!

Maybe we’ll go shopping tomorrow — stay tuned!

 


Front Yard Pinspiration

People.  Are we all suffering from Spring fever?

I know I AM, + in fact, just a few days ago,

I went online shopping for something to hang on our front door.

This is what I want, from this etsy shop:

basket-with-pink-geraniums

OMiGosh, though.  It’s still only February,

+ yet, I am beyond ready to get outside + plant something!

It’s past time for us to ramp up our houses’s curb appeal!

Right now it’s so plain Jane + incomplete,

+ I fear that the neighbors are grumbling,

“When will they ever finish that house?”

porch

It may be a bit of a blank slate right now,

but here’s how the front of our house looked on the realtor listing:

dutch-colonial-before-with-shrubs

I think we can all agree that those overgrown shrubs had to go,

as did the errant enclosed front porch:

dutch-colonial-front-porch-midway-gone

dutch-colonial-front-porch-almost-gone

porch

But I just can’t come up with a design!  The humanity!

I swear, it’s got to be that off-center porch that’s throwing me off.

How on earth am I going to be able to tie each side together?

Then this happened.

A beautiful front yard of a house with a porch on one side:

front-yard-landscape

I’m sorry — I found this on Pinterest but didn’t get the source.

Thank goodness for Pinterest, is all I can say.

I don’t know how we would have managed our re-do without it.

So.  What makes my new favorite front yard so swoon-worthy?

 Let’s break it down:

First up, they’ve added a bit of symmetry

by flanking the front steps with a pair*of my absolute faves,

lollipop shrubs (as they say in the UK), a.k.a. topiaries*.

*Pairs = good.  *Topiaries = good

front-yard-landscape

Notice how they’ve tied everything together

by repeating the same plants from one side to the other.

And who doesn’t love that sweeping curve* of the edges of the beds?

*Curves = good.

+ + + + +

Now, then.  All I have to do is decide what plants to buy,

get that porch all tricked out,

 see about installing a brick sidewalk,

+ maybe get 3 window boxes for our bay!

Stay tuned!


Time For Outdoor Happiness

Spring’s finally arrived in northern Illinois,

+ we’ve been sprucing up our yard a bit, as one does.

Our front porch awaits its makeover,

meaning just pots of flowers but no landscaping yet.

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I think it’s cool that we hung bunting on our in-progress porch!

Meanwhile, nothing growing out front means 1 thing:

it’s time to head to our backyard . . .

. . . where we planted 10 Autumn ferns behind the garage:

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Our baby ferns may not look like much right now,

but soon enough, we’ll have these beauties!

fern autumn

In other news — there’s nothing like moving from house A to house B

to make a gal realize she’s got way too much garden stuff!

How many pairs of pots + urns did I think I needed?

Anyway, I did what I had to do + ruthlessly purged.

We now have a large pile of gardening goodies

that I’ll take to my next market + sell.

So what made the cut, Kay? — you’re no doubt asking.

This stuff:

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I have had that old trellis for a long time.

It’s never looked better than here, on the garage wall!

I love the combination of chippy white paint + silvery galvanized metal!

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That wonderful stand + bucket await their resident plant.

I am thinking something of the topiary persuasion.

Exhibit A:

topiary

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The larger bucket to the right will soon be a fountain,

+ that sandwich board sign at left?  I love it!

I made it for my biz — several years + 2 booth spaces ago.

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Earlier today, I drug it from its basement hide-a-way

+ plopped it here, next to our trellis + plant stand.

I’m not sure where it will land.  Stay tuned.

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Just a few short yards from my plant stand + old sandwich board,

the garage sports this window box with 3 very rustic pots:

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This year I’ve filled those pots with pretty, leafy Caladium plants,

under planted with Gin Begonias.

They are both shade tolerant, which is a must in most of our yard.

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Next up, our pair of semi-modern Adirondack chairs

have moved from their previous place on our lawn to this patio space.

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Somewhere there’s a pair of pale blue outdoor cushions,

+ I need to ask G.O. if he knows where they are.

Stay tuned!


PORCH POSTS!

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Yesterday our front porch posts were installed.

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

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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!

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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 -- hookedonhouses.net

hookedonhouses.net

X porch rails in the tropics scentsational girl

Centsationalgirl

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.

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

Stay tuned for that!


Too Bizzy To Blog; Here’s Why

Hola!

Man, I’ve missed blogging, but here’s why I’ve been absent.

I’ve been bizzily making “stuff” like this,

using old wood salvaged from our Dutch colonial!

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It’s reversible!  2 X’s the fun!

It’s also currently for sale in my brick-and-mortar space, or store:

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I call my biz REDBIRD Vintage Home,

+ I really couldn’t love anything more.

I share my space with 12 other vendors in this new-ish cool store:

 true north flyer

true north -- amy's toucan true north -- front interior true north exterior

Let’s have another look-see at REDBIRD.

Here I am, at left, inside my space,

 with 2 of my high school classmates who visited last week!

Guess the name of our high school.

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Kay – Janet – Kathy

I’ve been making + selling pillows for several years.

I have an etsy shop for them, plus 2 galleries sell them for me —

1 in Jackson Hole, WY + 1 in Los Angeles.

Lately, I’ve focused more on signs + furniture + other “stuff”.

By “other stuff”, I mean measuring sticks.

Here is a close-up of a couple:

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Wow, all that old chippy paint — I love it!

I like to think of these as the world’s hippest growth charts

or just a cool, industrial accent.

* * *

My plans are to combine my work

with other “merch” that I order for the store,

like these glove molds from NYC:

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. . . and this fabulous-ness from New Hampshire:

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Meanwhile, it’s time to view a few more of my projects!

I love the word “HOME” + opted to stencil it on this old, wooden step ladder:

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$22

Next up, I stenciled a faded Frenchie stripe on some off-white canvas,

+ G.O. used it to reupholster this old, red metal mechanic’s stool:

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$34 — SOLD!

This cute table was tricked out in a Swedish kind of way:

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Check out how I lined those drawers.

It’s old Mary Emmerling wallpaper from a recent past bathroom of ours!

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SOLD!

A pub table turned a little British with its stylized Union Jack top:

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. . . and a couple more vintage items received their RedBird crosses:

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* * *

So.  What’s going on over at the Dutch colonial? — you ask?

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THE SIDING IS DONE!

Next up (soon!): tricking out THAT PORCH!

Stay tuned!

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My Fun Fall Porch

Here’s some news you can use:

yesterday I enjoyed my first cup of Dunkin Donuts pumpkin spice coffee!

Bring on the caramel apples — it’s early fall!

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Home Depot was selling small mums, pansies + ornamental kale

FOR 83 CENTS EACH!,

so I excitedly filled the back of my station wagon,

dashed home + got to work,  tricking out our front porch!

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I happily arranged + rearranged to my heart’s content,

pausing occasionally to admire, of course,

+ worrying just a tad that our neighbors would think I’m crazy.

HA!  TOO LATE FOR THAT!

* * * * *

But I digress.  Back to my project.

At one point, I had both sides of our steps brimming with autumnal glory,

but midway, I opted to edit + do just one side.

Less is more, right?

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My favorites: white pumpkins inside my pair of black urns (Home Depot).

Once I saw how awesome that looked,

I opted to continue incorporating garden pots from my semi-vast collection.

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Well, THAT was fun!

I don’t do much fall decor inside the house,

but I am thinking of doing a little something this year (soon!)

 to boost my morale.

Once again, my plans are to shop from the house

+ use what I already own.

Stay tuned!


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