Harvest Season has arrived in a Colorful Bomb of Inspiration…

This amazing photo was taken by my mom from her house in Idaho. It’s a view of Henry’s Lake from their driveway. Gorgeous!

My wonderful Aunt Katie came to visit with my mom for 3 days. It’s so fun and special to see her and have a chance to spend time together without all the kids and grand kids. She’s a positive and vibrant spirit and I’m grateful to have the time with her!
The first time entertaining in my new kitchen.
This little foot stool has been in one of the rentals for several years and the burlap, recycled from when I was in the rug industry, is showing signs of wear.
It’s simple to recover it, but I want to make it feel European to match the style of the rental.
I had some extra burlap and this fun French style stencil, which I used to create interest and give it a French flair.
Cute enough! And the fabric is less distressed. Voila’!
A good friend of mine is in the long process of Chemotherapy and I am helping her out with some cooking.
We settled on Lasagna, Baked Penne and Enchilada’s!
While I’m cooking, I might as well make some for my house too!
After the 1 week remodel that turned into a month long remodel, I needed a break from it all and found my way up to Gunnison to see some fall colors and the family. Preston relaxing on the patio, overlooking Blue Mesa!
My beautiful sister, taking in the gorgeous view of the Reservoir.
This is how to find peace and relax! The weather was perfect and the colors in full spectacle!
I drove the dogs past Gothic toward Schofield Pass and found a good place to stop and walk around. They were most interested in the cow pies, so I put them in the back of the truck for a scenic pic of the colors.
There were many people in the area taking pics and walking around. I was fortunate to find this place away from the crowds to enjoy the day.
Once I returned home, I started cleaning and working on the details from the remodel. I had David put up some shelving above the fridge for more storage.
He cut down the pantry doors to fit the cabinet. I Love the texture they add to the space!
Some of the details include shelves and cool brackets, barn wood and ceramic Brick tile.
Before the doors…
These were found at Habitat for Humanity for $10! Super great find! However, they were dirty and needed cleaning. I use TSP cleaning solution with a brush to remove the dust and spills on the wood.
This is my set up to refinish cabinets. Cleaning and prep is the biggest part of the project! Clean with TSP, then a coat of sanding sealer, light sanding, paint (maybe 2 coats), more sanding to distress, glaze to highlight any imperfections and give it patina, then 2 coats of finishing wax. This process must be re imagined with each project. I’ve learned that it takes a few try’s to get the look I want, then I go forward with that process to finish all the cabinets to match.
This is the pantry cabinet David built for me. I took it outside to begin the treatment, looking for the right technique. The outside panel is done and ready to mount the pantry doors again.
I also wanted to try the technique on a small part of the door. I’ll finish it later, but needed to see how it looks with paint and some glaze.
When we cut the door down to size, we exposed some joints in the wood. No worries! Luckily, my style is rustic farmhouse, so I feel comfortable having imperfections in my cabinets and doors. I do need door latches.
My door latch solution is magnetized brackets. Simple!
Before I left Gunnison, Susie gave me fresh produce from the farmer’s market on Saturday morning in town. How cute are these baby carrots?
I feel better having taken a break from my remodel project! It’s always great to get up the the mountains and especially when the fall colors are in full display!

Authentic Details make this old Kitchen Fantastic

An updated walk through.
Butcher block counter tops are in. The wall behind the stove still needs to be prepped before tile.
I’m reusing the upper cabinets doors on a new cabinet that David will build under this side of the peninsula.
He’s literally building it to the half wall for support. The small panel of wood on the floor is covering the old vent and next to that, you can see the light area on the floor where we took out a cabinet at the end of the peninsula. The hardwood will need to be filled in and patched to match the rest of the kitchen.
1 long shelf will go down the middle of this cabinet, horizontally.
The work area outside.
He’s adding doors, then the face plate divider, one at a time…
David installing doors...
And taking a pic of his work.
This is much needed space and I’ll put small appliances here for easy access.
The upper cabinets without all the doors. I was able to give away all but one of these before trash day!
The peninsula with the butcher block already oiled. I used Mineral Oil to protect and condition the butcher block wood. I’ll add another layer of oil after we get the project done.
My electrician came in and installed can lights, outlets and moved my thermostat.
Butcher block oiled and prepped for marble back splash.
David is reinforcing the wall behind the stove to mount the hood before he hangs backer board.
I laid out the tile in the order I want to use. He’ll install it in a simple brick pattern.
First marble going up. So fancy!
Meanwhile, the back porch is temporary storage.
Marble back splash done.
Marble back splash goes up 6″, then changes to ceramic tile that looks kinda like white washed brick.
This is a cabinet I refinished a couple years ago. It started out very similar to what I have now, but see how great it looks after distressing, paint and glaze? Very authentic, using a simple style door.
The mess is ongoing and I clean every night when they leave. I can’t wait until this is done!
Ugh!
I have family coming into town this week, so we took a break. I did a lot of cleaning, found new homes for my kitchen items in my new cabinets and set it up to use while I had visitors. It’s the first look at how this space will be used going forward.
From the kitchen side of the peninsula.
I spent some time this week looking for some doors for my pantry. I found these at Habitat for Humanity for $10! They will need a slight modification, cutting them down, but I’ll paint them and they’ll be a great focal point in the kitchen while hiding all the food and keeping the dogs out of the soup!

Rolling with the Punches for Desired Results

Here’s where we’re at this morning.
This is how the kitchen started before we began this remodel. I’ve already taken the cabinet doors off and cleared the space for demo!
The goal is to remove this wall and open up the kitchen to the living room.
This is the tiny doorway between the rooms. See how dark the living room is compared to the kitchen? I want to make this whole space brighter and welcoming.
This is the same wall that will be coming down, from the living room view.
Once the plastic is up, David built temporary supporting walls so the existing wall can be replaced with a thick support beam.
These old houses have lathe and plaster walls instead of drywall. It’s super dusty and hard to remove. Makes a huge mess!
The plaster is gone and the original support beams and being assisted with the temporary walls until we get the new support beams in place..
It’s highly recommended NOT to live in your house while you remodel, for many obvious reasons. However, I’ve done this many times and while I agree with that strategy, I still do exactly that! It’s my hobby and each time, it makes me crazy and swear off any more projects. I always come back for more.
I’m nervous when the house is being torn apart and rebuilt. Especially when the support beams are compromised. This part of the project is tricky, but David has experience and now they’re lifting the new beam into place.
And securing the supporting post for the new beam going across the room.
Lucy, my emotional support dog through the project! “It’s ok, my human”
Now that the beam is in place, the temporary walls come down, plastic goes away and I can see the whole room opened up for the first time! Love it!
I’ve never used marble before, but I’m excited to mix it with a more rustic tile to make the wall behind the stove a focal point.
During the project, I’m basically home bound. It’s tough to sit here all day and hear the banging, breathe the dust and have my space being invaded by contractors. The weather is hot this time of year, so I alternate between the crowded back porch at 98 degrees and the A/C inside with the construction going on. And try to be pleasant to everyone all the while.
These guys work all day and don’t complain. Even as I make changes throughout the process. They’re troupers and I am grateful to have such a good team for my project!
After demo, I have a big pile of debris for trash day.
My regular trash guy is awesome and I give him some cash to pick up the excess. This week however, my regular guy was replaced with another crew who weren’t as accommodating. I gave them $20 to take the debris and got a 7 minute monologue about how they need more money to pick up the trash as they loaded it into the dump truck and they would only take half of the pile. What? Is this extortion? Luckily another trash truck pulled up 15 minutes later and took the rest for another $20. Must be good karma.
And the dust is everywhere. The sanding took place outside and got on everything!
This back porch has already seen many cycles of storage and clean up. So glad to have a covered area to put things when I need the extra space.
This is where I sit during the day while the construction zone is happening inside. Not very relaxing, but temporary and you already know how much time I spend out here normally. It’s a small sacrifice.
David building and installing the butcher block counter tops.
In my mind, the dogs are stressed out with all the noise, men and chaos. In reality I’m being anthropomorphic and it’s me who actually feels that way, not them.
Finally, things are beginning to take shape.
OMG! I love how open and airy this already is, minus the dust, of course!
This isn’t sexy now, but I can imagine how cool this wall will be with the stove hood mounted, the marble back splash and whitewashed brick tile above the counter. I can’t wait!
Literally 10:00 PM, trying to get water in the kitchen before a 4 day break. Everyone is tired.
DUST! All in all, a good week! Glad to be past the demo and support beam installation. I now have an open living space and an awesome large peninsula island with a slab of wood on top. I’m happy and looking forward to giving you an update as we get the new base cabinet installed and tile hung!

Fearless Lucy- Overcoming Scary Odds in a Remarkable Tale

After thinking long and hard, I finally added a new member to the household, Lucy. Formally known as Puzzle (?), Lucy is learning her way around her new house and getting to know her new family members. She is estimated to be around 1 year old, 14 lbs, a Chihuahua/Daschund mix and very sweet personality.
This is the afternoon we brought her home. She had a bath and is exploring her new yard with Rocco. They look a lot alike, same size and color, but her tail is curled and she has some White patches on her body. And because she’s younger, she has more energy.
Look at her cute face!
She is trying to get closer and closer to Rocco. He was first trying to hump her, then ignore her.
Inching closer…
Almost touching, but Rocco moved out of the way.
Everything new to her. The next morning, we showed her where we sit to have tea and watch the day unfold.
Lucy was found on May 20th in a field, near a road with a broken pelvis. It’s speculated that she was hit by a car. Her little body is similar to Rocco, but she’s is thicker, longer fur, shorter legs. He’s more willowy.
Lucy still looks to Rocco for guidance. She follows him around and does what he does. He is tolerating her, but I see him warming up and letting her act more familiar with him.
She’s starting to feel more comfortable and confident.
As the summer is nearing the latter part, I’m finding time to finish up my yard and storage areas. My bone yard has been holding outdoor tools and garden equipment. I’ve been picking away at items here, and today will rearrange and organized it.
This project took 45 minutes, so much smaller than I made it out to be in my mind! I should have done this months ago! Now, cleaner and I can find things faster.
And I’ve scheduled this wall to come out next week. This is the first big project I’ve done inside this house, so far. Before winter arrives, I want to open this space up for more light, make the it feel bigger and inclusive. During the colder months, this space IS the living space for the house and can feel claustrophobic over the long cold snowy season.
My contractor, David built this cabinet for me. I’m challenged with storage in this house. And when I take out the wall between the kitchen and living room, I’ll have even less cabinet space. This will be interesting, but I specialize in this problem, after working in all these 1930’s bungalows!
David built this base cabinet for me a couple months ago, and the two match. I’m doing this kitchen remodel on a budget and plan to refinish the cabinets myself, use rustic and inexpensive materials and still make it look farmhouse chic in the end. This exterior wall will be the focal point of the whole kitchen/ living room once the wall comes down. I have a couple vintage looking panel doors that may help dress up the tall cabinet. Once the work is done, I’ll decide on the details.
The new cabinet sits adjacent to the back patio door. I had it built to be only 9″ deep so walking into the kitchen doesn’t feel like a hallway.
These sunflowers arrived unplanned and they are spectacular! The soil we dug up from one of the old garden boxes and moved to this raised garden in the front yard had sunflower seeds within and they surprised me and the neighborhood when they grew taller than the windmill. My neighbors tell me they love to watch the windmill spinning, moving and entertaining them. So much fun!

Research, Reclaim, Results: A Bargain Bench Ottoman

This post gives insight into a couple days spent learning how to use a stencil and paint to update an old wooden box I bought at a thrift store for $20. It’s been in storage for almost a year and I’m now rethinking this fun piece for my new place. Let’s see how this goes!

I bought this ottoman a few years back for $20. It was upholstered in a Red and Gold Morroccan tribal fabric and was already cool, but it was dirty and showing wear. I stripped the box down to the wood and made a new foam cushion, covered in burlap.
I used it as a banquette bench with my dining table at the Logan house, while I was living there. Cushions made it welcoming and comfortable to sit on, as demonstrated by Rocco!
I now use it as a huge ottoman in front of my sofa. It’s 8′ long and 3′ wide. It serves as a bench, an ottoman, a cocktail table, a foot rest and a yoga mat all in one!
The wood is unfinished and has some distressing.
The box is hollow and has webbing on the top. It also has a long split in the wood that creaked when I sat on the bench. I used some metal brackets to reinforce the 2 sides of the split, from the inside of the box. It no longer creaks!
This is my original pattern, on a piece of scrap wood in my yard.
I converted my outdoor dining table to a work bench by covering it with an old quilted blanket and painting plastic, tied at the corners. This space is protected from rain and weather, offers good ventilitation and easy access to my project from all sides. One tip: make sure you have plenty of room and light for your project!
In the end, these are the supplies I used, left to right:
Disposable gloves, screwdriver, Minwax finishing wax and clean cloth, 36 grit sandpaper block, wet clean sponge and Tobacco Green paint, mixed with White paint, water added to make it more watery, Blue painters tape, Blue paint mixed with White paint and watered down and applied with a clean cloth and a clean buffing cloth.

I used 2 stencils. This one, with Off White chaulk spray paint and Teal spray paint.
I took the patten all the way down the box, blending some Teal into the Off White pattern.
My first run.
Then, I went over the White pattern with a vine pattern, using 2 colors of Green. Each time, you have to tape the stencil into place and cover all the edges so you dont get overspray! This takes time, people!
I wanted to use the vine pattern in different applications, so I made a couple templates to cover the parts I didn’t want and only expose the sections I wanted. This makes my vine pattern seem more randon and less cookie cutter, giving a more authentic look.
3 different vine patterns in 1 stencil!
And covering the edges also takes time! I reused these same pieces of art paper, as edges, for the whole project.
Getting ready to spray some vine.
Ok, White pattern and vine pattern done on this side. It’s kind bold though, and I didn’t realized how much sanding I’d have to do to get the look I wanted. I used too much paint at first!
On the left side of this pic, I’ve applied the Minwax Paste finishing wax and you can see how rich and dimentional the wood looks! The wood really sucked up the wax and gave it a rich patina! I ended up doing 2 coats of the wax. But the pattern is still too busy, too dark!
Assessing my options at the end of a slow going day. I’m exhausted, not quite happy with my results and I need a shower to take this sawdust off my body and out of my nostrils! Ugh!
The next day, I’m feeling motivated to sand like crazy and get more distressing in my pattern, antiqued and less bold! I go to Home Depot to buy more 36 grit sandpaper.
This is how my workspace looks, temporarily set up on my wine console.
This was written on the side of this box, I added the word “Bistro” with a sharpie marker, thinking it would make the box look more French. It didn’t work. I sanded it down again.
This is the 2nd side. I learned yesterday, that you need alot less paint than you think, making the sanding process much less work. Now that I’ve done it, I learned how to make it easier and get the result I want. See how much more faded it looks before sanding?
And after sanding, paint distressing and the wax is applied.
The ends of the box were a breeze! By this time in the project, I’m literally holding the edges in one hand and spraying with the other. I’m a master at this point!
The other end. I used the Blue paint wash to frame out the box, making it seem more finished and hopefully, vintage. I also painted Blue streaks into the body of the box panels to give it more dimension.
After 3 days, my thrift store find has a new look and feels more French country to me. It’s hard to see the pattern in these pics. It’s more noticable in person and I did want an antique, distressed look for this box.
This project was fun and relatively short. I learned alot on the first day, as I tried different things to get the result I was looking for. Refinishing furniture is challenging, generally inexpensive and rewarding when done. This is a great way to rejuvenate an old piece you’ve had for a while or a piece you just found and needs some TLC. I look forward to refurbishing another piece soon!

I Had A Delightful Dream To Restore This Relic…

It’s been a crazy fun year and I’m grateful for and proud of the project I’ve been working on!
One Year later, after a great summer season, my house looks fresh, bright and welcoming!
This poor house was so overgrown!
The new landscape is much cleaner and easier to maintain!
The Aspen Tree is still here but,
the front looks otherwise pretty different.
The side yard between my neighbor and I…
looks better with a cedar fence and gate, Breeze material and filled in grass.
It’s hard to see the cedar garden boxes on the right. And impossible to see the gate behind the volunteer tree the contractor is walking through.
Ah, there’s the gate! And a nice clean walkway under the cedar arbor.
And the front door must have been original! Weeds were growing through the concrete step under the door and into the house.
More welcoming! And interesting to look at, from the street.
The back door was also in poor shape.
The new slider is more open, let’s light into the house and is so much prettier.
This is the back porch, but this pic was taken around 2011, before the garage came down. It had plywood paneling on the bottom and screen on the top.
No more plywood! I replaced only the necessary supports with Cedar posts and opened it all up. And a new shed shares the original garage space with a courtyard seating area.
I liked the garage, which had cool original wood siding, but it was so old! The back yard was neglected and overgrown. (pic taken around 2008)
Ahhhh…. Cleaner and low maintenance! Perfect for me!
Straight view of the original back patio.
Today, an Oasis in the City!
Amazing how different it looks now!
I want to hang out here!
The far side of the back patio had 2 different types of fencing between the neighbor and I. Redwood, which turned into chainlink. My neighbor also looked right into my patio from their back door. Awkward for everyone!
I added taller Cedar fencing from the alley to the front sidewalk and everyone is happier! Plus, I hung some outdoor curtains all the way around the patio, giving both of us privacy that can be adjusted.
The back patio concrete was poured with an angle on the left side, starting at the house and ending at the tree.
I extended the concrete to square up the patio which added extra square footage.
One of the best parts of this 893 square foot house is the patio and outdoor living space. I knew this space should be the heart of the house when I first saw it in 2005. I didn’t however, think I would live here 14 years later and make it into what I imagined it could be!
This space is so comfortable and serene. The breeze flows through the patio, keeping it cool. Ceiling fans move the air and the curtains float. Mmmm.
This is what my life looked like in August 2018, 1 year ago.
This is what it looks like today! Rocco is comfortable here too!
The old garage concrete pad with weeds growing out of the cracks.
Same spot, but now it supports my shed! Clean gravel walkway, courtyard and cedar arbor overhead.
I love how organized garden boxes can make your yard. After some clean up and a new irrigation system…
First year gardens. It’s hard the 1st year trying things out and making adjustments as needed. I’ve read that gardening teaches patience and my the case, it’s true! Every year after, becomes a game of what will come back again and eventually you have a mature garden.
Walking through the side gate, this is what you’d see ahead. This is my main entrance. Lovely!
Now this looks like a place I need to explore more!
Same view, to the left, Ugh!
I even got some extra shade from the shed, making the patio more protected. And honestly, the shed is such a focal point, it makes the whole yard seem like a stage set.
I haven’t done as much in the inside, but I’ve done some things and I have plans for more.
I added A/C, fresh paint, lots of cleaning and a new front door.
The arch on the left goes into the kitchen. I replaced the kitchen windows that you see on the left, with a slider door into the courtyard.
It really opened up the kitchen, brought light into the house and now, I walk right onto the courtyard from the kitchen. This was a huge change that made this house feel more updated.
This fun corner of the living room gives the occupant a nice view of the front yard.
I made a cozy seating area with a thick shag rug to give it texture.
A closer view of the arched wall between the kitchen and living area, where I added a new slider door.
I’m planning to take this wall down between the living room and kitchen. This space is the main living space in the house and during the winter, where I spend most of my time.
I’ll lose the upper cabinets and keep the base cabinets. I want to open up the room so it feels bigger, brighter and warmer having the living and cooking space connected.
I’ll remove the weird soffit above the cabinets to open the room up, refinish the existing base cabinets, add rustic support beams, new tile backsplash, new countertops and I’m having a shelf cabinet built…
to match the cabinet you see here, below the windows. As you can see, I need more storage space and I’ll put the new cabinet to the right of the windows. It’s tall and fits the space between the windows and the back door.
Me, happy to be at this point of my project and enjoying my simple life.
I love my newly remodeled space! This project has been so fun because I get to do what works for my lifestyle today. It’s customized for me. And I’m so happy living here.
Happy Anniversary, house!

The Simple Farmhouse Cabin that Exposed my Hidden Courage

Late Fall of 2000, I bought my first house in Gunnison, CO. Palisades rock formation in the far right background.
More of a farmhouse cabin, really. It had Yellow painted log siding, cinder block and brick exterior base walls, screened in porch, mud room, 3 bed 1 bath.
Dreary looking when I first got my hands on it. But it had some good potential and I was aching to fix it up!
The house sat on 2 lots, giving me some out buildings, stables and corral, a detached garage, a large garden area and tons of extra space.
Corral and stables beyond the yard.
The detached garage had a couple small windows, which I later enlarged and turned the garage into a studio. I rented out all the rooms in the house and moved myself into the studio.
Next door is a historic old school house.
The interior had Oak floors. My 2 cats Dutch (Tabby) and Camille (calico), were given to me by Susie as a house warming gift.
Pine tongue and groove paneling throughout, a wood burning fireplace.
Original built in cabinets. The ceiling was some kind of paneling without the standard aluminum grid.
Living area near the front door.
Largest bedroom
The kitchen and bathroom were outdated, so my then-boyfriend, Kurt helped me do a very basic remodel on a very limited budget.
Apparently, I had enough wine corks to do a back splash behind the original farmhouse sink.
I tiled the counter top, painted over the residual adhesive on the bottom half of the back splash, added some shelves, painted the original cabinets and added Black hardware to make this old kitchen feel brighter and cleaner.
Super rustic and super inexpensive to do!
I painted the foundation rustic Red, added a rooster weather vane, took down old metal fencing around the house, cut down weeds and took the screen off the porch to open it up.
1 year after moving in, I got a new puppy, Foxy Girl. My roommate got one of Foxy’s sister’s at the same time and named her Mariposa. This is THAT day and we are both so happy!
Spring time in Gunnison is potentially more exciting than in other places. When you live in an area that gets as cold as 30 below zero and snows crazy amounts that sticks around until June, a reprieve is so very welcome! The city turns on a water ditch that flow through the town, but until it’s turned on late May or June, we hand water.
Green begins to show up. This deck was already there and gets used through out the whole year.
Mature trees and gardens appear.
A simple sitting area against the house, protected from wind and out of view from the street.
Colorado summers are the best!
I set up some seating spots in the yard for entertaining friends when they stop by.
Beautiful old Aspen tree with flowers in the garden below.
With the city ditch turned on, Poppies bloom in a cluster. I also added some trees for privacy and shade. The rock to the right of the pic is a piece of petrified wood.
Foxy Girl enjoying the beautiful summer day on the grass
After taking the screen off the upper part of the porch, its seems breezy and welcoming. A perfect place to park your bicycle.
A Progressive Bicycle Party, ending at my house. All my girlfriends gathered to celebrate another summer in Colorado!

Summer time in Colorado, an Astonishing Miracle

It’s thrilling to see how much the foliage has filled in over the month of June.
The pots are beginning to explode with color and texture, making my walkway a garden path!
And of course, weeds are also coming in quickly! I think I have a couple volunteer sunflowers at the base of the windmill. I’ll keep you posted as they grow!
So cool to see my neighbors also taking the opportunity to upgrade their siding and landscape. The ripple effect is real! Both of these houses just had their siding upgraded!
Doesn’t that look great! And this is what I see when I look out my window now. I love it!
My buddy, Rocco.
First steps out of the house in the morning, sniffing things to see what happened overnight.
Then he settles into his favorite morning spot in the sun! We both look forward to the start of the day, sipping Chai and soaking up the beautiful morning!
It feels good to have my space organized and cleaned up enough to have some friends over.
Just out of storage, I’m using my dining table on my patio for the summer and love how it opens up the patio and gives me space to entertain.
Some of my girlfriends enjoying an Al Fresco happy hour on the patio. Beth suggested my place looks like a Napa Valley back yard! YOU KNOW I love that!
This month, I’ve been cleaning out my storage and looking for places to put all my stuff! As I bring more stuff over and try to find permanent homes for everything, I can’t help but wonder, If I haven’t used this stuff in almost a year, do I really need it?
As luck would have it, Susie just bought a house in Lake Havasu and is setting up her new house at the same time! So as much as I feel attached to my stuff, I’m grateful to contribute to their lake house and know I’ll get to enjoy and appreciate all these things there, instead of in Colorado.
What to keep, what to donate , what to share…
Walking into someone’s storage feels a little bit intrusive, but I’m happy to report this is the last of my storage and by the end of the month, I’ll have all my stuff in one place again. It’s been quite a project moving from 2300 sf to 893 sf. Overwhelming, but I feel great knocking this out and reducing my footprint even further.
I’ve had this mirror for several years and rediscovered it in storage. Although it’s heavy and dark, I have an idea to update it…
I like this lighter version better, so I’m going to paint and distress my heavy Black mirror and give it a fresher look.
This is my Water Fitness class of ladies! At the end of our workout, we volley a beach ball for 10 minutes. It’s fun and challenging, but mostly funny! These ladies are awesome. They’re supportive, positive and all doing their best to stay in shape.

These pics reveal simple inspiration with surprising results

I wanted a super small rolling kitchen island and was having a hard time finding the size. I eventually stumbled upon this pine table with casters and a drawer that was perfect, except for the finish, for $15!
After painting, doing a faux antique finish and adding new hardware, it’s perfect!
These Japanese office chairs were in great condition, but ugly. I bought them for $60 and…
I refinished the oak frames, recovered the seat and backs with updated fabric and they turned out great!
While doing a kitchen remodel, I needed new cabinets and got sticker shock after shopping new cabinets. These Alder cabinets were at Habitat for Humanity. I picked up 16 cabinets for $800.
I had to store them under my patio while I was refinishing them.
And cover them in my back yard while I was working on the process.
But, this is a Black refinished cabinet door.
And the spectacular antique White refinished cabinet door.
Here you can see all 3 finishes together.
These are done and waiting to be installed.
Installed, they look like high end custom cabinets. I saved thousands of dollars by refinishing them myself.
From the other end of the kitchen. These cabinets turned out to be the focal point upstairs.
And here are the Black lower cabinets, across from the White.
I bought this house in 2007. This is the pic the realtor used for marketing.
Updated over 11 years, this pic shows the new landscaping from the street.
The front part of the yard slid into the city sidewalk.
After building a retaining wall at the sidewalk and leveling out the dirt, I added Russian Sage and some mulch to the area, cleaning it up and making it more welcoming.
Here you can see the upper level of the yard and the new gardens.
I took out dead grass and laid flagstone in the front yard, making a fun entry courtyard with a couple flanking gardens.
The back yard had sod, but there was no fence and the boarded up storage shed on the left of the pic was uncovered to reveal a nice covered patio.
After cleanup, grass removal, adding garden boxes and decorating the patios.
This is the kitchen were I live now. These are the cabinets and counter tops I inherited when I bought the house in 2005. It’s hard to see the bathroom cabinet above the kitchen sink. What?
I updated the kitchen in 2012. It still looks like this, but I’ve since upgraded the appliances to Stainless Steel.
The back porch was somewhat enclosed with painted plywood and screen on the top of the walls. You can see the original garage in the back.
Today, after remodeling the whole exterior, this space is a huge feature of the house.
This is what the back porch looked like from the cottage in the back.
Today, more open and cleaned up!
Bought in 2005, with 2 dead Juniper trees in the front.
Today, no dead Juniper trees.
The side yard, parallel to the driveway.
Now, a walkway adjacent to the driveway.
The back yard looking North, 2005.
Today, looking North.
The old concrete slab that once had a garage on it…
Has now become a fabulous sitting area outside my kitchen.
The walkway between the back patio and the garage…
Is now a wonderland of Cedar arbor, garden shed and shady places to sit.
The back yard when the garage was still standing. And red lava rock that took me years to finally get rid of completely.
Is now a work space behind the new garden shed.
This cottage is built of cinderblock and had little privacy from the alley.
I added a fence, flagstone courtyard and redid the exterior, making it private and serene.
The original front door and covered porch entry.
The updated front door and entry. So Nice!
The house from the alley before the renovation.
The house has been resided, new roof and landscaping, making this cottage charming and welcoming.
This small kitchen in one of the cottages had old mismatched cabinets and cheap counter tops.
New tile, cabinets and appliances make this space fresh and clean.
When I bought this house, there were no lower cabinets, only uppers. I found these lower White coordinating cabinets and had them in the house for several years…
Until I redid the kitchen and changed all the cabinets when I tiled.
The outside of this house was in good shape, but needed some TLC.
Exterior painting, landscaping and clean up make it is seem more special.
These 2 enormous Pine trees eventually died and I paid a tree company to remove them- $1600! Then, I had a huge open area to consider.
I had a cedar deck and arbor built to maximize the space, just outside the back door of the kitchen.
Original kitchen, with farmhouse kitchen sink and overhead stove shelf. I now wish I’d kept that sink to reuse in another project.
New tile, cabinets, flooring, appliances make a new fresh galley kitchen.
My projects are a result of wanting something and then finding ways to make them happen. This is my creative outlet and I’m grateful to be determined enough to go get it or figure out how to achieve it, in the end. You can too!

How To Persevere Until You Get What You Want.

Beginning in March, I’ve been looking for a new set of outdoor accent pillows and throws to brighten up the otherwise Brown patios. I didn’t find anything inspiring, so I bought fabric at Colorado Fabric and made my own. I love the fresh colors and fun print!
Looks great with the Navy cushions!
I replaced the old bamboo chairs I’ve had since my Gunnison days. I love the style of these chairs, but the Beige cushions are bland. I decided to also re-cover them with a Navy Blue fabric to tie in with the other outdoor sets. It’s tricky when you combine different groups together in a space. I try for some continuity and is this case it’s woven bamboo, Navy cushions and these accent pillows.
During the Bomb Cyclone this spring, I watched this fence wave back and forth with strong wind and realized I needed to replace some of the posts. The space looks so different when the fence is gone! That’s my neighbors back yard. We live in close quarters in the city!
Digging holes for new posts.
They dug these beauties out of the ground. The landscapers had a great idea to break up and reuse the old concrete in the fresh post hole, combined with new cement. Recycling and reinforcing it at the same time! I love that!
The concrete dried overnight and the fence was reassembled with new pickets. For now, I have Grey patina on half of the run and fresh cedar on the other half. In time, they will patina to be a better match. I get called out A LOT for reusing old wood, but I like an aged and rustic style and it makes sense to me!
The old broken panel we replaced with the new cedar pickets.
I can see how some foliage will really liven this space up! The one plant stands out and I plan to have 3 in this area. The pillows look great too!
The front of a house should be welcoming and balanced. By adding a couple perennial gardens, I hope to create some interest and privacy. I marked a border line with spray paint and the landscaper scraped away the grass and used the dirt from 3 garden boxes in the back yard for a burm style garden in the front yard.
I added a Forsythia shrub to the windmill and will add more flowers, bulbs and large rocks to make the burm interesting and full of color and texture.
View from the street.
I opted for Breeze all the way around the back yard. I thought of having a border garden, but I like how low maintenance and clean Breeze is. I’ll stick with having ornamental grasses growing through the Breeze, a few window boxes and outdoor art. I can, and likely will add more in time.
The Breeze is the same color I used last fall, but it does lighten with time, as the sun bleaches everything eventually! Everything that looks Pink is new.
This fire pit area turned out better than I imagined. It’s spacious, clean and inviting for an evening around the fire pit.
View from the fire pit toward the back patio.
I ended up with some extra landscaping materials and I left it out front, on the curb with a “FREE” sign attached. As of half hour ago, it is all gone! I LOVE recycling. I’m super glad to find someone who wants exactly what I’m throwing away!

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined. -H.D. Thoreau

Taking a break and sitting in the sun on the back patio! This is Nice!
Rocco has his own sofa, of course.
So exciting! I got a delivery on Saturday morning. My new outdoor furniture!
Although I know I’m putting this thing together, I look a bit tentative in this pic.
Rocco is also checking things out, very closely.
OK! I can do this!
Here’s my station, under the umbrella, on my new patio!
It only took 4.5 hours, but I got it done and think it’s perfect! There are sure to be more moves, but the pieces are modular so I can move them around, how they best fit for different uses.
Plus, I love looking at this from the kitchen!
Yesterday, while assembling the group, I learned how valuable the umbrella is in this space. I almost feel like a Cedar arbor overheard would be nice. But for now, I’ll try it this way.
This is the view from the new sitting area. Not to bad!
This space is also more private and protected with the shed, fence and house surrounding it. It feels intimate and It’s the first space you see when you walk into the back yard.
The shed provides shade in the afternoon, but the umbrella keeps the space usable all day.
This is the accent pillow fabric I bought for all the outdoor furniture. It adds some fun color to an otherwise pretty neutral palette. The pattern is sophisticated, bright and casual.
In order to move this behemoth, I had to take most of the dirt out and roll it. It’s big and heavy empty! It’ll go in the back yard once the landscapers finish the Breeze.
I used up all the materials that were being stored in the middle of the yard. Now you can see straight through to the back of the yard when you walk into the back. This is your view.
My landscaper will be back for the last visit (I hope) to finish up the irrigation and some details. The border around the back patio and around the whole back yard will be gone, with a few steppers along the patio and walkways. I’ll lose 2 of these 4×8 Cedar planters, leaving me more space to move around. I so appreciate a clean, low maintenance yard!
There are 2 shrubs that I planted several years ago, growing along the back patio. They’ve been abused over the years and especially during this project but are showing signs they will be back.
I love the deep Burgundy leaves they produce. I’ve trimmed them back and look forward to seeing how they evolve this year.
This project has been healing and energizing for me. This being the first house I bought when I moved to Denver, I can’t help but think about my life then, now, and all the years in between. I’m grateful everyday, that I can wake up, hear the birds chirp and smell the earth begin to wake up and grow again. This is my therapy and I’m so glad to be able to share it with you!
Happy Easter!

Spring is welcome to visit me anyday!

Susie was in town last week to help me get my yard cleaned up for spring! It’s a tradition we look forward to, celebrating all the tiny miracles that happen, this time of year. We took my brother, Michael to lunch for his birthday.
I got my outdoor curtains up and the patio furniture rearranged. Luckily, I have plenty of rugs to use on the concrete pad. I’m thinking abut tiling the whole patio to clean it up and add some fun style to the space.
The curtains add a lot of charm and privacy to the space. I can open or close them to create more intimate sitting areas.
Here, I’m using a curtain to create a backdrop for the floating chair. And we finally moved all the garden tools from the outside of the shed. Now I can use this door to access the shed.
Susie dug all the volunteer grass out of the planter and we raked up old tree branches and leaves on the Breeze, leaving the yard cleaner, but aching for some foliage.
This vintage paned glass door was recycled from the cottage on the back of the lot. I love it as a decorative focal point and practical door to the shed. All the windows were also recycled from another house which I had the original windows replaced.
This tree and shrub were salvaged during the remodel. The shrub isn’t looking so good, but I hope they both survive the project. Shade and foliage is what this house is missing right now.
This is what you see when you come in the side gate, which has become my actual entry to the house. At this point, every pic I post has a lingering project that I need to address. In this pic, it’s the Blue tarp covering mulch, potting soil and bulbs from last fall. I just need to do it!
The side yard is clean with Breeze. Although this isn’t a part of the yard people see, I love how clean and low maintenance it is! These curtains give me and my neighbor privacy while I’m on the back patio, which is more and more often!
The pile of flagstone behind the door will be used in the front and back yards for steppers near the sliding patio door and as you walk off the patio slab of the back porch.
The garden boxes are overgrown with only a couple plants worth saving. Susie dug out clumps of grass and found a healthy Chive and a Strawberry plant! More proof that miracles happen everyday in the garden!
Susie and I moved this rustic garden bench to this area to accommodate all the pots that will come in handy in a month, or so.  This valuable space is now the gardening area.  A place to work and store my outdoor projects!  The 4×4 planter will be removed.
I‘m meeting with my landscaper to discuss removing a couple of these planters. I’ll have 2 large and 1 small planter to use.  That’ll give me more room for my fire pit, on this end, and the garden work space at the other end. Sprinklers will get turned on for the season at the end of April.
I’ve been shopping for outdoor patio furniture for this space. Now that I use it for my entrance everyday, I need to make it welcoming and comfortable. So far, I hung a window planter with metal shudders, added a couple chaise lounge chairs and I moved an outdoor bakers/garden rack near the shed door. The pots will get moved after I dig some of the dirt out of them to make them lighter. 2 part project! I still need more foliage and soft cushioned furniture!
More window planters on this side. I also have some metal art I’ll add to this side of the shed.
This cluttered corner will be a focal point of the yard. Motivation to do what I need to do! Nice extension cord leading to the heat tape on the shed roof!
I added a couple hanging baskets on the front arbor and have a couple smaller projects planned for the front yard. I’ll make the garden with the Aspen tree a bit bigger and taller- like a burm, with some perennial flowers. Also add a second burm style garden on the other piece of grass near the driveway with the windmill, shrub or tree and perennial flowers too!
My fabulous sister, Susie! Loving the early vegetation at O’Toole’s garden shop! I find my way here throughout the winter, when it’s cold and snowy outside and spring is only a distant memory. See how happy she is?
Spring is such an inspiring time for everyone! The anticipation of each pastey white face as we visit the garden shop to see what treasures are just in!
Even the yard cat in the video below is inspired, although cats don’t really show emotion, I can see she’s happy to have the fresh adventure!

See This Stucco Cottage Gain Confidence As Blissful Retreat!

This small stucco cottage lacks interest and novelty.
I added flagstone to the dirt yard to clean it up and make it more usable.
An original coal shed is now in the center of the yard and not so pretty to look at.
The front door of the coal shed, positioned in the center of the yard.
Back door of the cottage looked out into an evergreen covered space.
These 2 pine trees, surrounded by piles of rocks, were old and eventually died.
The flat roof was the culprit to a water leak in the ceiling of the living room.
I also tore out the carpet in the house and replaced it with tile throughout.
This is the bathroom where a washer and dryer were located.
I added tile to the floor and shower, but the space is still boring!
Small kitchen with apartment sized appliances.
When I bought this house, there were no lower cabinets here, only uppers. I found some reclaimed cabinets to create a better kitchen workspace in 2007.
The back door was very old, but I like having a back door overlooking the garden.
At some point, this part of the house was added onto the original house. The slope of the ceiling is interesting and mostly affects the bathroom, and the laundry room. Window A/C units are used throughout. Nice extension cord!
After I had the huge evergreen trees removed, I needed to do something with this space in the yard.
So, I decided to have a deck with arbor built instead. It was alot of work to dig out roots and clear the space for a new deck. Huge pile of rocks in the distance will have to be moved out of here.
The little wood boxes are for footers which will hold up the arbor over the deck. And of course, the huge pile of rocks that I had to remove along the back fence.
Coming along.
This is now a usable space outside the kitchen door.
Providing some shade and a sitting area.
I added garden boxes with perennials around the borders of the flagstone courtyard.
And a sitting area in the courtyard.
This shed is cool, but needed some TLC to make it blend better with the rest of the yard.
And I made this cute little garden near the front door and under the kitchen window.
Now when you walk into the yard, you see this welcoming space.
A grill and sitting area make this space fun and private.
I also added an arbor inside the gate to the alley. It can be seen from the alley and designates the gate from the rest of the fence.
Colorado offers year round sun, allowing us to spend time outside even during the winter.
Lilac shrubs are in the distance and soften the yard with fragrant flowers in the spring.
The interior is brighter and fresh after updating the kitchen, tiled floors, paint and adding solid wood doors inside the house.
New cabinets and tile change the kitchen into a cheery space.
Still a small stove, but I had a guest actually cook Thanksgiving dinner in this kitchen!
Spa like bathroom with bamboo shelving units, tiled floor and shower. I moved the washer and dryer into the laundry closet.
Cute little vintage dining table near the front door, in the main living area.
A sectional sofa adds comfort and plenty of seating to this small cottage.
Bedroom with adjoining room.
The adjoining room is really small, but I have a twin daybed and TV in here for extra room and privacy. Rocco taking a quick nap on the sheepskin.
I installed central A/C and got rid of the window units. Fresh paint, new furniture and fun furnishings make this place an urban retreat. This refurbished cottage is now avaible to rent on VRBO, listing #793349.

Thoughtful renovation makes this private cottage charming!

I bought this place in 2007. The carriage house is made of cinderblock. At some point, a half fence was put in, I guess to hide the trash cans.
Oh, and there is some siding also. Old windows are a little bit sad in this pic.
There was one big yard for both houses. It felt like being in a fish bowl, anyone driving through the alley could, and did, look right at the backyard of the big house and into the yard of the carriage house. Nice to have a parking space off the alley for the carriage house.
It had good bones, but needed some style and updating.
Original coutertops complete with chrome legs holding the cabinets up and mirrored light switch covers! And don’t miss the vinyl parquet flooring.
The cabiets are solid wood and built in.
It seems like all the houses had a mircowave cubbie above the oven. It must be vintage!
The galley kitchen is big enough for a full sized refrigerator and stove/oven.
Small bathroom with formica “butcher block” vanity top.
A transition seam where the vinyl parquet meets the carpeting. It runs through the room, creating a strange dining area which straddles the seam.
This house has no venting and relys on window A/C and baseboard heat.
One of the first things I did when I bought this property was add a fence between both houses. The Orange paint shows where the new flagstone courtyard will be.
This poor little house had no privacy, but I’m getting ready to change that!
I took down the half fence, laid flagstone and you can see the fence posts going in.
The area around the house is not big, but with this fun courtyard and a small grassy area to sit in, I think it’ll be charming.
I like that the entry has a covered porch, with a iron pole holding it up! However, I’ll make it better than this is now.
Oh my goodness! The new fence really adds to this house. Now there is a fun yard that someone can actually enjoy with privacy!
I added a couple garden boxes with perennial plants to soften the sitting area.
What a difference the fence makes. It’s rustic and private.
Next is the new siding and Cedar scallopped accents. No more cinderblock visible!
With the new siding, cedar and roof, some perennial gardens will make this space inviting.
This is an entry I want to see when I arrive at this house!
My gardens mature and the house slowly feels vintage again with some upgrades.
I kept the original cabinets, but lost the Chrome legs holding the upper cabinets up. The coutertops and bathroom got new tile, new vinyl flooring, new appliances and fresh paint.
I used this house for a guest house for a couple years for my visiting family, but eventually decided to try short term rental. It’s the first house I converted to STR and it’s been a favorite for my guests since 2015.
Now, the dining area is welcoming and sits on top of new flooring running throughout the whole house.
I painted all the trim White and changed the interior doors to be more modern.
The house is only about 500 square feet, but is well laid out to feel open.
I made this headboard from cedar fence pickets and some stain. I love rustic and it works well in Colorado for visiting guests.
The yard is now inviting and fresh with sod, cedar and perennial gardens.
This house is for rent on VRBO, listing #749810.

To Tell The Story Of The Most Valuable Garden Shed

The back side of the original garage, taken down in 2012.
I bought this house in 2005. I lived in the carriage house for a year and a half while I worked on the property. This is a pic of the original back yard behind the garage.
Although I had tenants in this house at the time, I tried to clean up the yard and make it usable.  Better than it was.
The original back porch was semi-enclosed with painted plywood and screen on the top. I also inherited some fabulous lava rock.  See the wire fence between the houses?
My first attempt to clean up the yard with plastic edging, grass seed and mulch.
Fast forward 11 years to 2016, after I took down the garage and added garden boxes in the yard and removed the painted plywood and screen from the back porch.  I’ve had 
long term tenants in this house since I bought it 14 years ago.
I took the garage down in 2012 because it wasn’t structurally sound. I left the concrete pad.
September 2018 I had a shed built to accommodate my garden supplies and storage.
I used half of the original concrete pad for the shed.
I considered using metal “patches” on the side of the shed, but ended up only using mtetal on the roof. I’ll use the same material for the roof on my back porch.
The white paned door came from the carriage house in the back. I love the shed and how rustic it is. And I definately need the storage as I don’t have a garage and my basement will be remodeled at some point in the near future.
This large barn door is great for accessing the shed. I had a concrete ramp built under this door so I can wheel my wheelbarrow in and out of the shed, as necessary. Another ” Smart girl idea”!
Because I have short term rentals, I needed storage for supplies in addition to my garden supplies. I had three pine shelving units I picked up at Goodwill a few years ago and secured them onto the back wall for organization.
As you can see, I needed and used this space up very quickly. Now if I can keep everything this organized going forard!

My First Effort Was The Bravest Thing I’ve Ever Seen

This was the first property I bought when I moved to Denver in 2004. I lived in this carriage house for a year and half while I worked on it.  It is about 500 square feet, 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom.
Original windows were charming, but super inefficient. I love it anyway and spent my days off cleaning and fixing it up.
There were some huge flagstone pieces in the yard, wire fence between the two houses and many volunteer Elm trees surrouding the house.
At some point, a sunroom was added onto the house giving it much needed light, but the original windows didn’t work well for heat retention. You can see the door on the right side of the pic which was between the sunroom and the original house, now used on my new garden shed.
A cool built in cabinet in the tiny dining area.
The original kitchen with a farmhouse sink. I wish I had kept that sink now. Also 2 architectural arches in the house and a small opening phone nook in the wall between the ktchen and living room.
This door leads from the kitchen and opens to the driveway outside. The cabinets and counter top on the right were later removed.
The original kitchen.

This poor kitchen was so outdated when I bought the place and moved in. See the short refrigerator on the far right.  Right after I moved in,  my  sister came to stay and help and we had a new refrigerator delivered.

Looking through the living room toward the bathroom. And the storage cabinets built into the wall on the left. Also notice the opening on the right where a window was at some point. It had shelves built in in between the added on sunroom and living room.
Chain link fence between the alley parking space and yard. Lovely scalloped covered entry and stucco chimney stack against the house. Original wood siding.
After I moved in, I cleaned it up and once spring came, the garden started to fill in with wonderful perennial flowers.
I added more flagstone to make a wider walkway, added some short fencing to make a border to the garden. Still rustic, but more welcoming anyway.
A rickety white picket fence gate between the houses and hanging planters.
Shabby chic? Maybe, but I was so happy to have this little place to work on.
I added gravel to make my parking space cleaner.
You can see how adding flowers and potted plants made it cozy. I hung roman shades inside for privacy and to make it more efficient.
Outside the bedroom window, a little garden.
My little sitting area. You can see the washing machine through the window in the sunroom.
All these tress were suckers and were growing under the foundation. I loved the shade, but had to have them removed later.
I painted, installed parquet floors and fixed it up while living there.
Looking from the living room into the sunroom. The floor in the sunroom was very uneven.
See the vinyl flooring in the kitchen? I replaced the appliances, sanded and painted the original cabinets.
Cool arches in the house. I think it was built in the early 1930’s.
I had the cabinet doors off to paint them. The original farmhouse sink and dish drainer. Metal tiles on the backsplash.
The bedroom is large enough for a king sized bed.
Looking from the kitchen through the dining area toward the bedroom. Phone nook on the left.
Tiny dining area.
Nice sized cedar lined closet.

In 2016, I did a full remodel and converted this long term rental into a short term rental.

See how uneven the floor is.  Original exterior siding on the left wall where the sunroom was added on.
I took this wall out, had the floor leveled and moved one of the sunroom windows to the wall on the left side above where the washer and dryer will go.
The interior walls in the sunroom were finished with very cheap cardboard “wood”.
These projects are always worse before they get better.
My contractor, assessing the situation!
The original exterior wall between the sunroom and living room.
The finished product!  So bright and cheery!
Now it’s a pleasure to do laundry.
Still tiny, but more charming. I took the cabinet doors off and painted the inside a fresh Green.
Galley kitchen flows nicely.
Walking through the kitchen from the entry door, by the driveway, into the house.
Breakfast nook.
King sized bed.
Comfortable living area.
Electric fireplace with the now famous phone nook on the left.
Small, but cute bathroom.
Tiled bathroom with iron details.
Outdoor courtyard with gardens, flagstone walkway and sitting areas.
I kept the original wood siding, but scraped and painted it, added the shutters and  exposed the brick on the chimney stack.
I exposed much of the original chimney and sealed it for a rustic old world look. Added a wood door and replaced the scalloped entry cover with a cedar arbor with iron brackets. I also added Cornflower Blue shutters for extra charm.
I found vinyl flooring that matched the original pine flooring in the bedroom and replaced the parquet flooring.

This little house has come a long way in the time I’ve owned it. It has a special place in my heart as it was the first of my houses I lived in when moving back to Denver in 2004. Although it looks so cute now, I loved it when I lived here so long ago. Now it’s available to rent through VRBO.com, listing # 795289.

Here you see Roofing, Gutters and service Cables…

Now that the painting is done, I’m waiting for my Gutter guy to install the new gutters. Winters in Englewood are pretty mild, but as you can see we do get snow. See how the melting is running down the patio roof, pooling on the ground below? Lovely!
Mud where the snow melts on my walkway from the driveway to front door. I had a tree service come and trim my trees in the back yard and grind out a few old stumps, using a big grinder on wheels. They did a great job of navigating the machinery through the yard, but left some tracks in the mud.
The patio roof is prepped for the metal roofing. However, when the accumulated snow melts on the roof, it drips onto the patio. Ugh! I used a piece of drip edge to divert it away from my slider door.
More than 1 leak. I got word that the metal roofing has arrived and have my contractor scheduled tomorrow to install it. Yes!
Gutters will take care of this problem.
There’s an ice rink behind the shed.
I also had the internet and satellite service companies come and reattach the cables to the house after the siding went up. Unfortunately, an old service box was reattached after the siding and paint went on. I took it down and will touch up the spot with paint.
I moved all the utility boxes to a new spot on the house and had all of the boxes painted to match the house. I may have a cover built over them to better hide them, but I like this spot better than the back porch. I may put a planter in front of them too, to minimize.
All the wires are right there, under the door. I’ll bury them under the Breeze material to protect and hide them. I also will rework the flagstone steppers in front of the door to make a landing- hopefully keep inside cleaner and give the entry some visual appeal.
All these little things are small, but make a huge difference in the overall look and flow of the property. Inspection complete for today!

Painting is done! Now cleaning and decorating will make you smile …

The paint is finally on the siding and it looks fresh and bright!

Now that most of the big stuff is done, I can start working on the decorating, my favorite part! I’ll place the planters, hang flower baskets and move some benches into the front around the house. I also ordered a cool tiled house number set that should be here soon.

The top flagstone step arrived and the landscapers are placing it.
So Much Better!
Now that the paint is up, the gutters are next.
The Patio Slider looks great!

I think this new slider patio door is the most dramatic change to the interior, so far. The light coming into the kitchen is wonderful and I love look looking out into the yard. Next, I’ll be placing all the planter pots that are being stored in this area and reworking it to be open, functional and pretty.

The back porch is so much cleaner looking.

Today I’m going to Home Depot to buy materials for outdoor curtain rods. And then start setting it up to use! I know it’s only February, but spring will be here before we know it!

My buddy, Rocco! He doesn’t really care so much about the project. He just wants to be with me, wherever that is. Mr. 100% loyal! Otherwise, he loves to eat and sit in the warm sunshine.
Me in my yard a month after I retired in 2016. Working in my yard is a very happy place!

Most of the major stuff is done and I’m now looking forward to working on the small details. I love this part and have been thinking about how to create special spaces in the new clean, updated yard. It’s so easy to lose myself moving things around and trying different ideas until I get it just right. Spring is not far away and, I’m sure I speak for most people, it’s a time to come back outside, breathe fresh air and notice all the tiny little bits Green as nature unfolds again. Once it warms up, I’ll be focusing on the yard, gardens and greenery surrounding the house.

This is actually ready to spotlight now!

The siding crew got all the siding done and are waiting for the new patio door to arrive before they finish this area.
Finally, the slider came in and David is installing it today!
This is the inside wall where the new door is going.
The plastic will help keep everything cleaner.

The refrigerator temporarily in the middle of the kitchen. This was expected to take 1 day to complete, but it took 3 days in reality. The door was installed in 1 day, but the plaster, sanding and details took longer. Luckily, this house has a loop layout. I can walk through the bedrooms to get to the kitchen from the living room while this door goes in. I feel like I’m camping, sort of.

The mud needs to dry overnight before sanding, so we left the taped plastic up.
We had good weather while they worked on the door. Better for the guys and better for me while the wall is opened up!
It took most of the day, but I can see how open and bright this door will make my kitchen.
The new door creates so much more light. You see it right as you walk in the front door!
Wow, I love this new slider door! It’s much brighter and makes my small kitchen feel bigger.
This is now a view. I want to clean it up and make it nice to look at.
The back porch is looking so much better too! No utilities on the back wall and all the battens are now up. I’m getting used to the Green primer on the exterior walls, but the actual color will be off White, once painted.

The concrete pad expansion is done, tongue and groove panels are installed on the underside of the roof and the patio is now full size. I ‘m considering a fresh layer of concrete poured over the whole pad to cover any nicks or flaws in the concrete. But right now, I’m trying to finish the big stuff.

Although the exterior paint isn’t done, I’m anxious to get my patio organized so I can use it!
The patio roof has been prepped for the metal roofing, which has been ordered. However, we got snow and the roof leaked onto the patio below.
Right outside my back door. What a mess!
Ricky, my electrician is installing the exterior lights.
New exterior lights.
I found these tiled house numbers locally, but I think I need something more modern. I ordered a different one online and think it’ll be better.
The lights at night. I’ll change the bulbs to dimmer bulbs so I can adjust the amount of light they put out.

I expect the siding crew to be back next week to finish the siding around the new patio slider. I already have a painter lined up to paint the siding, and my gutter guy will be here to attach the gutters next. The last big thing is the metal roof on the back patio. Hopefully in 2 weeks this part of the project will be done.

The time is right for some fresh attractive siding!

Chatfield State Park! Ohmmmm…

As excited as I am for the project, it is stressful to have all this going on while living in the house! The crews are respectful and positive, but the air compressor and the constant banging leaves Rocco and I a bit overwhelmed. So we get away for a while, walk and take in the beauty of Colorado!

Meanwhile, David built a temporary support wall so he can replace the white 2×4’s with Cedar beams.
New cedar beams open the whole space up!
Extending the tongue and groove roof to cover the newly poured patio extension.
View of the new cedar beams from the yard.
We’ve been lucky so far, with limited weather during this project. But it is winter in Colorado and realistic to expect some snow. Fresh snow makes it look so clean.
After they added insulation and plywood sheeting, finally I can see some siding.

They use a drip edge between the seams of the horizontal siding panels to prevent rain or snow to get behind the panels. It’ll get painted with the siding to blend in.

And I love the Cedar accents.
All the gables will feature Cedar siding.
The front door entry, Nice!
Standing under the arbor gives a sense of space. Even though its open above, you still feel like you’re somewhere special.
I expect the new patio door to arrive this week. This wall is waiting to be opened up so I don’t have a hole in the side of my house while we wait for the door to arrive.

One of the challenges with any project is to recognize areas that are an eyesore and find a way to make them fun features instead. Take this spot. Currently, I have a gate from the driveway to the back yard, utility boxed (electric panel, sprinkler system, cable box, etc) mounted on the outside wall and my new outdoor seating area just to the right of this pic. With the new arbor overhead and the forthcoming sliding patio door, I can see that this will likely be the door I use the most, especially when unloading groceries into the kitchen. Once the slider in is, I’ll move the gate, add a flagstone step under the new slider and have a welcoming back door entry to the house. This spot will become a focal point and mush used area.

This area will become the back entry.
We are lining the underside of the patio roof with tongue and groove Cedar paneling to match the existing patio roof.
Wow, so much cleaner than the original back door and utilities mounted on the wall!
View of the back porch from the yard.

With the new patio roof extension, I hoped to keep the old roofing shingles and add more to finish the new roof. However, considering the cost to replace or add, I decided to change it to variegated metal roofing instead. It’ll match the roofing on the shed and give the back yard a farmhouse vibe. $$ Cha-ching!