Friday, May 31, 2013

Paver Patio: Take Two

It has been almost a year since we installed our multi-leveled paver patio in the backyard.  Hindsight being 20/20 and all, we realized that the patio retaining wall needed a bit of reinforcement.  It was only one level of 6x6 timbers and really should have been taller.  The wall was slipping forward since the foundation was a bit less than ideal and the pavers above were falling down the hill.  It was making me (and my “professional” rock moving mother) mad.  So we decided to do something about it this Spring.

A few weeks ago my brother and father were here doing demo on the swing, so while they were available I had them dig out the space for the new retaining wall.  And since they were digging it out anyway, they just decided to rebuild it while they were at it and save Mama and me the trouble!  Hooray!  So I let them do all the hard parts while I took photos. :)  <--Good blogger!

First things first, I took up all the pavers and removed most of the filler gravel behind the existing wall.


Here’s a couple of shots that show the problem.  The end of the wall was supported by a rough mess of filler dirt, no stable foundation.



Enter manpower to remove old timbers and dig new deeper hole for the new ones.  We decided to replace the two short timbers that made up the “before wall” with one really long one which would be more stable.


They leveled the bottom timber first and drilled holes for rebar.  Then they pounded the rebar through the timber and into the ground.


And Papa removed the annoying little filler piece between the before wall and the step that was screwed and nailed into place.  He chiseled out a level spot for the top timber to rest on the angled border piece next to the stairs. 


Then the top timber was placed.  More holes were drilled through both layers of wall and more rebar hammered into the ground.  Finally!  A job I am qualified for!  Disclaimer:  Not the proper way to wield a sledgehammer. :)


Hopefully this new double layer wall, with no piecing of timbers and twice as many, extra-long rebar reinforcements will settle any drifting problems in the future and keep everything nice and solid.  Fingers crossed. :)  Here’s where we were at the end of day one. 


Mama came the next day to lay the pavers… thank you Mama!  I hate doing that part… so like a good blogger, I stood around and took pictures.  :)  I also did some other stuff, too, not just standing there watching Mama work. 


And after all the pavers were replaced, we stood back and admired our beautiful paver patio! :)  And then we promptly went on to moving plants and mulching.  The beds in front of the patio got an overhaul this Spring with a new arrangement of all the plants and fresh pine needles.  Here’s how it all came together:










We are really loving our paver patio and now it looks even more fabulous!  Hope you are getting outside to enjoy this beautiful late Spring weather!

signature pink

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Relaxing Outdoor Room

I love our two story deck.  It’s pretty cool having a lower level deck out the back door of my sewing room/den.  And it makes a great spot to set up the buffet at our annual backyard party.  But for the rest of the year, it just sits there empty except for my potting bench and some random end tables.  :(  I have been longing for some outdoor furniture for this space.  I covet my sister’s wicker porch set and drool over the sectionals in the Pottery Barn catalog.  I have dreams of an “outdoor room” to rival most living rooms complete with a ceiling fan, twinkle lights, cushions and pillows, candles, a good book and a cold drink.  Ahhhh, I am getting carried away!

This dream has been on the back burner since our deck is in disrepair and needs to be rebuilt.  But recently my mother acquired an old metal couch frame.  It was rusty and the paint was chipping, but all she (and I) saw was potential! :)  She brought it home and we scrubbed it down and brushed all the old paint off and sprayed it black.  My go-to for spray painting most anything. :)


It wasn’t much to look at, huh?  But it has the same lines as my old table and chairs on the upper deck.  I knew with some new cushions and throw pillows this baby would shine. 

So we painted it and bought six outdoor cushions from Walmart.  It was ready just in time for our Summer party and I used it as extra seating in the yard.  And promptly at the end of the party I cleared the deck and put my new couch down there.  I grabbed my Kindle and a drink and set to enjoying my new “outdoor room”.  With the twinkle party lights still glowing I was having a vision from my dreams!  It was awesome!

So on Tuesday evening I decided to finish setting up my new outdoor room and stage it for some blog photos!  Yay!  I had such fun bringing all the elements together.  While I still don’t have matching chairs, an outdoor rug, a ceiling fan, or a cool old trunk for the coffee table, I think we are well on our way to my vision!





I assembled all the lovely potted plants leftover from the party and I brought out some cool lanterns that have been needing a home.  It is totally cute!  I love it!  And it looks even more relaxing (and beautiful) at night!







You know where to find me… now I need some company to join me out here.  :)  Come on over!

signature pink

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

3rd Annual Memorial Day Party

Yesterday we celebrated the arrival of Summer with a backyard cookout.  We unveiled our newly seeded back lawn and set it with square tables and chairs.  I was excited to reuse the decorations and tablecloths from past parties (2nd Annual Memorial Day and also the retirement party that I recently decorated).  And you know that my Mama and I have been hard at work the last month mulching, arranging and planting flowers on all available surfaces!  She loaned me a bunch of hanging baskets and flowerpots for the party decor, too.  Thanks Mama!  It was a beautiful, warm sunny day for a party.  Everyone had a great time eating, playing cornhole, drawing sidewalk chalk art on the patio, blowing bubbles and chasing the dog!  










Buddies :)




Hope you all had a festive and fun Memorial Day weekend. 

Welcome Summer!

signature pink

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spring Cleaning the Guest Room

I have been on a Spring-almost-Summer Cleaning kick lately.  So far I have cleaned the dining room and the guest room.  Hey don’t judge, progress is progress!  Anyway, I realized that it has been two years since I’ve featured my guest room on the blog, so here is a quick tour of the clean and refreshed space.











I rearranged the accessories on the wall shelf, some of which had been in the same spot since I started decorating this guest room!  So I added some white ceramic vases and turquoise frames to the mix.  I also exchanged the cedar nightstand for a tile top table.  It matches the pillow and accents in the room and its small scale fits the room nicely.  The pink flowers are from my knockout rose!  Love those!  And the new art on the dresser is by Katie Daisy.  Otherwise everything is still the same… for now! :) 

signature pink

P.S.  For a look back on all our guest room updates click here!