Let’s Build a Pergola!

This post is sponsored by Lowe’s. Here in Chicago, real estate can come at a pretty significant premium. A typical residential lot is long and narrow, usually measuring in at 25′ wide by 125′ long. This slightly cramped footprint (I mean, it’s all relative, really) leads to some pretty creative ways to maximize outdoor living […]

Our Outdoor Fireplace: Farewell Propane, Hello Natural Gas!

fireplace | raised garden beds | trellis | outdoor pillows Two summers ago, our small backyard went through a large overhaul, one of which was the addition of an outdoor fireplace! Originally, our mid-century was wood burning, but we converted it to propane using this fire pit kit plus a few random parts necessary for our install. […]

Our DIY Planter Boxes: Still Going (Mostly) Strong 2 Years Later!

red pavers | raised garden beds | outdoor pillows | cobalt sconce | trellis Now that our DIY planter boxes have made their way through two fairly rough Chicago winters, we’re excited to report that the majority of our perennials are still with us and going strong! We were initially concerned that perennials wouldn’t survive the winter, but […]

Our Planter Boxes: After a Chicago Winter

Late summer of last year, we had just completed our DIY planter boxes for the back patio – all 37 linear feet of them! – and after a consult with a local nursery, we felt pretty comfortable bringing in soil, planting and mulching in September. We’ve never been much of green thumbs, but since living in this house, we’ve had […]

Umbrella Hole DIY (Because There’s No Other Way To Say It)

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2619961″] Our back patio is as steamy as it gets in the summer, and it’s sunny for the majority of the day (it’s hot-car-hot in the mornings especially!). At the same time, we’re surrounded by really close neighbors and high fences, blocking any cool breeze. The ‘someday’ plan is to add an awning above the French […]

Our Back Patio Makeover!

It’s December, but I was determined to not let our back patio slip away before the end of this year! This ‘room’ in our home has seen a massive transformation over the course of the last 6-7 months, so much so, that we sometimes forget about the monstrous deck that used to (barely) hang on our home! […]

The Case for Not Doing It All: Hiring Out the Deck’s Paint Job

Earlier this summer, we tore down a massive, scary and unsafe 3-story deck on the back of our home. It was replaced with an extra wide set of pressure-treated wood stairs, which has been everything we hoped it would be – a warm welcome to the backyard, inside to outside flow and, maybe our favorite […]

A Mini Gooseneck for the Patio

We had a ‘Brickwarming’ party a couple weeks ago – a name lovingly dubbed by one of our neighbors – and we had every intention of completing two tasks before our friends and family came over to eat, drink and be merry: 1) Paint and stain the patio stairs, and 2) install a patio light […]

Painting Our DIY Patio Table, Part II

To see how we built our patio table, see part I here! Hey, pretty table! Paint looks good on you. After we shared how the DIY build went down, some of you wondered why we didn’t consider staining the table. We both agree that this hunky style would be so pretty stained, but in our case, […]

Making Over Our Mid Century Fireplace

Update 12/2016: Eek! An extreme overnight temperature dip caused our fireplace finish to crack. We wouldn’t recommend this paint in extreme weather climates (ahem, Chicago!), but if a little chip here and there doesn’t bother you, it still may be worth the makeover. Fair warning. We’ve since had our fireplace powder coated to prevent future issues, […]