The Evolution of Our Back Patio: Then vs. Now

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2699613″] We’ve been enjoying a stretch of amazing weather in Chicago, allowing us to take full advantage of our (even more) recently revamped back patio. As we sit outside – roasting marshmallows, brunching with neighbors or taking a break from the garden renovation – we’ll talk about how drastically different this yard looks from just one year ago. […]

When Is It Time to Restain Your Deck?

This post is in partnership with Homes.com. For the full tutorial, head this way! Three summers ago, we stained our bare wood deck, painted the railings and built a new (safer) staircase. It made all the difference in the world, although we always sort of wished that the opaque stain color we chose, Gray Birch, was […]

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 […]

Updates To Our Most Asked About Home Projects!

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2520816″] For years, I’ve been keeping little digital sticky notes on my computer desktop. If something pops into my mind that I need to do later, tomorrow or next month, I’ll type it into my sticky. I keep track of ideas for posts, upcoming projects and appointment reminders. It’s become so habitual, and I’ve become […]

2016, You’ve Been Real.

Do you take time, as the end of December comes near, to look back on the year? We’ve been thinking a lot about what 2016 has brought. We started the year with our big three-room-renovation, and in February, we allowed ourselves a week off to enjoy the warm sun with our friends. As soon as we […]

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 […]

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, […]