Tree House’s Backyard Today (And It’s Not Pretty)

This isn’t the prettiest update. (In fact, I couldn’t take a somewhat decent photo if I tried.) There are no afters. This is, hands down, all about the process. Our backyard? We’re in the thick of it. This is where we are today, and in this process, we are making progress! The only thing we can keep […]

Hey Yew Guys! (We Need Your Help!)

I think the only time we’ve shared the exterior of our Tree House was on the same day we announced the fun news that we closed on the sweetest, tiniest, littlest lake house in Michigan. Fun fact: Tree House almost didn’t even come to be, because Scott and I could not get over the main exterior […]

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 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! […]

A Modern Trellis DIY

When we chose plants for our raised planter boxes, we knew we wanted the overall feel to be very free, if not slightly chaotic. In a sense, we wanted a big, beautiful tangle of plants. Earlier this week, I asked Scott if he thought the plants were happy, because I was worried that our supposedly-bushy-ground cover (the ceratostigma) […]

Our Backyard Plans: The (Really) Long and Short of It

For the last few days, I’ve been thinking about how I would write this post. By the way, by this post, I mean, how do I even begin writing about our backyard? Scott and I have been talking about this yard for as many years as we’ve lived here, and while a lot of our major renovations took place […]

The Garden, Year Two

Last summer was the season of curb appeal for us. After the worst winter of all time in 2013 (well, we think so anyway), our manageable, short to-do for 2014 quickly spiraled, and like most Chicagoans, we were eager to make the most of the warm summer months. We poured new concrete, built new stairs, […]

Caring for a “Real” Yard (+ a Giveaway!)

This time last year, our poor yard was so covered in sawdust and our contractor’s bevvy of tools that we never really stopped to realize that our front lawn (more of a dirt patch at that point) was almost entirely shaded by 3 mature trees. Why does this matter now you ask? After a few brisk […]

Our Baby Garden

There are times when starting with a blank slate can be downright terrifying. Even more so? Combining ‘blank slate’ with ‘garden.’ With these two, that’s not only terrifying, but almost laughable. But! Spoiler alert – we survived (with a lot of help!) and have a teeny, baby garden to show for it. Let’s back up. […]