Deck Gate

After five months of our temporary ‘deck gate’ – really just a portion of Buddy’s playpen – I decided to find a more permanent solution.  I searched a general price range for having a gate built, and it seems like it would be in the $300-$500 range.  That isn’t in the budget right now, and I am a light-weight handyman so it isn’t something I’m going to try myself.

Instead, I measured the opening at the stairs leading to the driveway and checked walk-through gates on Amazon.  Most gates were not wide enough without buying additional pieces.  I found this one that is just wide enough and at less than $40, it seemed like a great option.  It came with templates for screw placement on both sides, so it was just a matter of lining it up, drilling and having the pieces turned the correct way.  I don’t think I got it lined up and adjusted perfectly, but it’s good enough because we don’t use these stairs very often at all.  It’s not my ideal solution, but it is leaps and bounds better than the before:

On a side note, I also got the deck washed and stained a couple of weekends ago.  We chose Sherwin Williams Deckscapes Semi-transparent stain in Cedar Toner.  Not a huge change in color, but it definitely warmed the wood up a lot.

Progress Report: Front Porch Bed

I have plans to work on the shrub beds at the front porch this fall, but I ended up working on the left side last month after I found a good deal on the type of shrubs I am planning to use throughout the bed.  Pike had Eternal Fragrance Daphnes marked down by 40%, so I picked up five.  It took several days to wrestle the old shrubs out of the bed – I’m not sure what kind they are, but I know they are too tall for my taste.  These Daphnes average 2-3′ tall and wide with a compact, rounded habit.  From what I’ve read, they are evergreen unless it gets below zero.

Here is what the bed looked like before I worked on it:

And the right side of the bed that we’ll work on this fall:

What I’m Loving

I am constantly coming across things I love and give me inspiration for our home.  Here are a few things I have saved recently:

Loving it - July
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I love the happy green of the Chinois Mirror from Horchow.  It is listed as sold out now, but I am envisioning something like this over our mantle in the den.


I have been working on the third upstairs bedroom recently – I’ve decided on a navy and coral color pallette.  Ideally, I would love a ceramic table lamp like this Paris Lamp from Home Decorators, but for the time being I have painted a spare lamp base and paired it with this lamp shade from Target.


I don’t use mid-century style in our home, but it doesn’t mean I don’t like certain aspects of it.  This Reeve Side Table is beautiful with a marble top and pecan-finished base.  If I had the budget, I might just add them on either side of the loveseat in our den.


Our loveseat and sofa are generous hand-me-downs and are still in great shape, but are not what I would buy if I walked into a furniture store tomorrow.  I am really partial to the Charles of London arm style on chairs and sofas.  It isn’t a big, oversized rolled arm but it’s more than a modern-looking square arm.  This Melody Loveseat from Haverty’s might be on my short-list if we were in the market for a loveseat.

Den Updates

As one of our most-used rooms, the den has had a few more changes since the first progress report.  Because the loveseat sits halfway onto the rug, I decided to look for end tables that could slide under the rug instead of sitting half-on/half-off and tilting.  I searched a lot of online stores, but ended up getting the Almada laptop tables from World Market.  The bases do cause the rug to bump up, but I have beds for Buddy under each table to cover it up.

In what can only be described as a miracle, I came upon a matching crystal lamp at Home Goods to the one I bought nearly a year ago.  I would still like to have wall lamps (like these) in this room, but it is an unnecessary expense right now.  I added a floor lamp next to the television, because the room has very little natural light.  Maybe someday we can update the fireplace wall with built-ins on either side and add small windows for more light (like this and this).

One of the biggest changes is that we let Buddy stay out in the den during the day instead of being crated.  I love that he has a little more room to stretch out and that we don’t lose an entire corner to a crate anymore.  And he has been so good (not getting into anything he shouldn’t).  That change made more room to bring in an extra chair to give us comfortable seating for three people if we need it.  I still haven’t done anything with the bookcases or mantle – that is the kind of staging I like the least.

Progress Report: Craft Room

The craft room is still a LONG way from being set up, but I’ve made a few steps in the right direction.  I shared the closet shelving I installed in this post.  I have also painted over the neon green wall color in this room, as well as the connected powder room.  I wasn’t too picky about the color, so when I found two almost-full cans of grey paint left by the previous owners, I popped them open and started painting.  The color is Porpoise by Behr, and boy did it stink-for weeks!  I’ve gotten spoiled buying Sherwin Williams paint as of late.  Once on the walls, it was darker than I expected and has just a hint of purple in the undertones, but with all of the white paneling on the bottom to brighten the room and the fact that it’s just a craft room, not to mention I didn’t have to buy paint, I am happy overall.

The overall room is still a mess, partially because it is on the way to the storage part of the basement and therefore catches a lot of stuff in limbo.  My plan is to put pegboard on the walls above the chair rail to hang all of my crafting and sewing supplies.  I would like to get a couple of six foot tables that don’t fold in the middle for crafts and sewing.  Also, I would like to get wall lamps like these for around the room to keep everything up off the tables and floors.

I painted the powder room the same color.  The mirror frame is painted Meadow Green by  Rust-oleum.  I have my eye on replacing the ridiculous light fixture in here with one like this.

Here is the real estate listing picture of this room – the previous owners used it as a play room: