(Almost) Summertime and the Livin’ is (Going To Be) Easy (Hopefully)

Since it’s currently the winter that will never end, we’ve been doing a lot of dreaming and thinking about what we’ll do once the summer finally–if ever–arrives. We’ve got big plans, and now that we’ve been in the house for a year, we know better how we like to use the space. So buckle your seatbelts and tune in to the master plan for Summer 2015! (Note: This is going to be an “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” type of summer. It will be swell.)

front yard


We did quite a bit on the front of the house last year–we painted our exterior wood trim, the shutters, and the garage door, and we built out the columns after we removed the old porch railing. We also planted that teeny tiny bed in the front (though I wish it were bigger… #septictankdrainfieldproblems). We also replaced two of the 4 lights on the front of the house.

This summer, the plan is to replace the two lights flanking the garage (something oil-rubbed bronze in simple lines–craftsman/mission style? in a larger size than what is currently there so you can actually see them) and replace and paint the front door. The green-that-accidentally-matches-the-grass is not working for me anymore–I’m now thinking some shade of greeny-turquoise/light blue. And if we replace the front door, we might as well upgrade the knob/lock situation, right? We also took down our house numbers when we painted the trim, so I have to think of a new solution for adding them back in.


Behind our basketball hoop (<–lotsa curb appeal right there, folks), the yard wraps around the side of the garage. It is always muddy over there. Grass barely grows. But there are some awesome trees and shrubs that create a very cozy “tunnel-like” feel between the front yard and back yard, and I want to embrace that and fix the mud problem. The plan? Lay down some sort of paver pathway  (like this or this) and possibly add a trellis/pergola thing with ivy (oooh, like this! or this!). I’m going for a “wardrobe into Narnia” feel except with less fur coats.



Last summer we basically lived out here. We plan to do the same this summer. We already built a firepit, hung strings of globe lights, built raised garden beds (note to self: plant stuff in them this summer!), and planted 26 trees that were the size of my pinky finger because that’s what we could afford.

backyard future patio

Oh MAN do we have plans for this space!!! (please reread using Monica’s excited voice) (also please picture a Leslie Knope-type binder of excellence): Priority numero uno is to get some sort of patio back here where our deck stairs meet the grass. We hosted several large gatherings last summer, and each and every time, people naturally migrated to this space with their lawn chairs and paper plates o’ food. Right now we’re debating between a poured concrete patio (though logistics are proving VERY difficult–septic tanks and cement trucks aren’t friends apparently) and a paver patio (more expensive and harder to pull off? but logistically easier to conceive). And we’re going big with this patio–right now we’re thinking something ginormous and curvy that is approximately 500 square feet.

future patio

Kenny also wants to try planting hops that need a trellis system, and we have to put mulch down everywhere. I need to take a closer look at the lake shoreline, because it looked pretty jungle-y towards the end of last summer…hoping to avoid that this year. Oh, and we want to add stone stops (4 or 6?) leading down the small but steep-ish hill to our dock. Who wants to help us carry huge rocks around?! Our plastic wheelbarrow is already quaking in fear.


We purchased this $80 patio set last year to tide us over so we could buy a real adult set at some point in our lives, and I’ve already begun stalking sales but GUYS PATIO FURNITURE IS SO EXPENSIVE. I think we’re looking for a 2-chair/loveseat/coffee table set to live on the deck, but that could change. I also would like some Adirondack chairs to put by our firepit or on our dock, but I’d want non-wood ones (I’m thinking composite somethingorother) for longevity. But these chairs are last on the budgetary totem pole.



If we purchase a “conversation” patio set, that leaves us lacking in the outdoor dining department (the plan is to resell el’ cheapo below). I think we can build a sweet farmhouse table and a bunch of benches for not a lot of money. Gonna have to bust out the kreg jig for this project, but I’m pumped! We envision the dining area on one side of our lower patio (making it half table dining and half casual-lawn-chair dining) and will put our future, not-yet-purchased conversation set up on the deck.

string lights

Ah, summer. COME HITHER QUICKLY! Except not too quickly, because now that I’ve actually written out all that was floating around in my head, it all just seems very exhausting and formidable. But I guess it wouldn’t be DIY if it wasn’t, hey?

Anything we should add (remove) from our list? What are you planning for the summer? Have we bitten off more than we can chew? So much to ponder.


  • We’re updating our shutters and I want to do something craftsman style. So I Google Imaged “Craftsman shutters” and your house showed up. And I said to my husband, “That looks like their house on Planting Sequoias…” and it totally was and he called me a stalker for knowing that immediately. :)

    • Ahaha! And we just have cheap-o plastic shutters…surprised they showed up. :) Love it! Would love to see what you end up doing once you’re finished!

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