First: I can’t believe it has been almost a year since we moved into our home. How did that amount of time pass by so quickly? Sometimes I look around the house and wonder how I managed to do so little over the course of the year. I JUST hung a painting on our living room wall a few weeks ago – it was the first item I hung on a wall. First thing. Almost a year after we moved in. The shame. But – that’s a story for another day.
Today’s story is about our backyard. Thankfully, our front yard was looking pretty great when we moved in. The previous home owners kept everything up pretty well so there wasn’t much we needed to do other than maintain it. The backyard was also well kept, but it was lacking quite a bit in the landscaping department. I mean…it was looking kind of sad back behind our lanai. There was just a big, uneven span of old mulch and some randomly placed plants. It was kind of an eyesore, as that area runs along the entire back side of the house.
The challenge we faced when it came down to deciding on what to put in that spot was the fact that our backyard is very shaded. That enormous tree that I love happens to provide shade to almost fence to fence back there. Justin and I really had to do some research to figure out what plants we could put in the ground that would not require 6+ hours of sun a day. Most flowers were eliminated by that requirement, sadly.
It is no secret: Justin and I are big fans of Halloween. Big big fans. We make our yearly trek to Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando (by the way: loved it this year!), and I’ve always longed for a yard to decorate for the holiday. Well, this year was our very first shot at it, and I wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity. I’ll be honest: I didn’t think Justin would go for any of this…but after he heard me giggling after seeing a picture on Pinterest of some skeletons carrying a coffin across a yard, he was hooked on the idea of creating our own scene.
We brainstormed for a bit; how many skeletons would we need to acquire? How will we pose them? How will we make them stay put in the yard? Come to find out: purchasing full size skeletons isn’t exactly a cheap feat. Plus, depending on how you would like to position the skeleton, certain joints are required. For our final product, we needed two different types of skeletons – one with arms that had rotating shoulder/arm sockets, and one without. However, we managed to score an awesome deal at Ross for our first one: $24! Good fortune was shining on us. We found our second skeleton at Target; it was the cheapest option after shopping around at various party and Halloween stores in our area. Go figure: I love you, Target.
Today’s DIY project is one from our very own garden. We constructed it last weekend. It was only a matter of time before my vertical planter garden dream became a reality. I think Justin helped me make it partly because he was sick of me talking about it so much.
“Honey, we should totally make a vertical planter for the fall when we want to grow greens and such – the rabbits won’t be able to get into it that way!”
“Yeah, that would be cool.”
“Justin, look! Look at this awesome DIY planter I saw someone post on Pinterest. Isn’t it awesome? We could definitely do this.”
Repeat this scenario about 5 or more times with different planter box ideas, and I finally ended up wearing him down. Or, maybe it just took him a little while to realize how much he LOVED the idea…and LOVED the idea of constructing it for us.
It seems like an eternity since I’ve posted an update on the progress of our home. To be honest, when we first moved in, there was quite a flurry of activity and projects. And then…things came to a stop for some reason. I suppose once the house was liveable, I just sat back and figured I would finish the projects when I got inspired.
But today I’m back with a little tour of my home office. Let’s start with one of the most important parts: the desk. Back in 2009, I purchased an expansive table top/trestle leg combo at IKEA to be my desk. It’s similar to the Linnmon table top and Finnvard trestle legs now being sold there. I was simply looking for a large desk with a lot of writing space; I wasn’t concerned with the color combination at the time. But I wanted a “big girl” office in our new house, and white furniture was more desirable. What to do? I thought about getting rid of the desk, but then decided it would be much better to attempt painting the current one. Since the trestle legs are technically not solid wood, I had to research a bit to see how to paint them successfully.
We purchased a pot of Glidden Gripper primer and painted the trestle legs and the border of the desk top to start. Then, we finished it all off with two coats of Rust-Oleum’s Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover in white semi-gloss. Is it absolutely perfect? Probably not…painting non-solid wood IKEA furniture is a bit of a doozy. However, I really think it turned out great, and it looks DARN good in the space. Plus – the price of two small cans of paint is definitely more palatable to purchasing a brand new desk.
Did you notice the pretty floor underneath the desk? Back in December, we made a little discovery beneath the carpet in the room – the floor was hardwood! Alas, once all of the carpet was pulled up it was clear there was water damage to the wood. In the end, the floor was replaced with this pretty bamboo! It’s supposed to be very durable, and I really like the texture.