Saturday, April 17, 2021

Backyard Paver Patio

Ah finally some completed projects in our backyard, beautiful weather, and the weekend is here.  We added two levels to our existing paver patio, a sitting wall, steps, and a landing. Additionally we redid our walkway on the right of the house.  I added a garden bed outside of the patio with lots of new plants and some sandstone slate pieces and garden boulders.  With my design plans we enlisted Carolina Garden Co. who contracted the work out to B&H Landscape's.  They did an amazing job on the hardscapes. Here are some After photos of the yard.  

My Dad's iron dragon overlooks everything:

View walking down from the deck:

Looking right from the deck:

This is the view from the upper deck:

Our backyard has a good amount of slope to it so this lower patio is actually dug into that slope, which is why we needed two full steps down. And the sitting wall came into the design process because of exposed dirt on the other side. But we like the added visual interest and this created a little bed behind it for a future fountain and flowers. 

These two patio levels create a great outdoor movie theater situation. 

We added horizontal wood to the deck skirt which makes this look so great. There are gates on the other side to access the storage underneath. We will stain everything once we are finished. Joe also made a sliding gate at the top of the stairs to keep the dogs on the deck when needed. 

I created this garden bed in a few hours believe it or not. I am very lucky to have a neighbor with a gas tiller so I worked in top soil and compost before I even started digging. I planted four Iceberg shrub roses, four Blue Star Junipers, about 9 Salvia plants (May Night and New Dimension Rose), and two Monrovia Purple Fountain Grass. For the Boulders and stepping stones we have a company here in Durham called The Stone Center of Carolina. You drive your truck on a scale to get a weight and then you can load up all the stone you want and get a second weight.  I paid around $64 total for five pieces of beautiful sandstone and 3 boulders. It was so much fun for me! Lastly I added about 10 bags of Hardwood mulch.  

We added a step down here off the existing patio:

This is the landing that was added which is quite big! 3' x 13'.

Here is the front walkway that was replaced with the white rock that we had laid. 

I will add some top soil around the edges so the lawn will grow back. 

These are additional photos of the state of our yard. Still lots to be done. In this back corner we want to add a storage shed. We will turn our small shed into bike storage to free up space in the garage.

The plants are filling in nicely around the fence.

The hammocks were one of our very first projects of quarantine and have gotten more use than I thought they would. 

Our covered deck is feeling pretty good these days too. I put a Ralph Lauren sheet over the futon, washed the pillows, completely hosed down all of the pollen and furniture. I found this cute white table at the Habitat for Humanity Restore along with several hurricane lamps. 

The rolling gate was made using a kit from Lowes and pressure treated wood. I'm so thankful Joe is so good with the saw. 

Here are a few pics of the BEFORE's for reference. 

Now it's time for some Sweet Tea and a good magazine.  And maybe some patio furniture shopping. 😛


Belgard Holland Stone in the walkway
Patio - Ashland Countryside from Lowes in red and gray.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Door paint and knobs

Keeping busy during the pandemic has been no problem. I am finding ways to stay sane and pass the time for sure! For example, I decided that all the upstairs doors needed new paint because the old paint was splotchy, chipped (darn dog!) and I didn't like the old door handles. Builder grade brushed nickel just wasn't my thing.  I wanted the doors to look old and vintage. 



I decided on this cool paint by Behr called Ultra Scrub Defense in a Matte finish because apparently it looks like Chalk Paint with a flat finish but you can still clean it (unlike regular flat paints.)  I thought it might be bit risky but so far so good. It seems really durable because I have tried to personally scratch it off and I can't.  I chose this color called Silver Celadon because that was one of the Chalk paint colors that looked really nice.  I had the guy at Home Depot color match it. 

I painted every single door inside and out (except the kids interior doors)  All in all, 17 doors!  They all got new door handles, all by Nostalgic Warehouse.  For most of the doors I chose a Classic Rosette Waldorf knob in the Timeless Bronze Finish. Some are passage knobs and others are privacy knobs. 

In the bathroom for the closet doors, I used two Classic Rosette knobs with a white porcelain finish. 

This is the view of the toilet room and the door leading out into the Master Bedroom.

This is the linen closet and my clothing closet in the bathroom.

There are 5 total doors in the master bath! Because all these doors have bits of molding at the floor I decided to paint this trim as well to make the transition between doors look more smooth. 

This is a close up of the Waldorf knob. It is so pretty in real life.

Just FYI, I used the 2-3/8″ backset which is standard size. There is a large size if your door have bigger holes. Here is our hallway which looks so much better with this door color and white walls.

Looking at this photo makes me really want to change those DIY light fixtures I did 5 years ago. I took the old "boob" lights and spray painted them and added crystals where the glass was.

My children all got specialty colored doorknobs for their closets. I thought it was a fun touch of whimsy to their rooms. They also lock because this gives them a tiny private space of their own to dress and not worry about their siblings coming in. Luckily their closets are big enough and act like a little "kid cave."  Here is a link to the blue Waldorf knob.

Pink knob for the girl. I just realized the pink and green door knobs are slightly different than the blue and clear. They have a unique cut for the glass.

Emerald Crystal Doorknob in a brass finish for the middle child. 

Now that's you've seen the upstairs, here are some of the downstairs knobs.  I have replaced all of them with Nostalgic Warehouses Classic Rosette but in an antique bronze finish. I'm debating painting these doors in the same color as upstairs. They have also become scratched and there are some touch ups that I've done that don't look so great. 

The downstairs bath has an old vintage door with the original crystal knob. Probably my inspiration for the rest of the house!

The panty door is heavy and solid wood with glass so this doorknob looks especially nice. 

The downstairs linen closet. You can kind of see some splotches here. 

One last photo of knobs that aren't Nostalgic Warehouse. These I picked up a long time ago at Home Goods. They are double dummy knobs which just need to be held to push the door open and don't turn. I may change them at some point but not sure yet.

Well I can say that it was quite fun learning to dismantle door knobs and become a pro at installing door knobs. One thing that did become a little tricky was not having the door latch that attaches to the frame line up exactly. Joe came to my rescue and chiseled away at the hole and then filled the old areas with wood chips and glue. Thank goodness. I would have given up or hired a professional at that point. I must say door knobs can become a little investment, but it's like adding jewelry to your house that you can admire everyday and you don't need to change them if you invest in nice ones.

Happy Almost Spring!!

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