The Great Outdoors

My fantastic front door plans (prepare yourself – this could be shocking)

Posted by on Jun 23, 2014 in The Great Outdoors | 4 comments

So hear me out for a second k?  No judgy-judgy…  Just trust me on this for a moment.  I have an announcement:

I might paint my front door pink.

(Let’s pause briefly while that all sinks in…  You ok?  K.  Let’s continue.)

Yes, I’ve lamented for months now that our house is mauve.

And yes, I’ve previously stated that perhaps a muted plum door would tone down the pinkness of the siding on our house while still looking sophisticated and coordinated.

And yes, I’ve even mentioned (several times) how much I’d really really like to repaint our old mauve house and be rid of the pink altogether.

But (this is where my anti-mauve plans go a bit awry), then I noticed this…

White mailbox house number decals on mauve or pink house and front porch with geraniums

See those geraniums slyly photobombing this pic of my front door (and my beloved new house numbers?)  They’re coral.  And they’re pretty.  And see how nice they look against my (much despised) mauve siding?

Dear Mother Nature: you sneaky fox.  You’ve coyly inspired me.  Big pat on the back for you, missy.  Nicely done.  :)

So I might paint my front door a corally-pink.  It’s absolutely mind boggling, I know.

And don’t get me wrong: we’re not talking fuchsia here.  (Random diatribe: FUCHSIA might, in fact, be the oddest-spelled word in the entire English language.  It always takes me at least three or four attempts to type it out correctly.  FUSHIA looks right, but it’s not.  Fuscia could even be correct, but, strangely, is not.  Nope.  Fuchsia is indeed one of those words that makes me yearn to have a stern conversation with the good folk at Miriam-Webster and ask them what the heck they were thinking when they decided to add so many miscellaneous letters to a rather simple, two syllable colour.)

(Thank you for letting me rant.  Carrying on…)

Nope.  We’re talking a corally pink.  Like this (via ByStephanieLynn)…

Coral pink front door with green board and batten

Or like this cheery door (courtesy of Marty’s Musings)…

Coral front door on gray painted brick house with fall wreath

Or even this (the top paint chip is Benjamin Moore’s Glamour Pink, and I THINK it could work, although it’s a bit more pink-ish than coral-ly.)

Benjamin Moore Glamour Pink from door on pink house

A closer look at BM Glamour pink for my door with old white screen door

Please ignore the partially painted screen door – that’s a whole other project for a whole other post.  (But I need it to stop raining first.  Once the rain stops, the door will be painted.  Until the rain stops, it’ll stay splotchy.)  (Sorry neighbours!)

So yes.  This is my new plan.  A coral door for my mauve house.  Who would have thunk it, eh?

Mind you, Sweetie and I haven’t discussed this yet.  He might have issues with the words “pink” and “coral”, so I may call it a “muted light reddish-slightly-orange colour.”  Or perhaps even just “geranium,” since I’m doubting he’d know which flower I’m describing.  Sweetie isn’t much of a flower guy.  But give him some rare weird variety of tomato plant and he’s all over that like ants on an apple.  :)


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Creating curb appeal (one pretty little decal at a time)

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in The Great Outdoors | 4 comments

Curb appeal is coming slowly (very slowly) to the old mauve house.  I have to keep looking back at the before pictures, particularly from the rather disasterous day we moved in (while the previous owners, who apparently didn’t fully understand how the whole Closing Day concept – ie: moving out so that new owners can move in – really works, rather obliviously took their time packing things up and were still picking up their belongings FOUR DAYS after we gained possession of the house) (true story) to fully appreciate that our house HAS come a long way in seven months.  Especially considering that we were buried under several feet of snow and darkness and cold for five of those seven months.

The newest addition to our create curb appeal campaign?  Pretty new house numbers.

I present to you Exhibit A: the old house numbers…

Some rather ugly brass house numbers

The old brassy numbers

Brassy and rusted and old.  Gross eh?

And, now, the snazzy new mailbox decal numerals (courtesy of etsy seller WelcomingWalls)…

White mailbox house number decals on mauve or pink house and front porch with geraniums

Mailbox house number decals from etsy

I never imagined that a set of sticky little house number decals affixed to a plain black mailbox could make me so unbelievably happy.

And, just for comparison’s sake, let’s take a look at a couple of rather disturbing before pics, shall we?  Here’s the picture from the original house listing…

Mauve or pink sided older house with gray roof

…and here’s what the house looked like the day we took possession, with all the previous owners’ stuff strewn all over our newly acquired lawn…

The moving day mess

Yep.  We bought THAT house.  We’re rather brave (or foolish?) peeps, Sweetie and me.

And now the after…

Mauve pink old farm house with front porch and burgundy shutters

See?  Progress.  Slow progress, mind you (we still need to dig out that ugly stump in the front garden and plant some more appropriately sized cedars or boxwoods and – oh! – some flowers in those flowerbeds would look pretty and the shutters and front door could definitely use a lick of paint and that deck would really look far lovelier if it was stained and gee wouldn’t it be awesome if our entire house was re-sided in any colour except for mauve?)

But, still, progress nonetheless.  :)

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Wishing winter away (because spring means outdoor painting projects!) (…and less snow and cold and general miserableness)

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in The Great Outdoors | 0 comments

So, it’s winter.  And it’s really winter.  It’s let’s-hibernate-under-the-blankets-and-pray-for-beloved-spring-or-even-an-unseasonably-warm-weekend-might-suffice-for-now winter.  And, honestly, it’s getting to be a bit much.

So I’m looking ahead!  I’m preparing for outdoor projects.  Because I need something to look forward to right now.  Something more beyond carbs and sleep and snuggling in under the blankets.

Sweetie and I already know that we have several projects looming once spring hits.  We need to critter-proof the house (since we’ve discovered that small four-legged furry creatures – the kind that squeak, btw, not the ones who meow – seem to find our house rather, unfortunately, hospitable.)  We need to re-insulate our laundryroom (since our laundryroom water pipes froze last week, but – luckily! – didn’t burst.)  And we have tonnes (tonnes!) of yardwork currently pending (trees that need to be trimmed, gardens that need to be moved, wild flowerbeds that need to be tamed and made far less wild, bushes that need to be relocated…)

Pink mauve old farmhouse with front deck and red shutters and door

But most important to me?  Curb appeal.  Yep.  The old mauve house desperately needs a facelift.  The burgundy shutters make me cringe.  The weather-worn front deck looks neglected.  The big front window is far too dusty rose-coloured.  And the house just looks… tired.

Which is sort of how I feel in the dead of winter, I suppose.

I did a little Pinterest searching and found a bit of spring-project inspiration.  Because we don’t have a lovely grandiose covered front porch (although I’d really like one!), I looked for similar “front deck”-style front porches as I searched through everything.  Unfortunately, most porches (or at least the Pin-worthy ones) appear to be of the covered kind (and, honestly, with good reason!  Who really wants to fumble with the front door locks in the midst of a rainstorm on a non-covered porch?)  But I did find this house, which, despite also sporting a covered front porch, is now my inspiration for this spring’s big “make the house look pretty” project…

Pretty eh?  I sure think so.  The white trim, the dark gray shutters, the white-painted porch rails with the stained (or maybe painted?  I can’t tell) porch floor…  It all looks so lovely.

And if I squint just a little, and look at the house out of the corner of my eye while chewing gum and folding laundry, I might even swear that there’s a touch of mauve in that siding.

Or I may just be getting my hopes up.

Regardless, I’m now feeling super inspired, and I’m rather anxiously looking forward to outdoor painting weather.  Afterall, there are only a measly 41 more days till the first day of spring.

But who’s counting…  :)


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Deck the halls with boughs of holly (and lots of red lights) (fa la la la la, la la, la, la!)

Posted by on Dec 23, 2013 in The Great Outdoors | 0 comments

The exterior holiday adornment of our house is Sweetie’s job each year.

Red exterior Christmas lights outside

And, over the years, he has truly mastered the finer nuances of decorating for Christmas.  Sweetie’s annual holiday house embellishing tradition goes a bit like this:

-wait for the coldest pre-Christmas day of the year

-get all bundled up (a la Randy from A Christmas Story)

-struggle to secure lights to eavestroughs using highly glove-padded fingers

-heroically throw gloves aside and brave frostbite

-with fingers completely numb and unresponsive, valiantly create a masterful spectacle of sparkly Christmas loveliness

-call it a day, stand back, shiver, proudly admire

-pray that sensation returns to fingertips at some point in the near-ish future

-run inside for cocoa

Ah, yes.  Christmas traditions rock.  :)

And in case you’re unfamiliar with A Christmas Story (one of the greatest Christmas movies ever!), watch this:

I heart Christmas.  :)


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Getting all porchy for the holidays (it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!)

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in The Great Outdoors | 2 comments

I’m already planning my holiday decor.  Is it a little early for that?  I’m guessing no.  The first snowfall of the season appeared all sparkly and pretty on Tuesday morning, so it’s most definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here (thank you Mother Nature!)  And my front porch practically screams “adorn me please!”  I’ve never been one to disobey a porch, so adorn it I must.  :)

The porch at my little 1940s house was tricky.  Because the stairs leading up to the porch were to the side of the doorway, and a rail ran continuously across the front of the porch, it was hard to decorate around my front door (since anything I added to the porch ended up sadly obscured by the railing.)

Front porch painted Benjamin Moore Stampede on red brick house

Here, with no door-obscuring rails and with stairs boldly leading straight to the front door, we have smooth front porch decorating sailing.  See?

Pink mauve burgundy and white old farmhouse exterior with oil rubbed bronze light

No obstructions.  Just a lovely view of my soon-to-be-adorned front door.  :)

Admittedly, this front porch decorating thing is a little intimidating to me.  Perhaps it’s the public-ness of my porch (if it looks silly, our new neighbours will all assume that I don’t know my boughs from my baubles and my ribbons from my wreaths.)  Or maybe it’s because I’ve never truly decorated a front porch before for the holidays, so we’re totally venturing into unchartered Christmas waters.  Regardless, desperately hoping for a perfectly pretty porch display, I chatted a bit with my Pinterest folk to gather a few decorating ideas.  Here are my faves…

I love this simple “wreath + sparkly little trees in urns” option from the lovely folk over at The McLife:

Simple red wreath and lit mini Christmas trees entrance

And, speaking of pretty urns, I’d love to try creating something like this this year (although I’m a tad evergreenishly-challenged):

(Original source, sadly, is unknown, but the image appears on THIS website compiling a bunch of Christmas decorating ideas.)

And then there are stars!  I love stars!  (Actually, I’m a bit obsessed with stars, which you might remember from THIS post.)  How pretty is this…

Gold stars decorating a Christmas door

Sadly (again) there’s no source for this image.  So dear gorgeous plummy door starry people: please let me know who you are!  I adore your front entrance!

And then lastly, there’s this one (which is part of an Etsy-listing, in fact, for JustTheFrosting‘s shop):

…the perfect, elegant, simple front entrance (with a super smiley little snowman to boot.)  This is my goal.  :)

So all I need now is some evergreeny-sort of stuff.  And a couple of black urns.  And some pretty red bows.  And a big ol’ green wreath.  And maybe a quirky little snowman too.  Sounds easy enough!  I’ll keep you posted.

But, in the meantime, Christmas?  Bring it on.  My soon-to-be-appropriately-adorned front porch will be eagerly waiting.  :)


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Baby steps (turning an old mauve house into a pretty little home, one fixture at a time)

Posted by on Oct 28, 2013 in The Great Outdoors | 2 comments

When we (rather bravely) bought our old mauve house, it looked like this…

Mauve or pink sided older house with gray roof

And then we pulled up on our ill-fated house possession day (aka the day the previous owners would not leave) and (much to my horror) the house looked like this…

But, a couple of days later, thanks to some crazy amazing gardening efforts courtesy of my awesome parents, the house suddenly looked way better, like this…

Mauve siding on old farm house with red burgundy shutters and door

But, from day one, something didn’t quite look right.  This:

Yep.  The wonky, too large for the space, perpetually crooked, bargain bin exterior light.

So Sweetie swapped that light for a smaller, updated one.

ORB exterior light

And now our house looks like this…

Pink mauve burgundy and white old farmhouse exterior with oil rubbed bronze light

Which is way better, if you ask me!

Pink mauve old farmhouse with front deck and red shutters and door

Next up?  The house numbers will soon be getting a wee coating of ORB spray paint.  And then (next spring) a new screen door is on the agenda, since our existing door isn’t particularly cat friendly (and it is very very important to keep the kitties happy!)

Until then, I’ll likely continue to squeal and clap my hands excitedly each time I pull into the driveway.  Progress makes me giddy.  :)


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