Thursday, July 24, 2014

Doors Of Opportunity (Garden Shed Exterior Makeover)

Our perfectly lovely garden shed before the door decided to deteriorate

Living in a 94 year old house, I am often reminded that nothing lasts forever.  Of course we try to retain and restore as much as we can around here but when something inevitably falls apart, I have learned to see it as an opportunity to improve it or replace it with something better.

That's what happened when our garden shed door started to deteriorate.  I never had any complaints about it before the paint started to peel and the wood started to rot but then I realized this gave me the chance to add two of my favorite things: light and color.

For the light I wanted to add a window to the door.  I searched all of my favorite antique malls and secondhand shops but couldn't find a window that would work for my budget.  Finally I came across a pair of mirrors that I liked (on clearance for $13 each!) and realized I could make a window from those by replacing the mirror with a screen.

Before: A Mirror - After: A Window

Then it was time to get to work on the door.  First I had Hippie remove the damaged parts and replace them with some pressure treated plywood.  He also cut a hole and helped me install the "windows".

Garden shed door under construction.

Then I finally got to add some color.  I decided on a warm purple shade of paint called Bunchberry by Behr.  I think it adds some much needed drama, as does the new cast iron door handle I added.

My new purple door.

Purple would not have coordinated with the interior of my garden shed, so I painted that side of the door white.

Interior of the new garden shed door.

To complete the makeover I added a little medallion above the door (also painted purple).  And now it's almost like I have a whole new garden shed.

Our even more lovely garden shed after it's purple door makeover

In fact, I was so happy with how this project turned out, I decided to paint our front door purple as well.

Another purple door

It definitely cheers up our front porch which is something else that is falling apart, but that's a project for another time.  The opportunities for improvement never end around here!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

What Matters

I purchased this "What You're Doing Matters" ribbon by artist Kelly Rae Roberts awhile back and pinned it on the cork wall in my art studio:

Kelly Rae Roberts Prize Ribbon

I just love it and most of the time it serves as a very positive reminder for me.  However, one morning last week, when I was feeling a little cranky, I carelessly let my inner critic - aka the Anti-Muse - get a hold of it.

"What you're doing matters, huh?" I heard her voice whisper doubtfully when she saw it.  "What are you doing?  Redecorating your deck?  How much does that really matter?"

"It matters to me." I told her firmly and then mentally drop kicked her out the window.

That should have been the end of that but the little seed of doubt she planted didn't go away easily.  Instead I found myself wondering if maybe she had a point.  Was there something more important that I should be focusing on? Should I be painting more or trying to save the world instead of spending so much time on my house? Was I sliding back to the superficial standards that preoccupied me in the past?

I really didn't think that was the case.  In fact I have never felt more certain in my life that I was on the right path.  So I decided that if I needed to make any changes or corrections that life would let me know but until then I would just keep doing what I was doing.

Shortly after reaching that decision, I was in my yard taking pictures when I heard someone call out to me, "excuse me?"

I looked over to see a woman had pulled her car over to the other side of my fence.  Thinking she was probably lost I walked over to her but instead of asking for directions she said, "I just had to stop and tell you how beautiful your deck is."

She explained that she had been driving by the night before and saw the string lights on our pergola and thought it was, in her words, "just like a gift from heaven."

She also told me she enjoyed the flowers in our front yard and then barely gave me the chance to thank her before driving away again.

I immediately turned to my Anti-Muse (who like my Muse is never very far away) and said, "How do you like that?"

This time I didn't have to drop kick her. This time she just quietly faded away.

I am so grateful for that kind stranger and her timely compliments.  I think it's wonderful how life always finds a way to remind me that when I do what makes me happy, it often makes people around me happier too.  And yes, that matters.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Decked Out

Before: Our Deck in April 2014

It was love at first sight.  The moment I set eyes on my deck I knew it was the one; the one place where I would spend all my leisure time every Spring, Summer and Fall.  Yes, I had big plans for us: tea in the morning, reading in the afternoon, wine in the evening, holiday parties and weekend cookouts... this deck and I were going to have some fabulous times together!

Unfortunately, not many of these plans came to fruition.  I did enjoy my deck when I had the time but that was an all too rare occurrence.

So this year I decided I was going to make the time so my deck and I could reach the potential I saw for us at the start.  Of course that meant a bit of a makeover was in order.  Not much was needed to turn this space into my dream oasis, just some color, pattern, light and a few accessories.  And now I'm happy to report that my deck and I have been spending lots of quality time together.

Here's some photos of my newly decked out deck:

After: My Outdoor Oasis in July 2014

Evening Oasis

Dining Area

Dining Area In Evening

Buffet and Lounge Area

Lounging Area In Evening

Accessories that I designed myself

A few more favorite details

Note: This was #10 of my Top Ten Posts of 2014. Click here for an update with more photos.
Purple Patina: Mosaic Pillow
Purple Patina: Mosaic Pillow by Cabagelow
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