Robbie and I have always lived in apartments or houses that have teeny tiny backyards so having this much space behind our house has been a really fun challenge. We dug a little temporary pit right off the deck but realized we didn’t want the fire pit to be the main focal point of the yard so we moved it more to the back and side of the yard to add dimension.
We used the drum from our old dryer as the walls of the pit.
Robbie tied a rope to a pole in the exact center for us to create a good shaped circle edge then I got busy doing what I do best – EDGING!!!
Then we loaded the circle up with our leftover landscaping rocks
Next we’ll line the drum with some pretty stones or bricks….get some comfy chairs and it’s S’mores time my friends!! HOT TIP! Don’t forget to lay down weed block/fabric under any stones. If you don’t weeds will grow up through the rocks. We thought the stones would block the sun enough but nope – those suckers are determined!
We lined the pit with old bricks from a chimney we removed from the house and got those cute stumps from trees we had trimmed earlier in the Spring. All free! $$$
Seems like everyone had one of these desks in the 70’s or 80’s right? With the antique hardware and orangey tinted wood it didn’t fit our Mid Century Modern-Boho-Unicorn vibe soooo……let’s hit up Home Depot and Amazon!
I grabbed some spray paint I thought would look good next to my peach, clearance Ikea curtains and ran to my favorite store – Home Depot. The drawer pulls I found were really pretty but expensive so I whipped out my trusty Iphone and checked Amazon. Sure enough they were way cheaper online so I ordered them with the very dangerous “One click” option (do NOT use One click while drinking – don’t ask me how I learned that).
We saved $8 by using Amazon and have two extra drawer pulls for some other projects.
Sand, spray lightly (Always do several light coats to prevent drips) and let dry fully!
Voila! All done – a nice update for our guest/office space for about $35 with plenty of supplies left over for other projects. We’ll never run out of things we want to spray paint pink – we have a young daughter after all….
“What’s a berm?” “Why are you building that?” “What’s the reason again?” These are some of the questions I get when I tell people we’re taking dirt from the back yard and walking it in a wheelbarrow to the front yard to build a berm.
This is the area behind our house I grabbed dirt, branches and rocks from to fill the berm.
I’d say it took a good 80-100 loads of dirt (About 4-5 hours) to get it up to 18 inches. We threw old sand from the sandbox, rocks, dirt, grass – anything we could find to bulk up the berm for free.
After it was an acceptable size I layed down newspaper and old cardboard boxes instead of landscape fabric. This is the part the neighbors were probably the most confused about but hey it’s free and works just as well!
We got 3 yards of mulch delivered to top it off, bought a rhododendron bush, a wild grass bush and some pretty colorful annuals. Each year we’ll plant more until it fills in. For now this is all we wanted to spend but it adds interest to the yard and blocks out some of the traffic noise. It’s a win win!
Alright here’s a little update!! We found some landscaping rocks that someone was unloading FOR FREE!! What an awesome score – we got 2 car and 1 pickup truck worth of rocks and she still has more for us!! Check out pics….
After renting apartments all my life it’s easy to say I’m VERY comfortable calling the landowner or Super when things go wrong. Robbie, on the other hand is a true DIY’er. If a faucet is leaking or the ceiling starts to crack his first instinct is to grab his tool belt and run to the hardware store to fix it. It took me a while to get into his way of thinking now that I’m a homeowner. I’d have the phone in my hand ready to call someone then slowly realize….there’s no one to call. I have to fix it. BOOOO!!!
Also not running to the store to BUY what I need for the house has been another challenge for me. Robbie is the type of person that re-uses and repurposes things before considering buying a new product. I love this way of doing things but it takes way more patience and compromise AND WHO WANTS TO COMPROMISE??? Yes you can “one click Amazon” that perfect shelf to your house in a matter of hours but maybe go through the back yard and you’ll see some wood you can use instead? Reduce reuse recycle right?
That being said here are some shelves we made out of wood Robbie found in the attic – he cleaned them up and stained them then cut them all the same size….
I found black brackets for 75 cents at IKEA and painted them gold.
I ALMOST missed these beauties at Savers because they looked so dingy but Robbie spotted them on our way out. They were the right height for a bar we want to make in our dining room. Even though the bar doesn’t exist yet we knew at $20 each they were too good to pass up! They needed some TLC but were in great shape.
Here they are “before” -still have the Savers price tags….
Look. We love West Elm just as much as you do but unless there’s a blow out clearance sale and we have the employee discount coupled with a promo code – we can’t afford to decorate our house with their stuff. So we like to see what they sell and copy it best we can for CHEAP! And you can too. You will need spray paint and a Robbie. If you can’t find Robbie just the spray paint will do. Here’s what we did!
We just bought our new house built in 1951 located in Baltimore County, MD. It was move in ready but, we want to make it ours. We have an aesthetic that is not what is popular or mainstream. We like to take a bit of our childhood dreams and our adult eyes and create something magical. Join us on this journey. It will be fun, hard, tiring, and rewarding.