Monday, May 17, 2010

Shamelessly Improvising: Pictures Of Before, And In-Between.

We all have dreams of things we’d like to do with our homes.  But saving up to finance those dreams takes time.  So what do you do in the in-between time?

I say, look around and improvise.  Learn the fine art of repurposing and make the most of what you have.  With today’s economy, there’s no shame in refusing to go into debt, and you might surprise yourself with how much of a difference you can make.

The back corner of our house has always been an eyesore.  This picture, taken before we moved in, shows that it was at least clutter free back then.before

We let it become even worse by using it as a gathering place for all of our unsightly junk.   

Although we planted several shade trees in the foreground right away, it took us 6 years to replace the non-functioning steel door with a patio door. 

Although we loved the new door, all that glass made our piles of junk visible from the inside.  Yikes!  Lol!  Thankfully, I don’t have a picture of that.

Anyway, this spring, the boys helped me drag everything but an old rusty tub off to the curb.

Then, we mulched the barren corner, as well as a strip along the back of the house.   I had lots of perennials elsewhere that needed dividing, so we planted some starts here and there, too.

Here’s a picture I took this morning from the inside looking out.  It’s chilly and raining.  But look!  No more junk.  :)

view from inside

I repurposed the old tub as a fire ring, and it is working nicely to cook our hotdogs.  :)

Unfortunately, the old steps by the door were rotten and had to be torn off.  In their place, we used a small deck I built out of scrap lumber. The stepping stones you see to the right of it are the inexpensive cement kind, robbed from elsewhere in the yard, and stained brown.

Because the landing was still too low, I made a step from a couple of cinder blocks (painted brown) and a piece of 2x6 board, which turned out to be just the right height. 

Morning Coffee Hangout

The big swing was displaced from our small front porch last year when I hung a smaller swing from chains.

We made a handy little coffee table/foot rest out of two more cinder blocks and another piece of board (painted green). 

Then, I found the little glass-topped side table in a shed, and the log plant/stand came from the woodpile. 

The best part about this space is, I didn’t have to buy anything.  Even the straggly potted plants were ones I wintered over and hope to coax back to vitality. 

Yes, building a deck right away would be nice.  And some pretty new deck furniture would be delightful.  But we really don’t want to go into debt in order to build it or furnish it. 

We can wait a little longer.  

For now, we’ll delight in this little imperfect space, with all its peace and quiet.  You are welcome to come join me for a morning cup of coffee!  It’s the perfect spot.  :)


Mari said...

You did good - it looks so inviting and cozy!

Christina said...

I think it's beautiful! I love your idea of painting the cinder blocks; I had never thought of it, and it sure makes them look a whole lot better.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the cozy. Just bring me some sweet tea and I'm good. :)

The Real Me! said...

I want to know why I haven't been seeing your posts pop up on my dashboard.
I feel like I've missed so much.
This little makeover is wonderful. It looks so inviting now and I'm sure you're happy not to look out and see junk!