2-Second Tip: An Inviting Doorstep

In an apartment complex with 100+ units, bringing a little personality to your doorstep will set a good first impression.

Seeing our natural-fiber doormat (on clearance at Target) and our seasonal pumpkin brings a smile to my face and sets us apart from so many other anonymous doors in our complex. And it didn’t take much time or effort, either :)


Stick a Fork in it

It’s done. The front yard, that is. It’s done for the year.

Last time we talked, I had discovered the beautification properties of mulch.

One plant that we had bought last fall died over the winter, and a replacement plant we’d put in its place is also on its way to the big garden in the sky. The replacement plant was meant to be in part sun, not full sun, but when we bought it it didn’t have one of those tags stuck in the soil so it was a mystery plant. Anyway we’ve successfully killed it, I think.

So. our flowerbed was looking like this–don’t mind the pale shirtless guy who dreamed of getting a tan only to notice that our workspace was totally shady:

The right side is doing GREAT! The left side (under the window) had a sad empty section.

Thanks to a sale at a plant shop in walking distance from us, we picked up two butterfly bushes (one of my mom’s favorites) and brought them home. A quick trip to Wal-Mart got us two good sized terra cotta planters, which are not a perfect match to the tile roof, but they are orange clay so they will do for now. The repotting process took about ten minutes (minus the Wal-Mart run) and the plants will have some good space to grow. Once they outgrow the pots they’ll go in the ground.

Now the front of the house is (finally!) balanced out, as far as fullness of plants, and color (more or less). And with that, I’m done messing with the front yard.

Except I just might get a potted plant for the walk-up.

PS: We got this done weeks ago but didn’t want to advertise what the front of our house looks like since we were heading out on vacation–house on the internet + gone for two weeks = wouldn’t have been a very smart move.

I will start next week full speed with a recap from our trip!  

Outside, Outside!

Five days without a post was just too long. I’m sorry. Hope my post from yesterday made up for it!!

The good news is that as of last Saturday, everything and I mean everything is out of the old place. (Two Saturdays ago was “moving day” but it took us a full week to get the rest of everything out–working around 40 hour jobs, band practice, and church events.) I gave the landlord my key and now Doug has to turn his in (he’ll be sad to part with the red key with a little light that seems superfluous but is really handy when opening locks in the dark) and then we’ll be done-zo.

That means that all of our earthly possessions now reside here. Many of them have been put away but a lot of stuff is hanging out in the junk room office waiting to find their new home. Which will happen once we figure out some storage solutions. Someday. The built-ins in the old office were much more useful and utilized than I ever realized. Uh-oh… It’s an adventure.

But, enough about that, today I’m finally going to show you the hot mess that is the exterior. Okay, it’s really not that bad. But after a lot of elbow grease, some paint and some plants, I hope the “after” will blow everyone’s socks (mine included) off.

Here’s the back yard. It doesn’t look very exciting, does it? Well that’s because as of right now, it’s nothing special. Perhaps it’s even sub-special. But! The good news is that I don’t have to carry Mosey up 20+ stairs after he has to go out in the middle of the night. And that’s what counts. The yard is more or less fenced, and we have some supplies to expand the fenced in area so Mosey has more room.

The backyard does have a slope, so if we ever decide to try to put in a patio or something, that will have to be dealt with. but… baby steps.

I showed you the worst picture first so that there’d be nowhere to go but up! Next I’ll show you the front of the house!

Sorry about the intense shadow, I took these pictures and am composing this post on my lunch break. And this is what the shadows to at 12:30. Here’s the front. The yard has some  green-ness to it, which is saying something considering the hot, dry, oppressive summer we had to deal with. The stucco, tile roof and overall south-west style is absolutely great. It’s like my own little slice of home here in Kansas. We’ll work on grass this fall and see what we come up with in the spring.

Here’s the front walk. When you go through the arch, turning right you’ll see the front door. Pretty cute, right? I like the way it separates the house from the yard, but I don’t like how Mosey has repeatedly dragged me down the 4 concrete stairs while I had my arms full of stuff. Anyway, this so cute but it can be cuter. Again, I’ll keep you updated.

So, in summary, right now she’s not the prettiest chica on the block. We have big plans for the exterior including:

  • Stucco patching
  • Paint updating
  • Grass planting
  • Fence expanding
  • Patio creating
  • Concrete painting