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24 May 2014

Backyard Renovation BEGINS!

Yes, this is the first week I'm back at work.  We thought just to kick it up an extra notch, we'd start the backyard renovations!!!

Ok, ok, that's not super true.  We've been hassling the guy to start for 3 weeks now.  :)  I want the backyard usable for the summer, yo!

What's wrong with our current backyard?  Like, everything.  The ground is a jimble-jamble of different paving stones, dirt, gravel, weed, rusty nails, etc.  Ugh.

The little "mud room" attached to the house?  Well, not actually attached - sort of leany-on fally-offy - is THE WORST.  Seriously looks like it may collapse at any moment.  I applaud the theory, but the execution was poor.

Between none of the pavers is limestone, it's just dirt, so there are major weed battles every year.  It can pretty easily look like a forest back there in no time.

You can see the random mint bed on the side of the fence there.  Only mint will grow, it doesn't get a lot of sun.  And it leaks dirt into the neighbour's yard and she complains.

Underneath the muskoka chair is GRAVEL (with weeds).  Is that a nice place for a baby to play?  No.

There is also plenty of concrete edging to trip over and fall and hurt yourself if you are a baby. 

Not shown is an herb harden that actually wasn't too bad.  It had Chinese chives and spicy lettuce grow every spring, and in general herbs did ok there - I had some nice basil, sage, that sort of thing.  But Adrian will make me a cedar planter, so I hope to recreate it in another location!

The plan:  Tear down the "mud room", add a cedar deck (yes, I'm blowing all our reno fund on the backyard this year.  So it goes.  I love the smell of cedar, and it lasts a long time, etc.), bust out a patio door where the window is, brick up the current doorway, pave the backyard in recycled tires (easy for baby to play on), electrify the garage.  Add a cheapo awning to the deck (because I spent all our money on cedar), shazam!

The bricking up of the interior kitchen door will actually allow for more kitchen storage, as we then can add nice pantry (think ~IKEA with pull out shelves) to fit loads and loads of kitchen appliances and dry goods.

Day 1:  (chaos)

Bookcase reveal (before/after)

The bookcases are done!  Ages ago, actually.  Been having so much fun looking at them, no time for blogging.  :)

First, let's visit the way-back machine to see how the living room looked when we bought the house:

A bit on the ew side, right?  Like, what's up with the black marker on the wall?

Then we upgraded the electricity, making holes and repairing them, eventually to be left with this:

For a few years, it looked like this:

Not terrible, but not particularly polished.  Bit of a university-student look to the place.

And finally, the reveal...........


It took about a month of Adrian's work, but looks nice, doesn't it?  He did an amazing job, especially in the finishing.  Instead of wallpaper, we ended up using shelf paper from the Dollar store.  For reals.  We were in a bit of a rush to get ready for Pippa's birthday party, and just needed something up ASAP. doesn't look too terrible for having spent $4, so we'll probably keep it for quite a while.  It doesn't show up well in this photo, but the shelves are white pickled poplar, not painted white.  I am quite happy with the colour, it worked out well.

You can see now the TV magically floats with no wires or electronic support showing.  Me likely.  Everything is hidden in the false wall it hang on and the new mantle cubbies.

If the above photo does not quite satisfy your bookshelf lust and you've got 3 minutes to spare, I've prepared a handy-dandy video tour for your enjoyment. (Gosh, this took like 5 years to upload, I hope someone watches it!)