Posts tagged #patio

Two quick updates... then back to GOT

It has been a while since my last post which is not to say I have not been busy. So I figured I'd share a quick update on the things that have kept me away from writing.


Remember when I added string lights? Well, their awesomeness made the rest of the patio seem rather drab and sort of creepy. So I got to work. See, when I did the big patio renovation 5 years ago, I installed some in-ground lights when everything was still in shambles. They were epic. And then I started losing them, one by one. Maybe it was the passing of time, the never-stopping water, the pesky ants, who knows... but those guys were clearly not meant to last.  Or so I thought...!

Ta-daah! A few new light bulbs, rearranging of the wires and one replaced unit later, my dark corner of the patio is now one glorious well-lit garden!

MEANWHILE... on the inside...

I was finally able to carve enough time to clean out my second bedroom/office. I joke you not, 7 large bags of donations later, I was left with one perfectly furnished room. Which begs the question... how did I accumulate 7 bags worth of donations? We do not need more space, ladies and gentlemen, we just need less stuff (one of my favorite TED talks, by the way). 

So these are my two quick updates... I do promise I am working on a few (real) posts for you though! Until then... happy Sunday! And now, back to Game of Thrones :). 

Posted on May 1, 2016 and filed under Design + DIY.

Revival of the patio (v.3.0)!

Chewie agrees. Spring is an awesome, albeit short, time in Houston. So we are taking advantage of every second of it! After staring at my dull winterized patio for three days this week (bye, bye wisdom teeth, I will not miss you), I mustered enough inspiration and energy to do something about it this weekend...

Ta-daah! Introducing patio version 3.0! (For 1.0 and 2.0, look no further). What is new, you ask? 

  • A few (alright, alright... more than a few) new planters: I'm so excited about all of these! They make such lovely home for my favorite plants (which I was able to miraculously procure in one day): Kangaroo Paws! Blue Chalksticks! Sedum Tokyo Sun! Just an eye feast of colors and textures. In love...
  • Added foliage: the largest section of my yard was sad. Sad enough that I didn't even take a "before" picture for you. No longer the case! Unexpectedly, the ginger I planted a few years ago in front of my sliding door has been loving it there. So I decided to add a bunch more on the other side as well. I cannot wait to see it grow. And this one is one fast grower! You just wait, before you know it, I'll have a jungle back there.
  • Much needed maintenance: e.g. pruning, weeding, fertilizing, soiling, watering... you name it. All done in two days. I must have raked 50lbs of leafs. Knowing how light they are, that should tell you have many of them there were!
  • The obligatory photo session with Chewie... I mean, look at that face! He got to spend two days in the open watching me work. Does it get better than that? I don't think so... #doglife

You could say it has been one productive weekend. Now, I can proudly say that absolutely EVERYTHING hurts, from my teeth, all the way to my toes. But this much pain for this much gain is so so worth it!

Happy Sunday!

Posted on February 28, 2016 and filed under Design + DIY.

Clean slate no more: Chewie's new stomping grounds!

Right on time for this great Houston weather, I am happy to announce that the patio is finally (almost) done! Despite this being its version 3.0 (or maybe 4.0? I have lost count already), it still feels like it is brand new! So let's dig in... 

First off, why? Well, you may recall that I recently uncovered my wonderfully-looking pavers hiding under a ton of dirt and who knows what else... Which, unexpectedly, proved to be quite the inspiration. I do not often undertake re-design projects without planning a good few months/years in advance (talking about you, dear kitchen, that are still waiting patiently in the project queue!). But this was a different story. It just felt like it was time to invest in something a bit nicer and more durable. And that I did! Here was my project purchase list:

Beautiful, durable and comfortable seating, the key component to any successful and functional space. That took a lot of research, mostly due to my obnoxiously frugal spending habits. And... I am proud to say that this deal will be remembered as one of my most undervalued purchases ever! Not only did I get the last available set, but I was also able to snatch it up for a mere $409 (notice it's already a good $200 more??)! Add to that (or rather don't), no tax or shipping. Yup, you read that right!

But wait, there's more...

Fun accent chair, tables, and accessories, or what gives any space its character. I got lucky there too... A local store that is part of the At Home franchise (previously known as Garden Ridge) is currently going out of business. Or, in other words, everything in the store is 40-70% off. That is off of their already very affordable prices! I was able to knock out everything on my accessories list right there: pillows, accent chair and two ceramic side tables. All of this for less than $150. Just one such table can cost you more than that! Instead, I scored two of these for $35 each!

Last but not least, some shade. Houston gets a "bit" sunny in the summer. Which makes for a great incentive to invest in an umbrella. Preferably, one that looks good too :). The image below shows exactly how HUGE this umbrella was when it arrived. And that sadly did not even include the base. Which, on purpose, weighs more than 100lbs. Multiple groans, bruises and failed attempts later, I was actually able to roll it into place and set everything up. Shade really never looked or felt this good before. Promise.             

I still have a few things that I would like to add to this patio. On top of my list are these string lights that just seem too perfect to pass up. But yeah, you could say both Chewie and I are very happy about this new arrangement :). 

Posted on August 31, 2015 and filed under Design + DIY.

The power of a power wash...

Let's chalk it up to Houston weather and/or the local flora... but I am sad/slightly ashamed to admit that my patio had not seen a lot of love from me these past few winters. Namely, mold seemed to had found its way onto my beautiful (well, used-to-be-beautiful) concrete pavers for what appeared to be an eternity...

This stunning "marble-like" feature on my pavers is not intentional. At all... Compare the above to my gorgeous pavers circa 2010:

Yeah, I miss those too. Granted, 5 years can make any outdoor feature feel unhappy and neglected, right? Indeed! Until this happened... 

Bam! Hello, borrowed power washer! How mighty are you? Well, since you ask Katya, I am exactly 1,900 PSI mighty (is what my friend's power washer would have said). What a difference! And as I was washing each paver, inch by inch, a few things were flowing through my head (I had plenty of time to have things flow through my head: these took a good 2 hours to clean!)...

First? This stuff is addicting! Such instant gratification is rare to find. Ingenious ideas on what else I can power wash included... The outside of my brick house? The furniture? The plants? The dog? Just kidding. But I wanted to do it all. So much so, that I did end up power washing the entire common area of my HOA (e v e r y    s i n g l e    b r i c k). 

Second? I was wondering what would be the most efficient way to wash a 2'x2' paver... Straight line? Zig-zag? Circular motions? Random motions? Writing your name on it? I tried it all. I should have timed it all too but I feared that timing it would erase any time advantage I would gain from being efficient (I told you I had time to think). 

Third? I need to invest in one of these for a permanent use.. 

So... what does this exercise leave me with? One heck of a clean slate ;) But more on that soon! Happy Sunday!


Posted on August 9, 2015 and filed under Design + DIY.