First things first, exterior improvements take tiiimmmeeee and money. Holy Moly. While the majority of our blog chronicles our interior renovations, every year we tackle a little more of our exterior and we’re finally at a place where I imagined it would be, or could be when we moved in.
Except the brick on the front of our house (that you’ll see below). I still don’t love the brick color (remember when I wrote that whole post about it here) but now I’m worried if we paint it the same color as the siding (which is what I’d want to do–I just want ONE house color) it will be just another tan house in Idaho, land of tan houses (and bad brick, tbh). Chris is worried about the upkeep (and task!) of painting the aluminum siding so we just keep ignoring the fact that the combination is not our favorite. Not horrible by any means, but not what we would choose. (I really want to paint it all, to be honest–but could I settle for an all tan house?)
Alas, this post isn’t even about our house color, but the overhaul that our yard/landscaping went through the last couple weeks. Our property shape is a little weird, it’s shaped like a triangle. I feel like I start every exterior post with that disclaimer, but it’s true and it’s a necessary fact to keep in mind through this post. Our “backyard” is actually our deck, so we tend to refer to it as “the deck” and the right side yard as “the backyard” since that’s where the playset and in ground trampoline and where the girls and their friends spend the majority their time.
Then there’s the other side of our yard. The third triangle on the left side of the house, which is actually the largest portion of our yard. It’s rarely seen but has 4 gorgeous mature trees, with a hammock in the middle of them, and a small shed against the house. Willow spends a lot of time over here, snoozing, and I don’t blame her.
Recently, we added a parking pad over there, (to house a few toys and trailers Chris has accumulated over the years) and it snowballed into a big project–re-working the sidewalk so we could actually park things here, adding a gate. We are on the corner of a cul-de-sac, so access worked out perfectly.
We captured the whole project on video, which will make a lot more sense than these photos! You can watch the short, 2 minute video, below or here on YouTube!:
But basically what happened was, our landscaping company (Spruce It Up) advised us that if we wanted to landscape in front of our whole fence (which we expressed interest in), it would be a good idea too tear out the existing bushes that had gotten overgrown and were expired–did you know most hedges have a 20 year life span before they turn to basically sticks with leaves at just the very end so you can no longer trim them? This was hard because I LOVED our mature landscaping, but I understood the want/need to have everything grow and mature together.
They brought a crane over and pulled out all the old bushes and planted new ones, along with 2 trees, in front of our fence.
I found this photo (above) from when we first bought our house. It looked so different! We added the fence (because hello, dogs! kids!) and that really helped define our back yard. And now it looks like this:
You can see our backyard neighbor has a similar set-up with a gate and extra pad in their backyard. There are a few of us that own portions of the cul-de-sac, with only one house in it.
While the cement was still wet, we took the opportunity to make a family hand portrait and I love seeing Polly’s little smooshed hand, and thinking about how resistant Faye was to the task.
Truthfully, I was a little resistant to the parking pad myself at first, but when I saw that we’d be able to keep the trees, I was more open to it. Now, I am SO glad we did it! It’s such a practical addition to our home.
Unlike interior renovations, when you put weeks and lots of money into an exterior project–you still don’t get to enjoy it fully. We’re eager for our plants to grow.
We were told RIGHT NOW is the best time to plant a tree, so if you are thinking about it–do it! Although small, we couldn’t be happier to have these young additions to our yard.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
The next project we’re checking off our 2023 project list is the mudroom! This used to be the laundry room until we built out a much bigger, better laundry room upstairs. So, in the meantime, this space has been exclusively Cricket’s room. Cricket will still have a special space here, but we’re transforming this dingy […]
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