Last I left you we were on our way to transforming the jungle of a side yard that is the left side of our home (from the street view) into a cozy outdoor dining nook. More progress to share today!
Here’s a glance at the yard just as this project was breaking ground:
And here’s where we left off after the last post:
Next up for Kevin was digging a terribly long trench that stretched from the existing wall in the back all the way to the front of the house. Talk about back breaking work! The trench ended up at about two feet wide and 40 feet long.
It’s hard to see in that above photo, but just below the pink paper is our neighbor’s existing sidewalk, and the trench drops down into that dark dirt just below. Our neighbors have been awesome during this entire process (they’re wonderful neighbors, seriously the best) and we’ve definitely been invading their space.
And here’s the existing block wall that we’re building off of (though the walls won’t actually touch until the very end and they receive an overlapping final coat of a tan shade of concrete – same color that is there now):
Here’s a close up of the footings which will help hold the rebar (an important part of the internal structure of this wall) in place:
The rebar slips up and over the metal prongs protruding from those concrete blocks.
Finally we brought in a cement truck for a few hours to help fill in that trench with a thick layer of cement. Alternately, Kevin could have mixed the concrete himself and filled the long trench with wheelbarrows full, but we find that Craigslist is a great resource to find a concrete truck that has a couple of extra hours available in between big projects at an inexpensive rate. Kev’s done the whole mixing concrete thing himself (we still have a concrete mixer in the back somewhere) and it’s great for little projects!
To get said concrete into the trench, we also hired a Craigslist subcontractor that handles pumping the cement from the truck directly into the trench (rather than pumping concrete into a wheelbarrow and manually into the trench – which can take many, many round trips!).
Very soon the trench was looking more like this! Kevin and his friend David are carefully leveling and measuring as they go. This newly filled trench will provide the base for the concrete block and it needs to be perfectly flat so that we end up with a nice and straight wall.
Getting there! So very close. Next up is stacking the concrete block and mortaring in place.
Here’s to that stud in the white shirt and khaki shorts that keeps knocking this wall out (or up?) one day at a time.
Tags: Construction, DIY, Home
Posted in Construction, Curb Appeal, DIY, Home, Our Yard, Renovating Adventures | 2 Comments »
A quick update for the dining room to share today. I was perusing Ikea for a few new frames (gotta love Ikea frames) and passed by their art aisle when two illustrations caught my eye.
Such a sweet Ikea surprise! Pretty, organic, nature-inspired art at a great price for a wall I’ve been really struggling with… Ikea, you made my day.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that usually an Ikea staple can be spotted a mile away. RIBBA frames? LACK tables? MASKROS light fixtures? EXPEDIT bookshelves? Good, bad or otherwise this little BILD FJALLSTA (I don’t see that name gaining popularity any time soon) find was totally unexpected! And not very Ikea at all!
I’m a bit of a frame hoarder and I have a special thing for flat, thin frames that I find at Aaron Brothers or from this eBay seller, but lately I’ve been really drawn to these birch beauties from Ikea (Despite the very thick depth. Why, Ikea? Why the 2″ depth? Makes creating a gallery wall just a teensy bit more difficult).
Here’s a little reminder of the other side of the room and how it’s progressing.
Still need to modify that bench to a dining height and to give it a little fabric makeover…
My favorite new addition during this start-from-scratch space might just be those bed spread curtains that still make me smile when I walk in from the kitchen. A couple of folks have mentioned lining them which is definitely an idea I’ve pondered.
See? The birch in the frame fits in so well!
The room continues to move along! Still on the to-do list: continue to fill up the wall near the new Ikea art (large, leaning mirror? over-sized b&w of Liv?, painting?), find a fun fabric to create a table runner, redo the bench (legs and upholstery), new dining room chairs?
You can start from the beginning or jump in on any of the dining room posts here: bench makeover ideas, choosing a rug, curtain call part 3,curtain call part 2, curtain call part 1, newly styled bookshelves, a buffet-over,upgrading the lighting, the before.
Tags: Art, Artwork, Decorating, Dining Room, Home
Posted in Home, Our Dining Room, Renovating Adventures | 4 Comments »
And we’re back! Something buggy was going on with WP that wouldn’t allow me to post yesterday, but she’s up and running again .
Time for another catch-up on our curb appeal project for this summer. Our home painting process is moving along slowwwlllyyy… but there is one project around the house that is gaining quite a bit of momentum and that’s the makeover of our side yard (home of a future deck + outdoor dining area! I’m picturing a big farm house table, mismatched flea market chairs and beautiful Moroccan lanterns…).
Before the deck can be built, the brush must be cleared and a block wall is on our to-do list to separate our yard from the neighbors (and to provide a little privacy for above said awesome dining space).
There’s our little side yard from the front of the house, and from the back:
But don’t let that narrow corridor fool you! It’s actually a pretty decent sized space over there.
It’s also quite the jungle…
One. serious. jungle.
I wasn’t sure he’d find his way out, but after hours of pruning and snipping he did – thank goodness.
Dang, look at all of that available room! Now I can begin to picture that great outdoor dining area with plenty of fun lighting hanging from above.
Next up, a wall! and then a deck! and then finally relaxing and fun dinners outside in this beautiful San Diego weather. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.
More outdoor projects can be found right here.
Tags: DIY, Home
Posted in Curb Appeal, Our Yard, Renovating Adventures | 1 Comment »