Friday, April 29, 2016

First Impressions

If our house was on Tinder I feel pretty confident that it would get a swipe right.  The entry was cute enough when we bought it, but we've done some things to help it along.
The photo below is a good representation of our starting point.

First off, see this post for detail on how the front patio went from zero to hero.

Let's talk about what needed improvement: stairs were tired concrete, house numbers were so boring and awkwardly placed, exterior light fixture looked like a clearance big-box store find, doorbell was gross, we didn't have a historic preservation plaque like so many homes in the neighborhood do, and our poor weathered front door needed some protection .  

We started with the storm door {see this post for more detail on that} and went from there.  The photo above is just after the storm door was put on last fall, you can see the trim still needed to be repainted and this gives you a really good idea of how distressed the steps looked.

Spring forward and we're looking better!  The light fixture is from Shades of Light, house numbers are from a local store- Plenty Mercantile {but I've also seen them online at Anthrpologie}, and the house plaque was ordered through our neighborhood association.  
The egg garland is from Target, this photo was taken around Easter.  

Above is a before shortly after moving in...below is an after.

I wanted everything arranged vertically to make the entry appear as tall as possible.  
The steps were coated with Behr concrete paint in Slate Gray.  
Much better for now, but I entertain the idea of eventually doing brick steps.

The Natural light the storm door allows to fill the interior entry is so lustrous
{more on the entryway here}. 

Here is a gratuitous photo of Birdie wearing her Easter dress.

This spring/summer I'd like to get outdoor furniture and have the front exterior windows repainted along with the gable area and fascia running.  
Everything will remain the same color, just very much in need of a fresh coat.  

Oh and I'd like a new front door mat, the drab one we have now was left by the previous owners.  
Turns out I'm picky about front door mats and am acting like it's an enormous investment that can never ever be changed again.  

Maybe I'll just stop thinking about it and get one that says "Wipe Your Paws."  
I am a dog person after all.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Oklahoma Dreamin'

If I were to buy a house again there are 2 things that would matter more to me than anything else-- foundation {see this post} and drainage.  Ok and I guess location, although if I were guaranteed a house in the cookie cutter burbs that had no foundation or drainage issued I'd be hard pressed not to take it.  And that's pretty much against my religion.  Anyway, today we're talking drainage.  

The photo above is a good before visual of how far this front area has come.  This patio was the main culprit of our drainage issues.  

You can see how nasty and cracked that tile was not to mention the weird diamond planter that wasn't centered on anything. 

The downspouts were not sufficient, notice how water just pooled on the patio.  We put on gutter extensions but it didn't do much to help.  The patio also wasn't graded correctly which meant water was not being directed away from the house like it should have been.

Last spring was our first spring in the house and these water issues were very much anxiety inducing.  Standing water near your house is not a good thing!!  A whole myriad of problems comes with water. It was also a record spring for Oklahoma in terms on rainfall so we really saw where the problems were.  I knew we had to do something about it before this spring so my stomach wouldn't be in a constant knot every time there was rain in the forecast, because in Oklahoma that's all the time.  

So what did we do to fix it?  Called CityScapes.  CityScapes is our landscaping company and they do a great job.  They suggested ripping up all the tile and putting in a french drain that would take water away from the house and out to the street.  And so it began...

Day 1: nasty cracked tile is gone!  And so is the weird diamond planter.

Day 2: grading begins and the drain is put in  place.  A trench was dug under the beds and out to the street with drain pipe running the entire way.

Downspouts are connected to the new drain.

Day 3: concrete is poured and it all tilts slightly towards the new drain and away from the house on all sides.   Water takes the path of least resistance so into the drain it will go.

Day 4: flagstone is laid.  SOOOOO much prettier than the old hideous tile.

Day 5: flagstone is set and we have a new patio!  Isn't that drain so beautiful?  

Function & Form all rolled into one, now that's my kind of party.

{This post was not sponsored by CityScapes}.
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