Deuce Cities Henhouse

The Sunroom – It’s Done.

Minneapolis Sunporch in Navy and Coral
Guys! I did it! I finally pulled the sunroom together, and I think it looks pretty awesome! After living in our house for four years it finally feels like we are starting to put our stamp on the spaces in our home. The sunroom was the latest such adventure.

Decorating a home is a very slow process, though super rewarding and satisfying. Much of the first four years have been spent putting things together and giving the home a vibe that read ‘us’. We’ve spent a little money, but overall have been pretty frugal when it comes to decorating. The bulk of our money has been spent on projects that had a big pay off, like painting the house.

Now it feels like we are entering the next stage of living in a home (the second layer, if you will) where we can start to dig into the details of each space to make sure it truly represents us aesthetically, consistently and cohesively. We’ve been able to really get used to our spaces over the years. We know how they currently function and how we would like them to actually function. Some spaces still need improving and tweaking. Our bedroom for example, still consists of college furniture and a mattress on a bed frame – it looks ‘pretty’ but still needs a lot of work. We are now ready to dive in a little deeper and begin to make rooms functional and decorate them with purpose. I’m excited to be able to start focusing our decor dollars, and I think the sunroom makeover are the beginnings steps of addressing that second layer – four years deep.

Sunroom Before
Our porch wasn’t bad before, it really wasn’t. I thought it was cute and cozy, but it still didn’t function very well and because of that we barely used it. It’s a really good example of that first layer of decorating — pulling random furniture together with a few repeating design elements to try and make a cohesive look. Although it photographs nicely, it didn’t feel as comfortable in real life and because of that we rarely used this potentially super cool room. These are the limitations a lot of people encounter when trying to furnish and pull together a home; most of us are not made of money and these compromises have to be made.

The sofa was re-covered in an old curtain that I attached using pins. I know, that is a dumb idea, but I was grasping for a solution that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. As a result of this pinned approach, the kids wouldn’t go anywhere near the sofa for fear of getting poked. The cushions were constantly slipping off it as well. The rug had been floating around with us for the last eight years or so and was a green dusty mess on the verge of falling apart. The vintage end table/turntable was cool, but was constantly shorting out and shocking us. We tied the room together with vintage crocheted items which, although cute,  didn’t really reflect us or our style.

That’s another thing. I think my tastes are changing a bit. I used to be so dedicated to mid-century furniture pieces, kitschy vintage stuff, and bright pops of saturated color. After experimenting with my interior style for years I think I can finally begin to define it with a few simple elements. Neutral backgrounds, black and white graphic accents, a combination of mid-century and modern furniture pieces accented by a few well-curated vintage favorites. Also, I love almost any shade of blue (even though green is my favorite color), brass is always good, and coral and yellow accents get me every time. Oh, and please don’t forget the plants.

It’s weird how these transitions happen. I feel like all of the apartments and rental houses that I have lived in and decorated have just been practice for this house, and somehow even this house is still practice for this house. I guess I am realizing that my design sensibilities are always changing, as they should, I suppose – I guess that means endless makeovers, right?

I think between the kitchen makeover earlier this fall and the new sunroom look, I have finally found a style that really just feels like us, and I am excited to see where this new awareness takes me throughout the rest of the house.

Enough with me blabbing, let me show you guys the rest of this room.

Modern Sunroom with Black and White Accents
I’ve mentioned to you before that the room is pretty small, approximately 7 x 11 feet. The floor slopes down, as sometime over the last 100 years this space was an open air porch. Trying to lay out furniture in a room with a sloping floor is really tough, especially when the windows are all square. I mean, I’m glad the windows are square and level but it just gives the eye something to compare the sloping floor to constantly. It could drive an obsessive person like myself almost crazy. My solution was to position the sofa on the level side of the porch, and then add shallow shelves and a “fauxdenza” on the perpendicular sloping walls under the windows to create a level space for my eye  (and my cocktails) to rest. Functionality is key in a small space, and the shelves and fauxdenza allow us space to set our plants, a television and a couple of lamps. Plus it lets us store stuff in the cabinets. Adding these shelves was the solution. There was no other way to do this and I’m glad after four years I finally figured it out.

Low Shelf Doubles as Workspace
The shallow shelving is just deep enough to use as a workspace. I have fallen so in love with this room, I plan on working and blogging from here in the future. It’s peaceful, bright and inspiring and my new favorite place in the house. I would be crazy not to hang out in this porch all of the time, see ya later kids.

Ledge above Window
My friend Nicole had the fantastic idea of adding pre-fab ledges above the windows on these sloping walls as well. This was such a great solution because it covered up some damage that had happened to the embossed tiles due to some bad curtain rod installation (not my fault). I caulked the ledges and painting them and they look almost built-in to the space now.

Caulk, you guys (that’s what she said). I got comfortable with using it when I was fixing up the kitchen, and now I want to caulk everything. This room was riddled with gaps between the windows and trim, the clap boards, and the panelling. What would this room be without caulk?  Caulk is just another dimension of the second layer of homeownership. I must caulk all things, trim, windows, bathrooms, everything!  It will be caulked, oh yes, it will be caulked. Ha.

On both the ends of the porch I installed simple Enje roller shades from Ikea. I love the way they diffuse the light and block out the neighbors. You might have noticed my new bit of motivational artwork with the eff bomb in it too. After all the stress and anxiety over the last weeks, this highly inspirational phrase has become my new motto. Very crucial to the vibe of sunroom.

Sunporch Plant Shelf

Fauxdenza with Brass Pulls in the Sunroom
Awh, there it is! That pretty little fauxdenza that I love so much. If you aren’t familiar with the concept of the fauxdenza, it’s basically taking a set of Ikea kitchen cabinets, floating them 6 – 12 inches off the ground and adding some sort of top to make it feel like a floating credenza. Genius. What bettter solution for furniture in a sloping room then a fauxdenza? I love it so GD much. I didn’t get fancy with a top, just a simple piece of pine board. The pulls are standard Ikea pulls spray painted gold to compliment the other brass bits spread throughout the room. The pulls weren’t a big investment, so if I fall out of love with brass or faux brass (as it were) down the road it will be easy to swap out.

In planning the space I did something that I don’t normally do. I began brainstorming what I wanted this room to be and even created a word cloud. Yes that’s right, a mother effing word cloud. Wow, me, you are so old and boring! It had been on my to-do list forever to be brave and reupholster the sofa by myself. I knew I had to do that. I couldn’t let myself down. It was a goal, dammit. What I didn’t know was how the rest of the room would fall into place, thus the need for the word cloud to bring some clarity to the planning process.  No matter how totally nerdy it is,  I do think the motivational brainstorming helped me focus on a vision. After paging through my notebooks the other day I came across said list, which is below. At least it doesn’t include lame emotional words like “luxuriating” or something. It’s more practical than that, which is cool and not lame…right?

Brainstorming
- Light – Bright – Black – White – Vintage – Brass – Plants – Soft Texture – Graphic Pattern – Modern – Navy Sofa -

 

Light Fixture and Ceiling Tile
I replaced the flush-mounted ceiling fixture with this beauty from Ikea. I wasn’t convinced at first, but the price was right and it grew on me over time. Sometimes it seems like compromises have to be made when spiffing up old homes. No one makes beautiful low profile, inexpensive, flush mounted ceiling fixtures for not-so-tall spaces. Ikea had something that seemed like it would work, but I wasn’t sure of the look. I took a chance, installed it, and now I kinda love it a little bit.

Navy Crosley Turntable and Guava Torres Rug
The rug is, by far, the thing that I didn’t expect from this room. It is definitely not mentioned in the cool word cloud. As I began my decor journey (yes, it was a journey) I spent a lot of time in the space, listening to the room, and getting a vibe for what it wanted to be, man. It was coming together but it needed something. I had been crushing on navy and coral for awhile and thought that might just be the thing, but I didn’t know how to incorporate it. Adding a coral pillow to the navy sofa seemed obvious, but felt like it would be too much of one color in one specific place. A pretty coral pillow on the side chair may have worked, but I couldn’t find anything that I loved. Then by chance I saw this rug. Maybe it is a little crazy to put an intensely patterned coral pink rug on the floor in my porch, but I really like it. And that’s just the way it is, guys.

Also, we got a new portable turntable! Okay, so maybe my audiophile dad might not approve of this overly expensive, cheaply-made little guy, but it suits us just fine and we can move it easily between the front porch and the sunroom. The turntable comes in navy, duh, you guys, just duh.

Cozy Four Season Sunroom with Fauxdenza and Navy Sofa
This whole room started with a sofa that needed badly to be reupholstered. I don’t know why I was so timid about rising to the reupholstery challenge, but I was. Sewing machines irrationally scare me, but I got a bit of courage, had a few of you friends give me some sage advice and I went ahead and took on sewing two long box cushions in thick navy upholstery fabric. Now look at where this little adventure has taken me – I have a whole new room that I love so much because I took a risk. When did I get so sappy, you guys? Anyway, it’s just another thing that will make me love this house more and more. I can’t mention it enough, (because then I would sound so uncool) but this has been such a rewarding trip for me.

Sunroom Before
In preparing for this post I became curious about the brass and copper parrot I’ve been toting around for the last eight years or so. It was given as a somewhat ironic birthday gift (hey it was the early oughts, irony was abound) from a friend. I always liked it, so I kept it around. I started googling brass parrots and quickly learned that this little guy is not an ironic thrift store find given to girls on their 24th birthday, but instead a piece by Mexican artist Sergio Bustamante, and it’s valued at a G or two. It’s like Antiques Road Show all up in here.  Thanks for the cool gift, old friends, you know who you are.

Black and White Accents and Lots of Greenery
All photos by Alison Allen, all styling by Nicole Ripplinger of Middle North Creative

The Budget & Source List

▽ 1 Gallon Behr Paint mixed to Farrow & Ball, All White – $31.99
▽ 1 Gallon Behr Paint mixed to Farrow & Ball, Wimborne White – $31.99
▽ Fauxdenza Materials and Supplies from Ikea – $157.96
Arod Ikea Work Lamp – $39.99
Desk Lamp from Target – $15.99
▽ Sofa Reupholstery Supplies – $282.05
Torres Kilim Rug in Guava from West Elm – $244.00
▽ Black and White Throw (vilmie rund throw) from Ikea – Free
Color Blocked Basket from Target – $24.99
Nate Berkus Vase from Target – $10.00
Basket Planter from Ikea – $29.99
Small White Planter with pattern from Ikea – $1.99
Bookhou Planter Sleeve – $25.00
Crosley Turntable Navy – $160
Flush Mounted Ceiling Fixture from Ikea – $39.99
Enje Roller Shades from Ikea – 4 @ $17.99


Total = $1,095.93

 

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in Around the House, Porch

My Tyte Jeff

Tyte Jeff
I’m sharing a post today that has nothing to do with my home, decor or design. It has nothing to do with why you guys typically visit me – and I hope that’s cool. Today I just had to take a sec to say how proud I am of my guy, Jeff (aka Tyte Jeff, aka Tyte Waff, aka Nedrick Lamar, Top Rapper). Today he is releasing his new EP TYTE JEFF.

Making music has always been apart of Jeff’s life. We met at the battle of the bands way back in 1998, my band Hardnox was battling his band The Killer Bees, it was true love, you guys. Ever since then I have always known Jeff to have a guitar in his hands (sometimes that gets annoying) and a fire in his heart.

When we had those (GD (J/K)) kids a lot of our personal ambitions were put on hold to make sure that those people got fed, were put to bed at a decent hour, and were well loved. Jeff has spent years working on this EP, putting bits and pieces of it together when time allowed (aka when those kids didn’t need something). Feeling an urgency to finally get this thing wrapped up, he has spent the last 18 months recording the jamz, fine tuning the mix, making a band and playing shows. Today is the day that he is finally releasing this most amazing six song EP.

I think the music is rocking, man, and the lyrics are just so good. As his wife, I am so proud of what he has made, and beyond happy that my partner has such great ambition in life. You should take a sec to listen to these tytest of jamz. You can stream TYTE JEFF below via sound cloud, listen to it on spotify or download it at the itunes store.


If you are local, perhaps the TYTEST way to hear the jams is to come out to the Turf Club, this Saturday April 19th in St. Paul, MN for the release show! Tyte Jeff will also be playing with the incredible Valet and The Ronnie Buxtons (ex Lifter Puller). Doors at 8PM. Hope to see some of you there!

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in Cool Things, Mix Tape, My Life

Signs of Spring

Impatiens and Petunias from Seed
Yes! You, guys! It finally feels like spring around here! I know some of you guys in other parts of the country and world have been experiencing spring for weeks already. Not us, but in Minnesota it could always be worse. We still have a few colder days ahead of us, but it’s warmed up enough to melt all the snow and even a few buds are starting to appear on the trees and bushes. I have been scouring my gardens daily for signs of life and am finally starting to see little glimpse. It’s all so exciting, I can’t even stand it!

Finn and I planted a few seeds in early March, I was going to write a post about it, but you know, my computer died and all that stuff. Now that it’s early April we have some tiny little plants in our seed pots. We tried something totally new this year. Instead of sowing veggies or zinnias from seed, which were never able to pull off the transition from seed pot to garden, we are trying to grow impatiens and petunias! This is something that I would typically buy a flat of from the garden center. I figured it was at least worth a try to grow them on my own, especially since impatiens grow quickly and are pretty hardy. I have to say, I’m super impressed with the impatiens. We used a tray system from park seed and the seeds are doing really well. I’ve had difficulty with other seed domes in the past, but this one is really heavy duty and self-watering (yeah-yer). In another month I would imagine that they will be similar in size of nursery plants and probably ready to go straight into the gardens and containers. The benefit was that I was able to purchase impatiens that were more sun tolerant – this is not always an option you can get at the nursery. The petunias on the other hand are still a little scrawny, but I’m not giving up on them yet. “Hang in there little guys!”

Restoring Weather Worn Wood Patio Furniture
I spent almost the entire day yesterday out in my garden. I’m on a mission to clean up all my gardens, edge borders and get the patio furniture cleaned up for this years backyard season.

Last year I discovered a way to really give life back to my wood patio furniture. I repeated the whole process this year too, with great results. I recommend trying this method if you have patio furniture that has seen better days. I am determined to keep this furniture looking good until some future date when maybe we build a deck.

Fiddle Leaf Fig
Look! Both of my fiddle leaf figs are starting to get new growth! I am so excited to see how they evolve over the next few months. Last year my first fig grew at least 18″ if not two feet over the course of one summer. This is what it looked like at then end of last February.

How to Hang Party Lights
It’s party light season! I totally love our party lights in a major way. Last year I strung the lights up using wire for a semi-permanent solution. I say semi permanent because they aren’t hard wired, but they are nicely secured over our backyard. Over the winter we had an ice/sleet storm and the weight of the ice took the lights down. Thankfully they landed in a soft bed of snow, it appears that the hook had popped out of the house. This year we will use a bigger hook and will be making sure it’s very well anchored.

Party lights transform our backyard during the evening into a really cool space. I’d like to use words like magical and whimsical to describe it, but I that just sounds a little dumb, mostly it is just awesome. I am really looking forward to spending many nights in the backyard – at least until the mosquitos begin to breed.

How to Make Macrame Lawn Chairs
I’m upping the macrame lawn chair game this year. I’ve got a few new ones in the works. I am documenting the whole process and will be putting together a new and improved tutorial with photos and videos. I should have that ready to share with you guys later this spring. Until then, you can give this vid a try if you really need to get your macrame on.

I am so excited, I hope you are too. I can’t wait to share spring and summer posts with you guys! Everyone, have a great weekend!

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in Awesomeness

4 Year Recap – Part 5

Bedroom – 2010


Yo, Buddies! Here I am with the last installment of the four year recap. I hope I’m not driving you guys crazy with this, but it’s fun for me to look back at the progress, and I hope it might be for you too. Sorry if I went a little overboard.

Today I am sharing you the progress of our master bedroom, the sunroom and the front porch.

The photo above is our bedroom minutes after we moved in, as you can see not a lot had been done to the space. The honest truth is that it sat like this for quite some time, probably a year. We were so busy trying to get our living areas “put together” that we really couldn’t focus on the bedroom. I say “put together” in quotations because really it took years to get a cohesive look in our living areas, and most likely will always be evolving.

The bedroom is large, which is awesome for us and was a definite must when house hunting. However, the doorway that opens into the bedroom divides the bedroom into two parts. On one side we have our bed, nightstands and tv, and on the other, we have a dresser, closet and sitting area. The doorway from the hallway sits directly across from the sunroom (the sunroom is connected to our master bedroom), basically creating an invisible pathway between the two.

What I’m trying to tell you guys, is that the room is big – which is great, and cool, and awesome and all, but it has also been very hard to pull together because it consists of three separate parts all existing in the same space.
 

Bedroom – 2014


Here is the bedroom as it sits now in 2014. Although it’s looking okay, it still needs a lot of work and I will be revisiting it sometime in the not so distant future. I’m excited to make this bedroom really feel like an adult bedroom. We have never had an actual grown up bed. For some reason my kids have a cool bed, but we do not. What gives? Would it be asking too much to have some nice furniture? This room has basically been furnished with leftover furniture scraps. I would love to have a bedroom with furniture that was purchased with a bit of thought and intention.
 

Bedroom – 2010


Here’s that “other side” of the room. I hope the proceeding photos can kind of give you a feel for how it’s changed over the years. This photo is from the real estate listing. The doorway on the left is the one that leads to the hallway, the other is the closet.
 

Bedroom – 2011


In 2011 I tried to do a no cost update by shopping my home, grabbing what I could, and trying to give this space some sort of “look.” The common thread was color, and I tried to incorporate as much green, yellow, grey and white into the mix to compliment the baby blue walls.
 

Bedroom – 2012


In 2012 I had had it with the blue paint! I painted the trim and walls white, adding a black accent wall (seen in the next photo). We added shelving along the black wall for all of our books, which at the time were still sitting in boxes two years after moving in.
 

Bedroom – 2012


Here’s the black bookshelf wall. There are two things I want to highlight about this wall.

First of all, I think I am over the open shelving and would consider adding a fauxdenza on this wall in the future. I love my sunroom Fauxdenza so much, and I think a version of that would looks so great in here.

Secondly, did you notice the cheap 70′s panelling? It might be hard to see in this photo because the wall is painted black. I want you to notice it though. Look closely, do you see it? The wall behind the bookshelf is all panelling and there is a werid bump out in the one corner. The question is, “Why?” I have my suspicions.

The weird bump out in the corner is completely hollow, except for the very top, where it sounds like I’m thumping on a metal box — maybe it’s a secret time capsule? We have radiators, so it couldn’t be duct work, and I’ve taken a peek in the attic but there is nothing to there to give reference to what this supposed metal box might be.

The wall directly behind the bookshelves has some hollow spaces too, and I am wondering if there might be a hidden window behind there covered up years ago. There is absolutely no windows in our bedroom, only the windows in the sunroom. It seems strange that the home would have been designed with the sunroom windows as the only natural light source. Have any guesses as to what it might be hiding?
 

Sunroom – 2010


Onto the sunroom. If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, you already know this is my latest work in progress. Here’s what it was looking like before we moved in. The previous owners furnished it with some large pieces, but I couldn’t help loving it. There was so much potential for it to be an amazing space.
 

Sunroom – 2011


During our first year we made some snap decision furniture purchases. We needed seating and didn’t have a budget for anything major. One of the items we bought on craigslist was this petite mid century sofa – it wasn’t a beauty, but it had some nice lines. I always figured I’d reupholster it, which I just did recently!
 

Sunroom – 2011


We also picked up this orange swivel chair. For some strange reason I really love this funny chair, but it just doesn’t go with anything in our house. I think a future reupholstery job might be in order. We also purchased a small vintage record player which warbled and shocked us often. It was all a good attempt at making our sunroom a cool place to hang out, but sadly it wasn’t enough to entice us.
 

Sunroom – 2012


Another year down the road and in a fit of frustration I temporarily covered the sofa in old curtains (you can see it in the corner of the above photo). We also rearranged moving the sofa to the far wall – a very good idea if you ask me. The sunroom was getting slightly better, but was still having a rough time finding it’s identity. On top of it all it needed lots of love, the trim and windows had seen better days.
 

Sunroom – 2014


You guys, here is the sunroom as of two weeks ago, and it’s even better now! I’m not going to dive into what I did in this room because I’m planning on sharing all the details in a post next week. I can’t wait to let you in on it!
 

Front Porch – 2010


We are lucky enough to have a porch on the front of our house. It is without a doubt our favorite spot in the whole house, if not the whole world. We haven’t even done that much to it really, it’s all about a state of mind, man. For real though, there is seriously nothing better than a spending a sunny Sunday afternoon on the porch, sipping champagne and listening to records while the kids across the street have epic lightsaber battles.
 

Front Porch – 2011


I have no idea why it took so long for us to paint this room, but it did. We debated between a light yellow and a light blue paint color. All we wanted was something light and airy with a bit of color. We went with the blue, and at 8 months pregnant we painted the room trying to get it done in time before the babe arrived.

Furniture placement should be the main theme of the entire recap. It’s the consistent problem I’ve had in nearly every room of the house. I think it takes a lot of living to figure out the best way for a room to function, and a decent amount of cash to furnish them accordingly. It’s no surprise that it took us four years to figure this out in so many of our spaces.

The porch has had it’s struggles with furniture too. Like the bedroom, the porch is separated by a doorway splitting the room into two parts.
 

Front Porch – 2013


Last year we inherited the old sofa from the living room when we bought our new living room sofa. We banished the white wicker sofa to the garage and made a small budget for ourselves to accessorize the space with. Obsessed with our friends northern Minnesota lake place, we decided to claim Urban Cabin™ as our style in the front porch.
 

Front Porch – 2011


Back to 2011 – here is the other side of the porch. I had four Saarinen style chairs that I had been given, I struggled trying to incorporate them into the space and attempted to make a seating area in this corner.
 

Front Porch – 2013


In 2013 I wised up and realized that those chair should be sitting around a table, duh, me! I snatched up round Ikea Docksta table on craigslist for cheap. The table worked! We ate out here almost every day last summer, and I totally love the functionality of this side of the front porch.
 

Front Porch – 2013


Although the front porch is slowly coming together, I still have big ideas and grand plans. Did you happen to notice the brown carpet? Yeah, that needs to go. The carpet is glued on to concrete, I plan on removing it and tiling someday. The table side of the porch has settled over the last 100 years, the concrete needs to be leveled out before we can think about tiling. I saw a self leveling concrete product used on a recent episode of This Old House and I thought it might work perfectly for this problem. More research is needed. I also have plans to paint all the trim matching it to the trim on the exterior of the house. There’s so much trim though! Geez, I know it will take me forever to get to that project, and I will probably avoid it for a very long time.

I love my old home because there is always another project to work on, the house will always need love and maintenance and I am the one who has the honor of doing it. I hope when I’m an old, old lady I can pass this home off to the next set of owners feeling proud of how far its come.

So that’s the recap, I hope you guys enjoyed it.

Find Parts 1-4 of the Recap Here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

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in Around the House, My House

Fence Plans

Plans to extend the fence
Hey, Guys! I have to say it’s feeling a lot more like spring around here. We finally had some nice warm sunny days. The eight inches of snow we had acquired last Thursday is nearly gone. I can see grass, finally! All these signs of spring mean one thing to us Allens, the new horizontal slatted fence will be getting installed soon, I am so excited.

I posted some fence inspiration a few months ago, and shared with you guys that we were dead-set on getting a new fence this summer. At that point we had just started talking about what we wanted, but hadn’t met with any actual real life contractors or made any real decisions. Since then we have come up with a full plan for our yard and have hired Fencein Deck to build us a really great horizontal slatted fence.

Fencein Deck seemed like a good fit for us. They are a very friendly team, they use quality products, and most importantly, they let me customize the crap out of a new fence. Our friends Nicole and Ripp used them last year for their new fence and couldn’t recommend them enough, it was an easy choice for us. BTW – Nicole and Ripp have a horizontal fence and it looks awesome.

We had a lot of concerns going into this whole fence thing. For one, here in Minnesota you have to have “the pretty” side of the fence face outwards, the posts need to be on the interior side of the fence. I understand why this is a rule, you don’t want to piss off your neighbors. But, selfishly it is kind of a bummer. Our fence guy had a plan though, this wasn’t his first rodeo. He is going to mill channels in the center of the posts – this will allow him to slide the horizontal slats right into the posts. It will be exactly the same fence from the exterior and interior. The posts will be placed six feet apart instead of the usual eight to ten. The shorter distance between posts will prevent the horizontal boards from sagging and warping. Yay for practical solutions!

The best news is that we are extending our yard! We have a concrete parking pad next to our two car garage. We don’t ever use it, it just sits empty all year long. We have decided to extend the fence to enclose the parking space thus creating a play area for the kids. Soon they will be able to ride their bikes, bounce balls, draw with chalk, and play with trucks back on the repurposed parking pad. You might have noticed in the drawings that we aren’t extending the fence the full length of the garage. The reason is simple, we needed to save a little room to have space to pile snow in the winter months.

I have no idea how this concrete slab will function in the future, but while the kids are young it will be good for them to have a safe space to play. We are enclosing the parking pad with two large gates. The gates will meet in the center of the pad and will open inward. We have allowed ourselves to have options for how the space function further on down the road. It is highly likely that one day the kids will be teens, and they probably won’t give two craps about having a space to ride their big wheels. In the future we could remove the concrete and add more lawn space to our yard, we could keep the concrete, build a pergola and make ourselves a new patio, or we could make it back into a parking space. Who knows what it will be, I’m just glad it’s getting fenced in and is increasing our useable outdoor space!

Horizontal Fence Plans
We have a rental property on the north side of our house (the left side on the above drawings). Because of the ever changing neighbors, we are going to build a six foot fence on that side of the yard. Most importantly I wanted our privacy fence not to make us feel like we were prisoners in our own backyard. I wanted the fence to feel open, airy and pretty. I was able to design my own fence accommodating those needs. The fence is made up a simple alternating pattern consisting of boards and spaces of varying sizes. The slats have spaces of 1” and 1.5”. The boards range in size from 3-6”. When it’s all said and done the fence will look really pretty and be a nice backdrop for the garden.

The south side of our yard will remain a four foot fence. The fence will be identical to the lower part of the 6 foot fence. Our neighbor to the south is also getting in on the fence action, together we will be fencing off the alley side of the yard with six foot gates (this is by the parking pad). He will continue the gates, fencing in the space between the corner of our fence and the edge of his garage. This is mainly for security. We want to keep all the riff raff out, and the kids in.

We signed up with Fencein Deck early in the “fence season”. Because of that we are on the top of the fence list! I really wanted the fence to be installed before any of the perennials got to be too big. We should be having our fence installed sometime in the next week or two depending on how fast the ground thaws. I am really excited, and can’t wait to share more as we get closer. Spring is real, you guys!

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