We’re selling this bad boy on Craigslist. It’s not quite ReAbide material in it’s current state; we had planned to reupholster it but we need to make some room so we’re unloading it as is. It has a few rips that are not extremely noticeable, though it would be happier in a new upholstery outfit. Check out the ad on Nashville craigslist here and contact us if you’re interested. (The pictures there are a bit dark. Jason took them with his phone late at night.)
Almost 2 years ago, Jason and I built a modern horizontal plank wood fence at our previous house to enclose our back garden. We used the same technique to build this fence and gate to make the fourth “wall” of our courtyard. There were two major differences. 1. We only had a 12′ spanse to build. 2. We had concrete walls on both sides.
There was only 1 post hole to dig. Hooray! Jason used our trusty old post hole digger. (Jason and that post hole digger have made holes for 2 fences prior to this!) We were only making our fence 4-4.5′ tall so we used a 6′ 4×4 pressure-treated post. The post hole should be 2′ deep.
After making sure it was level, we added a few braces to keep it in place before adding the dry concrete mix and water into the post hole. Jason also added a little concrete mix and water under the post.
Next we attached two 2x4s to the side of the house. The bottom piece was going into the concrete block foundation of the house.
Drilling screws into concrete is not easy! We used these pretty blue concrete screws.
Jason pre-drilled the holes for the screws. He opted to drill into the mortar to make it a little bit easier.
Once that was secure, Jason added a second, longer 2×4 along the house. This one should have been easier because it was only going through wood (the hardibacker siding, the corner beam in our garage and the shorter 2×4 below. We borrowed this powerful hammer drill from a friend (necessary for drilling into concrete) and it was so powerful it stripped our drill bits and one of the outdoor screw heads. It seems like there is always something that goes awry on a project like this. Thankfully, he was finally able to get it secured to the house with a combination of this drill, every star drill bit we own and our wimpy Ryobi drill. The screw that was stripped was cut off with a hack saw.
Another 2×4 was attached to the concrete block wall of the courtyard. Everything went smoothly with this one so I didn’t have time to take any photos.
I don’t know if it’s the correct carpentry term but we call the horizontal boards planks (as opposed to pickets on a vertical fence) and to differentiate between posts and planks. Adding the planks went every quickly since we’ve done this part many times before. We started at the bottom, putting the plank as close to the ground as possible and leveling it.
We used 8′ untreated 1x4s. (Our last fence we used 1×3 ferring strips.) They’re cheap…around $1.20 a piece at Lowes. (Side note: in our experience Lowes has much better quality wood than Home Depot.) Jason used a nail gun to put four nails into each plank at the 4×4 post end and 3 nails into each plank at the 2×4 end. We work together doing this part and it moves rhythmically:
I position the plank into place.
Jason places the spacer between the planks.
Jason fires the nails into place.
I position the spacer at the other end of the plank.
Jason fires the nails into place.
Jason removes the spacer.
15x in this instance.
Anything sturdy and square can be used as a spacer. Since it was a fairly common question about our last fence project, I made a point of taking a picture. We used a plastic grout sample that was left at our house after construction. We have a bunch of them and it was quite convenient to have two so we could leave one at each end of the fence. They provided a gap of about 1/4″. It’s hard to see in the picture below because it’s brown…
We added another vertical 2×4 on the back side of the fence to keep the planks straighter. This 2×4 post is pressure treated but we didn’t put it into the ground. It’s only helping to keep the planks straight, not supporting the weight of the fence.We used the spacer again to make sure the gap between the planks was consistant. They’re often slightly bowed so we pushed and pulled to get them as straight as possible before nailing. Where the gap was too small, we used a pry bar to move the planks apart enough to fit the spacer.
Let’s step back and admire our work for a second. Ahh…
Because we used 8′ planks, we made sure the space between the posts was slightly less than 8′. (If you’re building a fence with more than two posts, check out what we did here…I even have diagrams.)
We wanted the planks to be flush with the 4×4 post and we made a chalk line where they needed to be cut.
Jason used his circular saw for this. It’s a bit awkward, especially close to the ground. There may be a better way but this works for us.
I always insist on the safety glasses. I like how Jason tucks his pencil into his hat.
I didn’t do a very good job documenting the gate building process. (We started this project after Ali went down for her nap around 1pm on a Saturday and at this point 3 hours later, she was awake so she could “help” us.) We built a frame out of 2x4s just a bit (maybe 1″ both way) smaller than the opening for the gate. The extra 2x4s down the middle and diagonally (that I didn’t photograph here) help the gate stay square. We attached planks in the same way as the fence – starting first with the outside ends, using the spacer, and then the middle post, also using the spacer, using a pry bar as needed.
Once it was hung, I took a picture of the back side so you can see the two diagonal pieces of 2×4 we added. I’m sure there is a simple way to calculate those angles and cut them but we had a heck of a time and ended up just experimenting until we got some angles that worked. It was pretty amusing! Jason hung the gate with three hinges while I was inside with Ali so I didn’t get a picture of that process. How he did that himself, I have no idea!
He quickly stained the fence using deck stainer and sealer while Ali and I were having a snack. Just before dark, it was finished. Time to go out for dinner!
A couple days later, I took some finished pictures.
A hook and eye (attached to the house) hold the gate open.
A hinge door stopper (the same kind we used inside) keeps the gate from hitting the side of the house.
I love how the fence and gate make our courtyard feel so cozy and private. We can sit out here with the toddler and the dog and not have to worry about either wandering out toward the street. This is quickly becoming one of our favorite spots for lunch alfresco, afternoon tea, blowing bubbles for Ali, and evening chats. It’s going to be even more wonderful once the landscaping matures.
Modern Wood Fence —Finished! (at our previous house)
Enclosed Courtyard (intro to this post, including some before pictures.)
Jason and I built this birdhouse a few years ago. It used to hang from a dogwood tree in the back garden at our last home. We didn’t realize at the time that it had a major design flaw: it couldn’t be opened to clean it out. Apparently birds like to move in, build an intricate nest, and then move out. Eventually the bottom boards started to get loose so I decided to give it a little TLC a couple weeks ago. I took the bottom two pieces of 1×4 off and reattached them with hinges and a brace that can be unscrewed when I’m ready to clean it out again. I also added a little perch under the front door. All of these were just bits and pieces we had in the tool box. I was planning to hang it up in a tree but I wasn’t happy with how much it moved when the wind blew. I ended up nestling it in this bush along our back chain link fence.
It was important to me that it was located where I could watch it from the living room. One morning while I was having a cup of tea, I spotted some little birds hopping around near the house and then one went it! I was so thrilled. There were two of these little birds and they ended filling it with twigs and making a nest.
I’m glad I made it openable because these cute little birds have already moved on. This ugly black bird decided to investigate but passed. Either he was too big or unhappy that the previous tenants moved out and left all their furniture inside. I guess I need to do a little more Spring cleaning.
Welcome to Jason’s office, music room and home studio.
Disclaimer: I try to avoid touching anything in this room so this is completely AS-IS not staged while Jason was out on the tour.
We both love this picture of Alianna on her adoption day.
The portrait above is Jason’s great-grandfather Carl. We just called him “Grandpa Carl” for short. We love this photo of him. You can read more about him here.
This closet is actually a recording booth with an angled wall. It has it’s own air intake, fan, light and solid door. The ceiling in this room is also sloped/vaulted like most of the other rooms in our house. All of those angles have something to do with listening to and/or recording music. Jason’s considering putting a cushion above the recording booth and making a little loft hangout.
FYI, our architect is Ryan Thewes.
This is the only room in the house without any windows (aside from closets) making it an excellent safe room for tornado warnings. It also makes it harder to photograph. I was using a wide angle lens that I think it not very good quality…or else I just don’t know how to use it very well. Anyhow, sorry about the poor quality photos. This room needs some art. And a shower curtain. And new towels. It’s not very done. I’m not sure why I’m giving a tour of it at all…
FYI, our architect is Ryan Thewes.
One of our loftier wish list items for our dream house was an outdoor “room,” like a courtyard or atrium. Our architect surprised us with a courtyard was the front entrance to our home. To save money toward the end of construction, we decided we would add the fence and gate to enclose the fourth wall on our own. We finally had a beautiful weekend and time to do a quick project together. Jason and I used the same technique as the modern wood fence we built at our last house. Without the fourth wall, it didn’t really feel like much of a courtyard at all.
Now it feel more complete!
We’ve got our own private retreat. This is quickly becoming our favorite spot for lunch and afternoon popsicles. As it gets warmer, I’ll probably start spending my morning time with God out here, sipping a cup of tea.
I’ll do a follow up to this post with pictures of our process, as soon as I get around to editing all the photos.
At our last house Jason and I built and tiled a custom 4′x5′ shower with two shower heads for our master bathroom, inspired by the house in Costa Rica we stayed at for my sister and brother-in-law’s wedding. It was huge! Our architect was determined to make sure our new master bathroom was not a downgrade so this one is even bigger. And the best part about it is that we have enough water pressure in this house to use two shower heads at the same time…although the hot water does run out a lot faster. It’s awesome in a private locker room kind of way. I like to joke with Jason that when we’re old we’ll be able to hobble our walkers right in here.
The pretty orchid was a housewarming gift from the couple across the street.
I love the natural light that pours into this room and especially the shower. I have bad vision without my glasses on and natural light in the shower helps me see. Notice that no electric lights are turned on in any of these pictures. It’s that bright, even on a cloudy day.
Sources can be found on this post I did about our master bathroom plan. The only change is the towels and bathmat, which we ended up getting from Target.
FYI, our architect is Ryan Thewes.
This is the only room of the house that I couldn’t photograph during Ali’s nap so she’s demonstrating how she uses her room. She loves her pushing buttons on her CD player and yanking the pillow and blankets (for Mama’s comfort) off of her rocking chair so she can climb up in it to look at her books.
Here’s a floor plan in case anyone likes them as much as me. Her room is about 10×11 ft not including the doorway.
About this room.
I fell in love with colored cribs when I was planning a nursery the first time around. This one (SOMNAT) is from IKEA a couple years ago, no longer available.
The pink blanket in her crib was made for her by her Great Aunt Janice. The white Care Bears blanket was her first baby blanket from her birth mom. The stuffed brown spaniel was bought by us for our first baby, before we knew she existed. The white bear was a gift from the magistrate who granted us custody of Ali. The aardvark was a gift from good friends and her birthday buddy Jonas has the same one.
The hand painted name banner above the crib was an adoption gift from a high school youth group friend of ours.
The flower on the wall and the “A” pillow on the rocking chair were adoption gifts from a co-worker. She made the pillow. The green quilt on the rocking chair was made for Ali by her Great Aunt Linda.
The crocheted toy and the two cross-stitch pieces framed on the wall were made by Nana (Jason’s mom). The butterfly wood puzzle above the frame and the owl wall hooks that hold her backpack were gifts from Aunt Jess (my sister) and Uncle Jeff. The monkey poster was a gift from the same friend who gave Ali the aardvark. The heart banner I made for Valentine’s Day and then moved in here because that big white wall was driving me nuts.
The Eames replica rocking chair was from here. (I love it!)
The dresser, night stand (painted by me) and yellow lamp are vintage. It took me months to find a changing table height dresser that was narrow enough to fit in the kids room at our last house. I’d be happy to have a longer one here now.
The curtains are IKEA and were discontinued. I based the whole color palette of her room on them before purchasing so thank God for eBay! They tie together the blue crib and rugs, pink wall and yellow lamp. The book ledges (RIBBA), rugs (TOFTBO) and toy boxes are also from IKEA.
FYI, our architect is Ryan Thewes.
Say that 3x fast! Jason and I have decided it’s time to say so long to the sectional sofa we spent a big part of the summer reupholstering, so we’ve reduced the price to move it quickly. While we love it to pieces it’s just not right for us and our home for two reasons: 1. The shape doesn’t suit our living room very well. It makes an almost equal size “L” (about 8′x9′ I think) and our living room is more rectangular. We realized a longer straight sofa would suit our space much better. 2. It’s too precious for our young family. We’re pretty careful with our belongings but not only do we have a toddler whose friends often come over to play, we’re getting ready to open our home up to more kiddos of various ages and furniture-respecting backgrounds. We’d hate to see something abusive happen to Ol’ Sly so we’re hoping he’s a perfect fit for someone else’s abode.
(In case anyone is wondering, I would love to keep this sectional for home staging. It’s very versatile for that purpose. I’m still considering that option; however selling it would make it more affordable for us to buy a different sofa for our living room…and that might be more important right now.)
I’m planning on doing virtual tours of more rooms of our new home. (Kitchen tour here.) In fact, I’ve already taken photos of Ali’s room, the next kids room, the den, the dining room, the living room and the master bathroom…however my computer doesn’t have enough free memory to upload the pictures from my camera. So yeah, I need to deal with that. One room you will not be seeing photos of any time soon, however, is the master bedroom. We currently have our mattress on the floor, a headboard leaning against the wall, end tables that are too big, temporary curtains and three big plastic storage totes that we haven’t found space for yet. So if that conjures up a visual, that’s the best I can offer.
I have started collecting inspiration, though. We definitely want to do an accent wall behind the bed, most likely with wallpaper. I didn’t take a photo of the headboard yet but its the same color wood as the dresser with a black horizontal stripe. We have lamps that we want to use but need a fresh coat of spray paint. I’m stuck on orange for some reason. I sent Jason these two initial ideas.
While I love the wallpaper on the left (by Orla Kiely), the one on the right feels cozy and warm. The one on the left is more masculine so it’s not surprising that Jason liked it better. I decided to take another stab at it after I discovered that Urban Outfitters sells wallpaper.
I’m liking #4 best with either this or the light gray wallpaper.
Some big art for above the dresser with orange in it would be another nice addition. This is all just dreaming and brainstorming right now since we don’t have any budget for any of this right now. First order of business: build a bed frame for our vintage headboard and footboard so we can get our mattress off the floor.