Our Painted Brick Exterior + Backyard Projects: Part One

Our Painted Brick Exterior + Backyard Projects: Part OneDutch Door source and FAQ

Greetings, friends! I’ve been wanting to get back to talking about our exterior and patio projects for such a long time. Good news, though, we’re finally nearing the “finish line!” That’s not to say I’ve done everything I want to do yet, that would take a few more years! But we’re just about to be “finished” with what we started, and even completed things we didn’t originally plan to do.

Makeovers don’t start with an “after shot” so I want to share what led up to the upcoming reveals by offering a peek into the thought process and stages of our projects, too. So over the next couple of days and weeks you’ll be brought up to date on what we’ve been doing, get some sneak peeks (be sure to follow me on , too!) and lots of good ol’ after shots coming up, too!

This has been such a crazy story with unexpected twists and turns and delays, so I really don’t even know where to begin!

But I’ve never shown you the back of our house, before or after it was painted, so we might as well start there. This is where a big part of the makeover took place, so you’ll be seeing this side of my house quite a bit in the upcoming weeks!

Here’s what the back of our house looked like the day we moved in.

Our Painted Brick Exterior + Backyard Projects: Part One

So when we bought this house, it was a fairly typical looking brick rambler. It wasn’t the style I ordinarily  would have thought to look at, but the Seattle housing market was (is) crazy so we were looking at nearly everything.

The previous owner of this house had told us ‘you are going to love living here’. She was right! We do.

There were things we knew we would want to update, but it was solid and well-maintained! This is the kind of house where you just feel happy to be in it. It’s filled with glorious light and a wide view of water, trees, sky and mountains as you look out the back of the house. The property has beautiful blooming trees and the sunsets are spectacular. And, we are within walking distance of a beach (on Puget Sound)! We really couldn’t ask for anything more.

All in all, this house had quite a bit going for it from day one. Yet even so, these types of houses in our area are sometimes torn down to build something new and more grand (when we moved in there was actually an empty lot next door, the house had been torn down. But now there’s a big house!).

Even though I’d personally rather preserve structures when possible, I understand that remodeling an old house can be difficult and very expensive. Building new often makes more financial sense and offers people the chance to get the features, views and square footage they want. But for us, we’re ok with our modest home! In fact, we love modest :).

Our Painted Brick Exterior + Backyard Projects: Part One

Kitchen Makeover

While the footprint and basic elements of our house remain primarily as they were, it’s been fun to watch how a transformation has taken place in other ways. I often say at heart she is still the same ‘ol gal she always was, she’s just starting to look and feel a little more updated and rejuvenated. Or dare I say spunky. May we all feel that way as we age, right?

There are so many ways to transform a house inside and out, but there’s nothing quite like the transformative power of paint.

You may already know we painted our exterior brick white (as I’ve showed the white brick from the side yard ever since we revealed our kitchen last year). It’s made such a difference in the feel of our home! We love it.

Our Painted Brick Exterior + Backyard Projects: Part One

I know some people get very sensitive about painting brick, or worry that it isn’t a good idea to paint brick, but we have ZERO regrets even two years after painting ours. We’ve had no trouble at all with the paint. It still looks fantastic! I expect the paint to last for years to come. It’s Sherwin Williams (Reserved White).

Like any painted house, of course, eventually it will need another coat of paint. Yes, that’s the beauty of NOT painting brick, you don’t have to repaint it! But if you don’t like the brick you have, why live with it for years and years just so you can avoid having to repaint it years down the road?

I kind of think you should  you know? ;) I’ve lived in a couple of painted brick homes and I’ve always loved the look, so we took the plunge and are so glad we did. White brick makes this house feel like home.

Our Painted Brick Exterior + Backyard Projects: Part One

Now, there were quite a few other things I knew we could improve at the back of the house. Some we could change right away, some in time. I did not “love the awning I had” so I was very happy to see that go before we got the house painted. (I’d also love to relocate those electrical boxes, but that will be a project for a future time).

Our Painted Brick Exterior + Backyard Projects: Part One

So once again, this is what the back of the house looked like the day we moved in.

Note that this image below is just a progress shot, not the final reveal of the back of the house. But it’s still coming, I promise!

Our Painted Brick Exterior + Backyard Projects: Part One

And this is what our house looked like this past winter. Two years ago it became a cleaner, fresher painted white brick house (Reserved White by Sherwin Williams)!

We are very happy with how paint transformed our home! Yet the exterior projects didn’t stop with the paint (can’t stop, won’t stop!).

So in addition to catching you up on the completion of the side yard projects, I’m super excited to show you all that transpired this winter around the back of the house, too!

Stay tuned, friends, more to come … (find POST TWO on our outdoor projects here!)

Garden Therapy + Lilacs + Plant Scents

Garden Therapy + Lilacs + Plant Scents

“Being in a garden is very relaxing and peaceful
as plants are restorative to our health and emotions.”

I was sharing some images of my lilacs on my  stories the other day and I learned something new. Some parts of the country don’t have lilacs! WHA? How sad to be deprived of these luscious smelling beauties? If you don’t have them where you live, if only this post could be scratch ‘n sniff so you could experience them in all their glory (actually if you scroll to the bottom of this post I’ll tell you one of my favorite ways to enjoy all kinds of plant scents!).

Garden Therapy + Lilacs + Plant Scents

When we moved into this house three years ago in September, I had no idea that we had huge lilac trees in our backyard. You can imagine what a wonderful surprise it was that first spring when the scent of lilacs filled the air as they began blooming in our backyard. First the purple ones, then on the other side of the yard, the white ones. Oh, the scent is HEAVENLY!

We discovered we have a magnolia tree, camellias, hydrangeas and rhododendrons, among others! Each plant, tree and flower has a unique scent, too.

Garden Therapy + Lilacs + Plant Scents

I’ve said before that I love puttering around and improving a garden almost more than I love working on my house, so that’s saying a lot. I’m not a skilled gardener at all, but I still love plants. Every day at least once I go outside and walk around the yard to breathe in the scents and just relax and enjoy the beauty. I also love bringing cut flowers and stems inside, so it’s fun for me to be able to go outside and forage around for something pretty to bring inside.

Garden Therapy + Lilacs + Plant Scents

Garden Therapy + Lilacs + Plant Scents

Discovering all of the blooming trees and shrubs in our yard was a dream come true.

A couple of our past houses had mature plants, trees and flowers and it was literally the best thing ever for me! Being in a garden is very relaxing and peaceful as plants are restorative to our health and emotions.

Garden Therapy + Lilacs + Plant Scents

Garden Therapy + Lilacs + Plant Scents

Did you see Lily’s Garden? I planted all kinds of fragrant things there like lavender, lemon verbena, and honeysuckle. It’s going to be a sweet little spot as all of the plants grow and fill in. She loves being out here, too!

I’ll show you much more of our various gardening spots in the upcoming weeks. I’m especially excited because now we have climbing white roses, several peonies in whites and pinks, and jasmine. My senses are HAPPY HAPPY! Be sure to follow me and watch my stories, I show videos of some of the plants and flowers there, too (along with the house and pups, of course)!

Tell me about your yard or garden in the comments! I’d love to hear about your plants or plans :).


Speaking of happy senses and the therapeutic value of plants, there’s a big sale right now on my favorite set of “plant potions”, aka essential oils. :) It’s been two years since this set was on sale. Between today and Friday May 25th 11:59 PM MST, you can get 10% off a set of 11 everyday essential oils + a pretty diffuser + my favorite non-toxic cleaner concentrate that will make you 2 spray bottles, PLUS an additional $25 back from me. The details are here.

I diffuse oils every single day to make my home smell amazing naturally (I’m always trying out different fun blends, I ditched most of my candles and don’t miss them one bit!). I also use oils daily to support my family’s wellness (for better sleep, supported immune systems, balanced emotions and happier hormones, natural skincare and so much more). My home would really not be the same without them.

When you get the kit, I send you a pretty welcome packet and a helpful oils book in the mail, as well as an invite to my private community called the Pure & Lovely Tribe. My girls and I have so much fun hanging out with women in this group who are all excited about wellness, making natural changes, and using essential oils to enhance our lives.

We host free weekly classes, share our tips and favorite natural recipes, and just get to know each other! It’s become a really sweet community and we’d so love to have you a part of it.

The last time Young Living had a 10% off sale like this was over 2 years ago, and with the extra $25 back from me it’s really the best discount I’ve seen. The deal ends Friday May 25th and you can read more here. If you have any questions I’m happy to chat, just send me an email at [email protected]!

Hope you have a lovely Tuesday!

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