Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

I‘ve always been quite inspired by gates. They aren’t just a way to keep unwanted visitors out or beloved pets in, the right gate can feel like a special invitation to enter a secret magical garden. You know what I mean?

As far as I’m concerned, a gate doesn’t even have to be fancy (but a little charm is nice!), I just love what they represent. I actually go gate hunting in neighborhoods as often as I go just to drool over houses!

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

You may have seen those two gates from my previous drive bys. If you missed them, you can find the drive by posts here. But if you’re curious about our gate …

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

We’re still Gateless in Seattle, at least on this side of the house. I know.

Years ago (insert eye rolls over how long it’s been) I started talking about how excited I was about installing a gate to our side patio.

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

In fact, we had two other gates built around that same time, the double gate between our side yard and backyard (which we just painted, you can see a bit of it above) and a single gate on the other side of the yard (above).

But the side patio gate? It didn’t get done. It’s a long story, just a series of unfortunate events. So we still have to use a bench and assorted garden supplies piled up in the opening to keep the dogs in. I agree, it’s truly quite ridiculous.

The good news is we finally have a new contractor lined up that I’m confident is going to do the work (thank goodness for Lowe’s contractor service, I should’ve called them years ago! So much easier.). The new contractor is going to build our gate and wrap our side porch posts with wood trim (which we’ve also been waiting on for a long time! Wrapping a post gives them a more substantial, finished look).

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

This photo above is before our railings were installed (they look amazing, you’ll see soon!), and how our posts look now before they get wrapped. Note the pallet in the background acting as our gate. Lol.

Fingers crossed, knock on posts and gates, we’re on the home stretch here.

The gate and the porch posts are actually the last two projects we plan to complete in this long spree of outdoor projects this summer. Most of our projects have been on a small scale, like planting our veggie barrels!

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

These are the same barrels we have been using for the past few years (they are chemical-free for planting). I still envision a big garden in our backyard, but these barrels are so easy to plant! They tuck in quite nicely to this small space, too. Since we had so many other projects going on we decided to use them for another year rather than start another large project.

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens
We planted a lot kale and lettuce (we got a late start so these plants were bought ready to plant, we didn’t grow from seed). I love watching them grow and can’t wait to eat ’em. We get a lot of our vegetables through a weekly delivery box from a local organic farm, but it’s still fun to grow some of our own.

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens
Speaking of small gardens and growing, Lily’s little fragrant garden has really filled out! This was from a couple of weeks ago.

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

We spent the last couple of weeks setting up the deck furniture, planting the garden and flower pots. We planted these miniature rose trees (bushes?) that we bought last year. This spring they sadly got totally destroyed by aphids. I cut them all back thinking I’d have to wait until next year to see them flower. Well, they surprised me! They leafed out again and bloomed. The aphids came back, though, so I was going to go get ladybugs, but I tried some essential oils in a spray bottle first and it worked. Good-bye aphids! So far, so good.

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

As soon as I got all furniture set up, it rained so we had to put all the cushions and rugs inside again, ha! Yes, we live in Seattle so you just have to expect that rain might happen. I do bring cushions and some of the rugs all in if there’s going to be a longer spell of rain, otherwise I don’t worry about it and just let ’em get a little damp . We mostly have had fantastic weather, so I can’t complain about rain too much this time of year.

I will definitely show you the furniture and flower pots when I take the photos, and of course I can show you the porch posts and the gate as soon as they’re in! I might even be able to show you some progress on that in the next week or so.

I know lots of you have been asking about how we stained our side patio concrete (you can actually see it in the white gate photo with Jack, above). We’re just about done so I’ll update you on that project, too.

And of course, as promised, we’ll be hosting our virtual deck party for the big reveal! I’m really looking forward to all of the yummy dishes y’all offered to bring :). I’ll announce the winners of the Simple Gatherings books this week so if you didn’t enter yet, it’s not too late to enter by sharing what you’re bringing to the virtual party (you’ll find the giveaway in the previous post about the deck progress).

We can’t wait to be able to just get outside and relax in our entire outdoor area, I’m so ready to enjoy it all!

You can catch up on our deck and exterior projects here:

Painted Brick Exterior and Outdoor Projects

Outdoor Projects Part Two

Designing and Shopping for our Deck Project

Trex Deck Building Process

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!)