...because home doesn't happen overnight.
09.13.15 / Liked & Linked


studio bentwood

studio cabinetry

We got a taste of fall this weekend and it was delicious. Crisp air, crunchy leaves, golden light and bonfires. It’s my favorite time of year. My only wish is that it lasted longer. We spent most of the weekend outside enjoying the milder weather but were able to squeeze in some projects at the studio, too. Slowly but surely it’s coming together. It’s been so nice having a creative space outside of the house to make messes and I can’t wait to take full advantage of it. I’m waiting on a few basics to arrive then I’ll share an update. Hang tight ;)

A few things…

*DIY or buy? When it came to a clothesline for the backyard, we bought. Specifically, this one. It’s highly rated, durable, practical and perfect for not-so-tall people like me and not-so-big backyards like ours. It came with a zippered cover to protect it when not in use during the warmer months. For more extreme weather, the umbrella lifts up out of the sunken base and can be stored elsewhere. A cap covers the base and sits flush with the ground so it isn’t a tripping / mowing hazard.

*Hang a balloon to visualize the scale and height of pendant lighting before buying and installing. Genius!

*Hoping to snag a pair of these bronze and copper beauties for the studio.

edgy + cozy

*I know this house tour happened a month ago but I can’t stop thinking about it. Such a good mix of edgy + cozy.

*Post-renovation, I’m living vicariously through other bloggers’ projects. Lauren’s new place = Young House Love’s house on steroids.

*Speaking of YHL, have you listened to John & Sherry’s recent podcast? They discuss their thoughts on quitting the blog, what they’re up to now and their new book. Several readers have asked my opinion on the whole YHL thing and all I can say is that I would never ever judge anyone for doing what is right for their well-being and their family.

*We walked through this amazing house Friday night. Pictures don’t do it justice.

Happy almost autumn!

images: 1-3) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 4) Tessa Neustadt

DIY trash enclosure text

The warmer weather has us turning our attention outside. While our home’s interior is mostly done (I use that term loosely…nothing is ever done here), there are a few things we’d like to tackle outdoors. We were hoping to install a few shade sails in the backyard but that project has been put on hold while we wait for the verdict on Everett’s medical bills. Until then, we’re trying to knock out a few smaller scale (i.e., less expensive) projects while the weather is cooperating.

We had been brainstorming a trash / recycling bin enclosure for over a year, and we finally tackled it a few weeks ago. Our trash can and recycling bin sit on the driveway against the house just past the overhead garage door. We wanted something simple in appearance with horizontal slats, without gates or lids. After pricing out materials for a DIY version made with composite decking, we decided to go with plain ol’ cedar for less than half the cost. Here’s what we did:

DIY trash enclosure steps

1 – Up until a few weeks ago, the bins sat with their backs against the house. We turned them 90º with the backs facing the backyard. This allowed us to design a simple L-shaped enclosure off the side of the house. We measured the bins in their new orientation, added a few inches for maneuverability, then installed two fence post brackets in the driveway with concrete anchors. We added a treated 2 x 4 to the brick facade with Tapcons. This provided a surface to tie the slats in to.

2 – We wanted the enclosure high enough to hide the bins but lower than a nearby windowsill. (No one wants a trash enclosure staring at them through the window.) We measured accordingly then screwed a treated 4 x 4 fence post into the first bracket. Scrap pieces of lumber stood in as temporary supports to keep the fence post from jostling around. For a narrower slat, we ripped 1 x 6 kiln-dried cedar boards (from Menards) in half. Working from top to bottom (to ensure full top and bottom slats) and using stainless steel deck screws, we installed the first cedar slat and checked it with a level. Subsequent boards were added with ~1/4″ spacing. Each board was cut to size and mitered on the outside corner. To avoid rot, we kept the slats a few inches off the driveway.

3 – Once the shorter side was finished, we moved on to the longer side using the same materials and methods.

4 – The slats are up!

DIY trash enclosure 2

We added a treated 2 x 4 vertically to shore things up on the longer side but didn’t take it all the way to the driveway.

DIY trash enclosure 4

Finally, we capped the enclosure with two (non-ripped) 1 x 6 kiln-dried cedar boards for a finished look. We decided to hold off on sealing the cedar for now and see how it holds up since it’s mostly under an eave and is usually blocked from rain / snow by our parked minivan. (Yep, we held out as long as we could but the minivan was inevitable. I love it and I hate that I love it.)

DIY trash enclosure b+a 1

Bins be gone! The fragrant cedar is a welcome distraction when taking out the trash.

DIY trash enclosure b+a 2

This little area looks so much tidier from the road now. (Btw, I lost the DirectTV battle. HOWEVER, we’re canceling our service once our contract is up later this year so that dish is going buh-bye. Netflix ftw.)

DIY trash enclosure 3

The bins are easily pulled out on collection day.

DIY trash enclosure 1

It’s pretty basic and no-frills but we’re really happy with how the enclosure turned out. I’m a sucker for the narrow slats and natural wood. And tidy is always a winner in my book. We’re going to use a similar design to create a hanging screen / planter to conceal the electric meter on the back of the house. I’m on a mission to HIDE ALL THE UGLY THINGS WITH CEDAR SLATS!

How do you conceal your waste bins? Electric meter? What outdoor projects are you working on this year? Last year I painted the peeling garage door as a stopgap measure and we had the elderly asphalt driveway replaced with concrete. Even if we aren’t able to do the shade sails this year, we’d still like to put in a few raised beds, install a clothesline and start a compost.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking