Archive for May, 2011

Patio Update

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Posted by Rebecca, May 10th, 2011

These past few days have been absolutely insane. I finished up a final paper and presentation last night, while Mike was in San Francisco attending the SF MusicTech Summit for his gig with SongMeanings. My semester from hell is over and I picked him up from the airport tonight, so we can finally resume our normal lives 🙂

The patio was poured last week in the midst of all of this chaos. While we were super excited about it, we could hardly focus on it. So it was good that we weren’t doing the work 🙂 At last update, the patio was anxiously awaiting a sealer. Mike got a call this morning (while in Cali) informing him that the concrete company was stopping by today to put the sealer on. In between work and picking up Mike from the airport, I managed to squeeze some time in for photos.

We were anxious to get the sealer on because we knew it would change the color of the concrete, but in these pictures, it was still wet.

Oh! Last week they also came to put the cuts in the concrete where they expected it to crack naturally. So in the picture above you can see one along the curve. It’s probably the most obvious one, thankfully. Because of the wood plank pattern we chose, the cuts mostly follow the lines like this one below.

Some areas were still very obviously wet, like the area where our future outdoor kitchen will be.

We’re thinking of maybe adding a step in the center of the patio, leading onto the grass. The far side of the patio is 8 inches above ground, so it will be a nice entrance to the open space.

We plan on filling each curved side up with mulch and some landscaping for now, so we’ll see how that looks before deciding on the step(s).

We also plan on staining the unfinished stairs a nice and dark color.

So if I’m being completely honest here, I’ll tell you that I was a little disappointed that the concrete wasn’t as dark as I imagined (it’s actually a little lighter than shown in these pictures).  But I thought it would be okay with our dark stairs and future dark furniture. The patio has a weathered look to it that I like, but remember our inspiration photo?

We knew it wouldn’t be THIS dark, since we were warned about burning feet and fading, but the color we chose was called “walnut”. I also know that the sealer wasn’t dry when I saw it and it did look darker than it did yesterday.

When I picked up Mike from his 6 hour flight, he told me that the concrete company called and they want to come back and do another round of stain/sealer tomorrow. Yay! I thought I was going crazy about the color, but just a tad darker would be wonderful 🙂  I thought I was looking at the (not yet dry) finished product, but now I have to wait until tomorrow!

ps- I finally decided to order the Belmont patio collection from Target so that we’ll have somewhere to sit on the patio when the sealer is all done, but it’s sold out!! I emailed Target (since I checked everyday, for 8 straight days) and they have no clue when it will be back in. Cross your fingers it’s soon! I need this prettiness on my already pretty patio.

All of the Lights, All of the Lights

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Posted by Rebecca, May 4th, 2011

Since our patio is well underway, we have outdoors ants in the pants. There’s nothing like beautiful weather to make you want to spend your free time outside. We had no idea our patio was going to be done this week, but since it was so nice out this weekend we decided to tackle some other outside projects. We went to Home Depot to pick up the conduit for our future outdoor kitchen area and decided to check out some outdoor lights.

I knew ever since we moved in that I wanted something craftsman style for the outside lights. I was thinking some sort of square latern type of thing, but I just never saw anything that I liked. Until Saturday, when I spotted a nice bronze, square light like I had been envisioning. It’s not on the Home Depot website, but it looked something like this though less yellow…

(via)

Mike and I decided to pick up two, one for over the garage and one for by the patio. But as we walked away, I spotted something else I liked.

This one is available online and I loved it. We already had two of the other ones in our cart and they were all the same price. But I hestitated…because I thought Mike wouldn’t go for it. We started to walk away when I couldn’t contain myself anymore and I, attempting to keep my cool, asked Mike if he like this style. His response was something along the lines of “Holy crap that is awesome”. So we made the quick switch up and snagged two of these instead. Excellent decision, I must say.

The first one went up over our garage to replace the awful brass fixture the builder gave us.

Then the second one went right outside of our sliding glass doors, over the stairs to our wasn’t-there-yet patio.

Mike and I are quite enamored with these. It’s always those unexpected purchases that you love the most. And the best part? Pottery Barn has a similar light

…But it is regularly $169 and on sale for $135. We got ours for $45 each and had a gift card. Woo!

Here are a few more shots of the light in the backyard.

We didn’t know when we picked these out that they have a dusk to dawn feature, as well as a motion sensor. We added a dusk to dawn sensor to our fugly brass light since we like having them automatically turn on when it’s dark out. A well lit house is a safe house 🙂

Here’s what it looks like at night.

Much better than the funny reflection that the brass and glass contraption was making! We love them and we’re so happy we found something just in time for our patio. Our outdoor to-do list is growing fast and one of the items moving up the list is to paint the garage doors. Now that we have a pretty light, the stark white doors are screaming for some paint!

ps- Just incase you don’t know where the title of this post comes from 🙂

YouTube Preview Image

The Patio Day 2

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Posted by Rebecca, May 3rd, 2011

Hey it’s me! I know it’s been a while, but I’ve been super busy with school. I never got a chance to thank everyone for the support you gave me after the post I wrote about our kitties Mac and Sunny last week. It really meant the world to me, so thanks 🙂

Unfortunately, Macky had a seizure at 1:30 this morning. But he is doing okay and had a happy birthday last week. We were all very tired and stressed when the cement truck pulled up at 7:00 this morning. As excited we were for the patio, having the doorbell ring that early and having to move our cars out of the driveway was not fun. But, we now have a patio!

Wait, what? You thought we were doing a wood plank stamp?

Well after talking with our concrete buddy, we decided the wood plank stamp wouldn’t look great on the walkway. I was worried about this, but he actually brought it up. He suggested we do 2 different stamps. At first I was all like uhh, that’s going to look funny. But he confidently told me that he had a client do it and he thought the same thing, but the result was great. He reassured me by saying that people mix pavers and wood decks, so why not a wood plank stamp with a paver type of stamp? It really didn’t take long to convince me that this could be a cool idea. We picked out the pattern above while standing in the yard in a matter of about 2 minutes. I liked the smaller, mixed size of the “tiles” and the grain type of texture they had to match the wood stamp. We still kept the walkway the same color as the wood stamped patio to unify the spaces.

Without further ado, the patio! After stamp but before sealer, so the color will change slightly and will have a nice sheen 🙂

These guys worked so fast that before 9am, the concrete was fully poured. I was home keeping an eye on Macky for a few hours so I got to see the pouring/smoothing process. It looked quite like icing a cake 🙂 I missed the entire stamping process though 🙁 I was dying to see that!

ps- Here’s the video tour that wasn’t working earlier!

I’m linking this post up to Centsational Girl’s Outdoor Ideas Party!

The Patio Day 1

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Posted by Michael, May 2nd, 2011

Ok, I’m seriously about to change the name of this blog to “Mike’s lil house that could.”  And when I’m on HGTV one day talking about geeky pieces of art, Rebecca will be jealous! :fist in the air:  End rant, I promise.

We knew May would bring our concrete patio, but we just didn’t know exactly when.  After all, New Jersey (Snooki!  What up!) has been getting hit with rainy days so we just kind of penciled the patio in our brain for some time in May.  Our patio design sort of changed from the last time you saw it as we bumped out a corner about 3 or 4 feet to fit a … built in grill and bar.  Oh yeah.

And in order to do the built in, we needed electricty to flow to this area under the concrete patio (for the mini-fridge).  So I spent Saturday digging a hole to run some pipes so that we could eventually route electricity to this location.   It was probably more than just digging since our soil is straight up clay.

But!  Good thing I did begin to run the piping needed, because … We got a phone call at 7pm on Sunday night from the concrete company saying they will be there tomorrow morning to start the patio.  Wait, what?  Woah!

And now it’s today and the company has finished day 1 of the job.  Here are some quality iPhone pictures for you to get an idea of what we’re doing.  Enjoy!

The walkway from the driveway to the patio.  We totally changed what we were doing with this pathway.  I’m not one to do the whole “tune in next time” thing but I’m not even quite sure how to describe what we changed.  So, uh, tune in next time!

Last but not least, the chore I did on Saturday.  There are two pipes there; one for electrical and one for speaker wire.

And finally, for those people who need a video tour to get an idea of a space, we have a video tour!

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