We have loved having our little makeshift paver fire-pit in our backyard, but the area always lacked comfort and style and we really didn’t use that area as much as we wanted. We decided to hire a company to redo that area. We had them remove all of the lavender bushes near the raised area and across the yard and put all the smaller rocks originally in the fire-pit area in those places. Then they prepped the area to put pavers down. Since we had ordered a propane fire pit, they created a hole in the middle and ran a pipe all the way underneath the pavers and out the side of the raised area underneath the deck so we could store the propane tank out of site. Our goal with the new area was to make it a little haven where we could spend time as a family. We ordered new outdoor furniture and a gazebo. While the pavers were being put in Mike and the boys started to put together the gazebo. The boys spent the next several days putting up different parts of the gazebo. Once it was finally put together and the furniture arrived, we centered it where we wanted it and drilled the gazebo into the pavers, with a little cement filler for extra measure. At first, we only did one post until we were hit with a random windstorm and it took all of us holding the posts so we could finish the rest of the drilling. That was an exciting experience. We can’t believe that it took us so long to make this area of our yard a beautiful little vacation spot right in our own backyard.
One of the things we have wanted to do since we moved into our house was update the laundry room. It has always been an eye-sore and not very functional as the wire shelf was much too high for me to reach and the industrial sink was full of dried paint. It made me cringe every time I had to use it. With some good planning on Mike’s part, he figured out how we could update it to look nice with some simple upgrades. We spent three days straight working on the laundry room. First, we hung up new white cabinets that we ordered from Lowe’s. That was a relatively easy task compared to everything else we did but it still took us most of the morning. Next, we installed new flooring. We went with a luxury vinyl that was made to look like wood. The floating planks were really easy to install right over the original linoleum. We were lucky that we didn’t have to take off the linoleum to put in the new flooring as the new flooring was exactly flush with the connector between the two rooms. Since each plank was not exactly the same I spent most of the time figuring out which planks would look good next to each other. We ended up having to go and buy one more box since we were left with pieces that were either too light or too dark. The flooring took us most of the first day. The second day was spent cutting and installing all of the white boarding, framing, and molding. We decided to copy Madeline’s walls to give it a fresh modern look. Since Mike had done this before he just copied the process he used before. After some mathematical calculations to make the different sections even, we went to work putting all the boarding up. Mike makes everything look easy but the reality is this stuff is not that easy to do. Just to be funny, Mike wrote some fun things on the walls and floors that we covered up. You know...to leave our mark on the house! Later that night we started to fill in the holes with putty but eventually gave up and went to bed. On the third day we filled in the holes, sanded everything and taped in preparation to paint. All of the prep work and the painting took us all day long. We realized that if we ever did another project like this again, we would do the woodwork but hire someone else to do the painting. Painting the boarding was so tedious and annoying. It was a good thing we were working together to get it done. After all the painting was finally finished, we installed the new sink and the drying rack. After 3 very long and tiring days, we finally finished the laundry room and it sure turned out amazing. We took our very blah laundry room to a whole new level. With more storage space in the cabinets, I was able to finally store a bunch of stuff I had been storing in the cleaning closet. It really helped me to declutter other areas of my home. It is like a whole new world when I step into my new laundry room and it makes me so incredibly happy!