Small Changes out Front

Last week I posted about the plans that Ainslie had to take the front of our house from this: IMG_2019

To this:


Since executing this plan is a hefty chunk of change, we remain unsure about whether or not we will eventually do the whole darn thing. However, we are implimenting a few of the smaller changes immediately.

This weekend, I used the NextDoor App and posted "Free red bricks." Within 10 minutes, a guy came in his truck and took every last one of them. I already think it looks better.


We are going to remove the grass that separates these two areas and put down soil with some bark on top for now. Basically, it will be dirt up to the drain. The area where the pine tree used to be (the far left after the black drain) is actually supposed to be rocks/is currently rocks underneath. DAMN PINE TREE! So we are going to do soil all the way to the neighbor's driveway so that the new garden bed is perpendicular to the house.


So basically this:


What is going to separate the flower bed from the gravel, you ask?

A wood fence!

We are going to get rid of the metal fence in the backyard all the way around, but for now we are going to have the wood fence/fence gate be perpendicular to the side of the house and be the new opening to the backyard.


This means that the giant metal fence/gate thing is going bye bye soon-ish.


In order to create better backyard access once the new fence is in, we will re-gravel and then put pavers/stepstones all the way to the back door. I love that I don't even really know what to call them, but we are doing this anyway. **Quietly stepping on soapbox** That's the thing about DIY/home projects. You just have to commit. You have to dive in and try and do it. None of this oh-I-am-a-girl or I-have-no-idea-what-I-am-doing crap. Just freaking TRY. Ask questions and TRY. **stepping down...**

As for the front porch, I recently ordered this light that Ainslie recommended from to replace the janky white one that is out here.

Outdoor light


I love that she picked one that matches the form of our Ballard Designs lights inside the house. Light besties!


All we need now is to get a ton of dirt and bark and shovels and a fence and figure out what this random piece of cement was doing underneath the red bricks. :)IMG_5703

It never ends I tell ya. Never.

Landscape Designer

The front of our house looks like this and basically has since we moved in. IMG_2019

The only major thing that we have done is removed the pine tree to the left of the house. Now, I can fake being a "designer" (whatever that means) inside the house. I basically know what I like and what will work in a space and what will be a hot mess. I can pick out paint colors that coordinate and can buy furniture/redo it with the best of them. But outside I am like this:


In order to stop the endless feeling of being helpless in this arena, I found Ainslie. Cue the angels. Ainslie is a landscape architect with Ivy Street Design in Denver. She is amazing. Such a sweetheart and totally and completely smarter than I will ever be. At our initial meeting, I told her that I have a black thumb... not even in the green family. I kept saying things like PLANTS FOR DUMMIES PLEASE! I am sure she thought I was joking/exaggerating, but I was not. She scoured this here blog, my pinterest, and my brain and came back with a plan for the front yard that nailed it and took all of the wheel spinning/question asking/what could we possibly do to this space out of my head and onto the page. I will mess up explaining this all to you. It's a fact. But I wanted you to know that there is AFFORDABLE help out there for you and your yard headaches.

Let me help orient you. This picture is the vantage point of yourself in a helicopter/navigating a drone over my backyard looking towards the front yard. Please get your drone out of here, thanks. The two dots with circles are the trees in the front yard and their shade patterns. SHADE PATTERNS PEOPLE. The gray concrete slab is where the current front porch is and the sidewalk is where the sidewalk is (it is widened considerably) and the flower bed to the right is where the red bricks are currently.


My most favorite thing about this design is the walkway. It adds that modern touch we like and fits with the house. I also love the plants that are up by the curb/entrance to the house. Since we "done with snow" I can finally see my front yard again and it makes me wanna do things (not plant, cause we have established I cannot do that).


In case you were wondering, she also writes RIGHT ON THE PLANS/blueprints, what plants those circles represent. If I weren't a total gardening moron, I would probably try to tackle this myself. But I'd end up wasting money and my back. #realtalkIMG_5657

And for the truly visual, this what the drawing of the front entrance could look like. I mean, how much more inviting is that?!?IMG_5661

You'll notice on the porch that the horizontal beams are removed (we are going to do that) and a metal decorative element is added along the top (we are not going to do that). I like the idea of just leaving it open and allowing the space to meld into the plants that someone else is going to plant. The only other change to this drawing that we would make is that the shutters and gutters are getting painted black this spring/summer. It is happening. I have the paint.

Oh, and the other thing? She flipping gives you a lookbook with pictures. REAL PICTURES of all of the plants/materials she proposes.

bennett lookbook_Page_1


What I do know about these plants because Ainslie told me so, is that they are great for planting idiots, shade mostly, and Colorado.

The kicker about this whole plan... we have no idea when, if ever, we are going to do this. It all really depends on if we decide to sell our house next year after we update the bathroom and get granite in the kitchen. That whole ongoing discussion is the subject of another post and involves a hard look at the Denver real estate market, which, in a word, is NUTS.

So what changes would you make? What do you love?