Sunday, May 28, 2017

Table Top Becomes Courtyard Patio!

Our new Patio- Courtyard... made from a salvaged patio table top.

We had a patio table top someone had gotten rid of... it was metal with tile and was beautiful, but there were no legs.

There was a broken tile on one side, which was why the people didn't want to bother with it. We figured it would still be good as a table if it had a base.

After all, it was a beautiful table top! 

 We were going to sell it, but then I had an idea. I tend to think "outside the box" especially for garden ideas... and I wondered, "What about turning this tabletop into a small patio?" I knew my guys would shoot the idea down, but I voiced it anyway.

 I was surprised when I mentioned it first to Son #2 and he thought it was a possibility.. then to my husband and he liked the idea.  They checked it over and agreed it would be strong enough since it was metal with tile on top... and they agreed it was a good idea. Wow! So we looked for a good place.

 We decided on the area outside of the back garden... it's an area I just haven't ever figured out what would be nice there. We have some surprise lilies at the back, but it's just one of those areas we don't use much at all.... SO... I asked about putting it there.

You can't see it very well, but it's the best picture I could find.

 I drank tea while I contemplated how this project should be done. I enjoy tea on the deck in the morning.

 What fun that my husband was willing to do the project... and started right away.  :)

 The digging has started!  First, my husband put the table top on the ground where we wanted it and then cut into the grass all around the edge, making a pattern.

After he lifted the table top off, he started digging out the center and put the dirt into the wheelbarrow.

 Son #4 was working on the project also and here he is putting the table top down on the dug-out area to test it. They did this a few times.. and that table top is HEAVY!

They took it back off and dug some more.

When they had enough dirt off, they added sand. (They used sandbags that were leaking from being carried in the back of a pickup all winter. Then new ones can be used next winter.)

Another test... getting closer.

By the way, the center of the table top has a hole for a patio umbrella, so my husband used a can lid and caulk to seal it to the bottom and it is working well. I plan to paint it to match the brown in the center section, but haven't yet.

Dirt was added under to finish up the leveling process.

Okay.... it's done...  now what? It looks okay, BUT now it was time to make it look nice.

It's not a large patio... only 5 feet in diameter.....  so there isn't a LOT of room, yet I wanted to add something to make it inviting... and useful.

I added a chair and table... both are plastic. I didn't want to take a chance on using metal that may be too sharp or heavy for the patio. It is a table top, after all.  :)

I also didn't want a leg to get stuck down in the spot where the hole had been for the patio umbrella.

That was better... but it needed something.

Next I put a hanging basket of flowers and some lilies. That was better, but the hanging basket of flowers was newly planted and didn't show up much. Plus, overall it didn't look right yet. More brainstorming..

 You can see the small patio out there, but it looks uninspiring... and it NEEDED something.....

We had an old gateway arbor not being used.... it's not in perfect shape, but I really liked how it tied the area together. We opened the gates and left them open so it provides a nice backdrop to our new little patio area.

I also put a hanging pot of purple petunias ( a gift from my husband!) in place of  the other hanging pot and it added that "pop" of color that really helped.

I have thought of putting a wrought iron decoration on the fence inside the arbor area, but haven't found anything yet... it will have to be something I already have or something at a very cheap price from a garage sale. I will wait and see what God provides... or will use it the way it is. Either way, I like it.  :)

 Here you can see the patio area with some long thin garden beds in front.. that "bush" is our peas! They did great this year!  :) 

 The next picture shows looking through the pea plants. 

We like our new little Patio Courtyard area. Now, the area that was a bit of an eyesore, has an appeal all its own.

I have looked out the window two different mornings, so far,  to see my husband using the new Patio Courtyard to read his Bible.  :)

I'm really enjoying our new little Patio Courtyard and I love how it looks.

There's always something to do when you own a house.. something to fix... or to fix up. It's amazing how sometimes just a small change can make a big difference. It's also nice when the supplies are free! It doesn't always happen, but when it does, it is extra special.  :)

The morning sun on the backyard gardens is so beautiful. I love this time of the year. Thank you for visiting....  I hope you are enjoying gardens and growing things also.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Old House Tour


Touring old houses is something we enjoy... and we are house hunting, so we have toured a few old houses. One of the houses we toured had some interesting features and since I know other people enjoy looking at old houses, I am sharing many pictures from one house we toured....

The house had an "old world" look to much of the furnishings inside. The 3 car garage looked great on the outside and had a breezeway connected to it that led to the house and it was beautiful.

The inside of the garage was... a mess! The upstairs was also a mess and there was a huge pile of evidence that a raccoon had been living in there and it was also a mess with old furniture and stuff in the top of the garage... there were also some nice furniture pieces that we could sell to fund the house project.

There was an in-ground swimming pool behind the breezeway. I'm not showing pictures of everything because I am already showing lots of pictures!!!  :)

We went to see the house because it was listed in our price range... and the pictures on line looked interesting. The front of the house didn't thrill us and we knew it needed work, but we aren't afraid of some hard work, so we took our family to look at this house as a possible new home for us.

We were quite excited as we toured ... it was like a step back into history and we started to dream of what we could do there. The view across the road was AMAZING...  as the next picture shows. We were quite interested! This was a big house with lots of room... and in our price range! Wow!! Also there were several acres of land that went with the property and we really want to get more land and hopefully move to the country, so it all looked possible.

The Great Room was very large.. and had a brick floor and lots of windows.

 The fireplace looked quite "Old World" and I figured we could sell the outside of it to offset some repairs on the house.  It was beautiful, but not our style at all.   We could also sell the bar area and some other things.

This light fixture was in the back entry which was where we entered the house.

The laundry room was in the hall near this.. and right beside the kitchen, but I'm not sharing the picture.... it was a mess and I am already using a lot of pics here. :)

I don't remember where this light fixture was, but it was in one of the rooms.

 The house didn't have any electricity turned on, so we took some flashlights with us, although we could have used more of them.

The kitchen had a hood over the stove area, a pot rack, a pot filler faucet and much more.

There were windows, some nice cabinets, tile backsplash and countertop.  I didn't like the tile countertops... there were deep grooves for the grout and I could just imagine food getting stuck in those... they would be hard to clean!

There were also many containers of food in the cupboards. The house had been empty for a couple of years and the story we heard was that one of the couple had died and the other lived for a few more years and also died.. and the house was empty since that time.

It was interesting.... and sad.

 The dining room had a wall of mirrors and lots of windows... and a wood floor.

 This is the dining room on the right and the living room on the left. Same flooring... and a bay window.

 The entry way had mirrors all over the ceiling. It looked quite gaudy, but I imagined all of the interesting pictures I could take in there because of the mirrors. :)

 This was the bathroom near the kitchen and great room. It was quite overwhelming with the busy pattern. It was interesting to see though.

 In this bathroom, there were very ornate fixtures as you can see in the next picture!

 The curtains were ornate... so were the light fixtures.. and there was an old alarm system.

These french doors (I love French doors!) led to a garden room off of the 2nd living room.

 This is the garden room those French doors led to. There were water leak problems in the room.

 The door handles on the French doors were beautiful.

 The room that led to the garden room was a second living room and I loved the beautiful wood mantle in it.

We couldn't believe all of the rooms in this house... 2 living rooms AND a Great Room? Wow.

 This is one side of the 2nd living room and the stairs led up to a large bedroom and bathroom and a large walk in attic that still had lots of stuff in it.

 The room was quite a mess from a bad leak in the roof over this room... the evidence of this leak was in the kitchen below also although it wasn't horrible there. We were thinking it was a lot of work, but we were talking about how we could turn this place into a home for us. The work list was getting bigger and bigger.

 I think this was the bathroom up there, but anyway, it was a bathroom SOMEwhere in this big house!

 There were 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms... and the square footage was about 4,000 sq feet! HUGE... and it had a full basement underneath.

 Back down in the 2nd living room, this was the view out to the patio.

 You can see some of the outside doors here... The house had 9 outside doors! I didn't like that! Can you imagine checking and locking 9 doors every night???? 

 This was in the huge master bedroom, which had 2 levels... this level and then one a step lower where the fireplace was.

This was the fireplace in the master "suite"... it was a huge room.

 This was in the very large walk-THROUGH closet.

 There was even a special door that pulled out and had a scale on it, so it could be used and hidden in the wall when not in use. :)

This was on one side of the master closet....

We all laughed over the tub in the master bathroom... My husband is tall and always complains that tubs are too shallow and he likes how deep these old claw foot tubs are, but we have never had one...  :)  

 The bathroom fixtures in the master bath. Actually, there was another bathroom in the master suite also... this one and another one out in the room with the fireplace.

 I don't remember where these fixtures were.

 The house had many more things not shown in the pictures... one of the bedrooms had lots of ladies' hats left behind. There were also many clothes in the attic and bedrooms.

The basement was BAD and my husband said I shouldn't go down and I didn't... it was really damp, musty and moldy. Yuck! But there were lots of rooms down there... furnished and with lots of stuff left behind.

There was a 6 foot very old and very heavy safe down there and it had many many jewelry boxes in it, but the ones checked were empty. We had so much fun dreaming in this house... so many historical things... so many glimpses into an earlier time.

 This house was REALLY exciting to us since I have written a Christian Fiction book and an old house is prominent in it... the book is now in manuscript form and out for review to a few people. The things in this house we toured reminded us a little bit of the house in the book I had written, so it was fun for more than one reason.  We are moving toward publication, but it is a long process. I would love to have your prayers about this if you are so inclined.  :) 

 So much potential in this house. "SO MANY REPAIRS NEEDED!" is what my husband kept saying. :)  We did seriously consider this place, but it wasn't meant for us. We did go back to see it another time and took our oldest son who doesn't live at home and who is great with carpentry work. He loved it too... and we all discussed how feasible such a project would be. All of the rest of the family toured the house twice.  :)

It was fun to dream about living here and enjoying the almost 5 acres that went with it. The reality though, was that the house needed at least $100,000 worth of work.... and that was without even seeing the electricity or plumbing on... that would put it way out of our price range. Also, we couldn't move in for quite a while, so it just wasn't meant for us.

The front door was beautiful... and though we would have changed much of the house and removed many of the fixtures (and sold them to help pay for repairs!)... it just was too big of a project. Looking back on these pictures was fun... and my kids will enjoy looking at them again. I am glad that we did not buy this house... it needed a ton of work!  My husband was right... this house would have been a money pit for us.

It will be a treasured memory for all of us though. :)  We are still praying that God will provide a house and some acres for us... in a country setting... though we are not praying for a grand house like this... just a house that will work for our family. We are praying... and waiting on Him. 

Thank you for visiting my blog today. I hope you enjoyed the Old House Tour. :)  Have a good week.

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