DIY – Modern Wooden Fence

As we were working through our backyard makeover, one of the curveballs B threw at me was wanting to hide the paint chipping white garage, in addition to adding the raised planter boxes for extra greenery. I instantly jumped on Pinterest searching for inspiration for a decorative solution that we would be able to customize. I searched ‘modern decorate fences’ and found some inspiration that we could easily recreate and pitched the idea to B.
DecoartiveFence(6)The pitch was a success and the project was a go! The advantage of this project and any DIY project is being able to create a completely custom fence that fits your space and dimensions. We ended up throwing in two other fences to place around our ‘property,’ one in front of our garbage cans along the side of our driveway, and then another on the North side of the house in front of our air conditioner. The thing to remember with these fences is they weren’t going to be complete privacy, but help off-set and distract from the ugly things.
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Project Supply List:
– (13) 1ft x 3ft x 8ft
– (6) 1ft x 2ft x 8ft (post supports for smaller fences)
– (5) 1ft x 6ft x 12ft
– (1) 1ft x 6ft x 6ft
– (2) 2ft x 4ft x 10ft (post supports for large fence)
Thompson’s WaterSeal Stain & Foam Brush
– Post Hole Digger
– Quick Time Concrete
– Nail Gun / Screw Driver + Screws (large fence)
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Figuring out the number of pieces of wood and sizes to get and make all three of our fences, was a headache and quite the math equation that B successfully conquered — even though it took us awhile to get there. As I knew I wanted 6″ wide pieces and 3″ wide pieces, I just didn’t have the complete layout and patterned figured out based on the height variations. There has also been a wood shortage this summer, so B had to do some home improvement store hopping to get all the sized pieces we needed — luckily we were able to get everything!

Our Fence Dimensions:
– Back Fence: 7-feet tall* by 4.5-feet wide aka (16) 3″ pieces, (5) 6″ pieces and (2) 1″ pieces
– Garbage Fence: 5-feet tall* by 3-feet wide aka (12) 3″ pieces and (4) 6″ pieces
– Air Conditioner Fence: 3-feet tall* by 3-feet wide aka (8) 3″ pieces and (2) 6″ pieces

*This is the height above ground, we accounted for 1-2ft in the ground depending on the overall height. 

Once we secured our wood, based on our estimations, B cut away to get the estimated pieces per board. Once we had everything cut, I was able to play around with the pattern and get the pieces figured out — it was definitely a move around, take a step back and see what looked and felt right. Once we had our pattern in place it was go time. For the two smaller fences we used a nail gun and getting these put together was relatively quick, as we also just eyed the spacing between each pieces, made sure things were level and fired away.
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The large fence was a bit different and took some adjustments after we created the two smaller pieces. One adjustment was switching up the support pieces to 2ft x 4ft x 10ft — due to the size and slatted wood pieces, this fence was not only heavy but also pretty big (see me standing with it above), especially accounting for 2-feet to put in the group, it was a bit guy to navigate. We also ended up screwing the large fence together (instead of a nail gun) and did the screwing from the back, so that you wouldn’t see any holes from the front.

When it came to staining, we used the same stain we had from our planter boxes, we had plenty left over to create a cohesive look. I ended up staining the fences two different ways, one with the fences built and one as individual pieces — I’m not sure which I liked better, the individual pieces was definitely a bit more tedious. But, I do know overall I would pick staining any day to painting — it’s so easy and workable to make it blend the way you want. Luckily we were staining in the heat, so they dry time was quick if we wanted to apply two coats.
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We ended up angling most of these fences for final placement so that more space was covered and we were blocking the ugly things just right. This of course, took a bit of time and tapping to get just right! We also made sure to strategically place the larger back fence in front of the garage, so that form a farther distance you couldn’t see the end of the fence! I think my favorite fence beside the big one, is the one in front of the garbage cans, when you walk into our backyard it’s just such a welcomed look and as we’ve worked on adding flowers along the side it definitely makes it feel more complete!

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Before & After: Fireplace Hearth Makeover

We did a thing! We finally checked off another house project… that oooohhhh has been on the to-do list for the last few years. It wasn’t a huge project, but it was a little one that makes a bit of impact in one of the most lived in rooms. We retiled our fireplace hearth and completely refreshed the dated red tile!
Tile-beelifeblog(2)Honestly the toughest part and reason this has been on the to-do list for so long was just deciding on and figuring out the right tile.  So I finally got smart and figured out my newest project hack, especially when it comes to projects like this! What is my little secret you may ask? I bought a few tile samples from Lowe’s to put them into my space to help envision the whole look.

The Tile Dilemma. I definitely wanted to go with something a bit more modern and pull in white tile into the space. I was initially thinking larger marble, then wanted to do a bit more of a hexagon pattern — but I just wasn’t sure! Then another part of me wanted to do something with a pattern or a bit more Spanish style. I grabbed four different styles that I liked and brought them home and saw how they worked with the rest of our patterns and textures and colors in our living room.
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The Decision. We ended up going with a off-white blue patterned tile that had a little bigger footprint, similar to the original red tile square. B even ended up finding a blue herringbone pattern that we ended up cutting to make a boarder, which helped keep the large tiles full all the way across without having lots of little pieces for an awkward boarder.

The Project. Demo took B all of an hour to get up the old red tiles, from there he bought some cement board to get the surface level and prepped for our new tiles! He did this over the course of the week, so we were queued up and ready to work on it come the weekend. We even ordered the remaining tile for in-store pick-up and it was in and out to keep our project time low.

We ended up renting a tile cutter from Home Depot and completed the cuts and project within a few hours. I am the tile worker, and B is my tile cutter! It worked out well and came together after some trial and error. The boarder tile was much thinner than the main tile, so we had to really build up with mortar. We also ended up using pre-mixed mortar and grout that we had left over for previous projects, I think we only needed to purchase an additional pre-mixed mortar to finish the project. So within a few hours we had our tile laid and cut into place in it’s new home.
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The Result. After giving the mortar time to dry, we were able to grout! We used the same left over grout we had from our Basement Bathroom Makeover.  The cool grey color really complimented the tile color and style we picked to make it a cohesive space. We also had to be a little smart with tile positioning and organic since we were working with an un-even 100 year old space that certainly was not perfect or level, no matter how hard we tried!

Shop our products: Elida Ceramica Porcelain Tile from Lowes | Boarder Midnight Satin Herringbone Tile from Lowes | Warm Color MAPEI Flexcolor Grout 

I must admit — when it was first finished I didn’t completely love how this turned out. But I did like it and was happy to get rid of the old red tile and gross grout. It’s grown on me some, I like the boarder because it helps break it up and keep the larger tiles even but it also throws me off! What do you bees think?

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House Tour: Bathroom Remodel

Are you ready to see our bathroom remodel? It’s finally time to share a tour of the transformed space – which honestly came out amazing – especially for B and I doing 80% of the work! This was part of our basement makeover and gives our basement a completely new livable space.
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4 Things I Wish We Knew Before Tiling Our Shower

With our bathroom project coming to a close – I wanted to share a few of our trials and tribulations, specifically from tiling our entire shower from floor to ceiling.  Tiling the shower was never something we didn’t feel confident doing – we had successfully accomplished a smaller tiling project a few years prior, so how hard could this be? *smiles*
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To preface, we did extensive research and YouTube how-to video watching and there were definitely a few steps that these DIYers seemed to leave out of their tiling videos that sort of killed us, from a timing and extra work perspective. Also – a lot of DIYers were using individual tiles vs. the sheets, so I couldn’t gauge if we needed to do anything special or not!

What I Wish We Would’ve Known

(1) Over Estimating Tile Purchase by 10%  Soooo this was something I’d seen on the inter webs, but not something we accounted for – this involved us having to run out and buy a couple more boxes of tile, while we were mid-way in the tiling game. This meant extra money we weren’t planning on spending. Not to mention a few of the boxes we’d purchased included broken tile sheets – so we were able to exchange/return others we worked with. We also hadn’t accounted for ceiling tile – so this was something we also had to pick out and purchase while we were prepping for this project.

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Basement Makeover – Check-In

Over the summer I shared our Basement Makeover Game Plan – which I admittedly had some ulterior motives to have some extra space ready for B’s surprise party back before the holidays (but he didn’t know that *smiles*)! We were able to knock through a lot of the to-do’s and really transformed this space. Here are a few of the first items we knocked through with some photo updates too!

P.S. Before you keep reading – be sure to check out our Basement Makeover Game Plan to see the hideous before pictures, and to truly appreciate the afters!

Created a Dedicated Space: We had to move all of our storage shelves, while also buying new plastic black shelves and containers to get things organized and contained – we moved all of this either under the steps where we have a decent amount of storage and then also created a “storage room.” Also to help make this storage room and create our “living space” – we had a plan to put up a faux wall with a painters drop cloth as a large curtain, curtain clips and a gas pipe for it to hang from. Basement Makeover - Checkin - the bee life (4)Painting & Waterproofing: This was super fun, not! *tongue out face* … in order to properly prep the space we had to do a lot of scrapping, sanding and getting the exterior walls ready for the waterproofing paint.  This was dusty, tiring and time intensive – but we wanted to make sure we were doing this right! Once the wall was prepped – we started painting with the thick waterproofing paint – I think we ended up doing at least 2-coats, and then painted with normal paint overtop the waterproofing paint.  We even painted the floor! So we had a completely white space – the paint alone made our basement look 10x bigger!

Accent Wall: We ended up creating an accent wall with shiplap wall – you can see our full DIY and How-to here for $60.  I’m so glad we did this – it helped pull in the industrial feel I was going for with the whole finished-unfinished look.  Not to mention, this was pretty effortless compared to drywall or something else and cost effective!
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As we continued working through these and saw how the space was really coming together – which was a bit beyond what we both expected, our plans for furniture and a few other finishes started to change.  I was initially just planning on using our patio furniture down here in the off season, butttt that changed and we ended up finding some awesome furniture that we pulled the trigger on.  Even finding the perfect rugs to layer started pulling the whole vision together while using string patio lights from the ceiling to help light the space! Basement Makeover - Checkin - the bee life (3)Basement Makeover - Checkin - the bee life (2)I can’t wait to show the finished space with you soon – with custom art and other DIYs like the old vintage trunk I upcycled for $50, it’s been really great to have a secondary living space as an option, hangout and the perfect spot to watch movies at during the weekends!

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Latest Obsessions 02.19

If you’re a frequent Bee reader – you might be noticing a pattern – the beginning of the year I start organizing and decluttering the house… and then I start scheming for upcoming house projects planning for when the weather finally breaks, and even a few while we’re stuck inside! So as I’ve been decluttering, I’ve started a list of projects that I’m looking forward to but also still looking for a bit more inspiration and direction!

Front Door Makeover. I shared my front door makeover wayyyy back on the blog and I love our blue front door, but a part of me wants to maybe explore another color? I’m just not sure since our tan house feels like it limits a few options – I was thinking maybe a deep pink? Or another shade of blue? Or a really stunning green? Or maybe back to it’s original wood? We shall see! But she is in need of a little love, or a fresh coat to say the least. More to come on this project!
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Shear Statement Curtains. Yes, I’ve been on the hunt to replace curtains in our stairwell bay window.  It’s great to have such big windows in an otherwise dark and narrow space, they’re the perfect spot for our plants – and I like keeping them fairly open without blinds, while still giving us a little privacy with the pattern on them.  They’re a bit loved and just need a refresh – but I want to find a 2-pack and enough distraction for the shear. I love the idea of these Ruffle Diamond Curtain Set from Target – but keeping an eye out for a better sale since I’ll need 4-panels!
Latest Obsessions 02.19 - the bee life2Front Coat Closet. After updating our kitchen pantry and then our upstairs hall closet (above) with a fresh coat of paint, fun contact paper and matching baskets for better organization – I start thinking about our throw-all front coat closet.  Although it’s fairly functional, which I thought our kitchen pantry/hall closer both where, I think it could be improved more with better shelving and some purging! So I’m looking forward to giving the inside a fresh coat of paint, building some custom shelving and fully utilizing the space! Latest Obsessions 02.19 - the bee life3We’ve been working through some other projects like our bathroom remodel, which was moving quickly but now we’re just waiting to gear back up on it for finishing touches – which I use very lightly! In between, I’ve been decluttering and better organizing these commonly used spaces around the house.  Beyond planning for house projects, we’re starting to plan for trips this year – it’s always important for us to get away, recharge, explore new places and eat some good food!

What’re you plans for the year?

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Latest Obsessions 08.18

Surprise, surprise – this month’s latest obsessions are mostly house obsessed, as I’ve got my eyes on the next prize and the projects just seem to keep getting bigger and bigger.  Beyond the house project bug, weekend getaways and trips or seasonal parties also have me heart-eyed with excitement.
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Basement Projects.  This is a two part.  Part one has been talked about off and on with B, but seriously discussions and planning have started to take place to build out a full-bathroom.  A good friend is a plumber, so with his expertise and help it doesn’t seem so daunting, yay!  Plus, it will add value to our home, making it 2-baths vs. 1-bath. Part two, is making the other space a bit more livable – we have a decent amount of space for storage, so the configuring has been playing out in my head and I think we can make it work.  The livable space might just be a bit industrial chic vs. completely finished basement. I love this article for some inspiration on finishing touches for your unfinished basement.

Seasonal Parties.  I can’t help but get excited for upcoming season parties, whether we’ll be hosting or attending – from the calm bake, to dare I say it…. Christmas?! Yup! I’m just looking forward to creating new memories and fun with family and friends.  And the only reason I have these on my mind, is because schedules get so crazy – we have to plan that far ahead especially if we want any chance of getting on our family/friends schedules!

Getaways.  Whether it’s a quick two-hour drive or a flight across the country, the travel bug continues and I’m excited to get out of town for a bit in the coming months.  With that, I can’t help but want to find the best brunch spots, shop for a few new outfits, and figure out other fun details to weave into the trip.  I’m trying not to wish these to come too soon though, because time has certainly been flying lately!

What’ve you been obsessing over? New house project or fashion trend – leave a comment, I want to know!

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Image Sources: Bathroom Inspiration Party Decor Inspiration Unfinished Basement

Weekend Recap – College Showers

This past weekend was a good mix of work and fun.

We started yet another house project Friday afternoon, even though we’re working with contractors, so we aren’t doing too much of the heavy lifting, just heavily babysitting. *winks*  But that should be finished up by tomorrow, so fingers crossed we got all the snafu’s worked out.  Don’t worry I’ll share the full project at a later date! Friday night we attended a watch party to watch the Cavs murder the Celtics in game two of the Eastern Conference finals, only to watch them loose at a buzzer beater last night. *grrrr*

Saturday after some of the babysitting stress subsided, we made it out of the house, over to our friend’s to celebrate her 30th! The theme of the night was “party like you’re in college” so there was plenty of drinking games and even a keg of beer.  In order to keep on theme for the night, we gifted the birthday girl with a t-shirt that read; “I Can’t Adult Today” it was perfect! We of course partook in some of the “college party” fun and ran the beer pong table for a few games before we retired and became spectators, mainly because we lost to a few cheaters (you know who you are.) It was a lot of fun, although B and I definitely didn’t party like we were in college. #adulting

Sunday was one of my bestie’s bridal showers.  It was fun catching up with friends and meeting a lot of her family! It was a beautiful shower with mimosas and lots of sweets, so it was extra perfect. A was spoiled with all of her beautiful gifts, because she has amazing taste. I can’t wait for her wedding in July!

On a side note, I can’t believe this next weekend is Memorial Day – where did May go?! What are your favorite May memorials of 2017?

XO