Our Backyard Design Plans & Inspiration

Hey friends! I'm excited to be sharing some of our backyard plans with you today. If you're on Instagram, you might remember my tour I gave a couple weeks ago and asked if anyone had any suggestions for us! My friend's mom replied, along with my aunt, and I think I have a pretty good plan of what's going where. 

Here's what we've done so far: 
+ When we moved in, we removed the tree in the middle of the yard because the roots were touching our foundation (scary!) and the span of the tree was covering the entire yard, making grass nearly impossible to grow. 
+ My husband built a fence the week we moved in last May.
+ Since the yard was all weeds (though the previous owners, since we bought the house with snow on the ground, told us it was "lovely grass" LOL), we hired someone to grade the yard, throw down top soil and then seed last October. A day or so after he seeded, we got torrential down pour rain like I've never seen and it washed a lot of the seed away. As you'll see in photos below, the grass is really patchy and sad looking. 
+ As soon as the MI governor said that landscapers could work again, we had our guy come back to reseed and fertilize. This happened a couple days ago. We're hopeful it'll start to fill in!

The Design Plan:

First I thought I'd show you some mock ups of the area. I drew over some photos I took of the space in Instagram Stories, so excuse this poor mock up ;) It will have to do for now!

Our garage makes up one of the walls of "fence" for the yard, and right now it's ugly! Seed likely won't grow right along here because this is where the yard starts to slope down and water pools a bit here. (Thanks for your suggestions on drain systems!) This area, even on a sunny day, gets zero sun, as you can see in the photo. With some suggestions from my friend's mom and my aunt, we decided to get shutters and a window box for under this tiny garage window. It'll help fill out the space and add some charm! We're also going to add trellis' on either side of the window with a vine flower growing up it that does well in shade.

You'll see I drew stepping stones along this area and this is really out of necessity because of the water pooling and no grass growing here, but I also think it'll be so pretty! The stones will go from the gate to the right of this picture below to the garden shed and in between the large pavers we'll spread small crushed river rock to help with the water issues. 

Okay, onto the shed! If you scroll down, you'll see the shed in its current state. A big snooze fest! For some reason the old owner painted our house, garage (even the garage door!!) and the shed the same color. I'm going to liven this baby up by painting it white and then painting the shed doors (which we'll replace) with a pretty light blue. Finishing touches will be pretty new hardware on the doors.

I'm thinking of doing potted plants on either side of the shed doors to bring some more beauty.

For the window box, I'm thinking of going with a stained wood to match our deck stain, which will be to the right of these pictures. I'm still wavering on the color of the shutters, but I'm leaning towards a crisp white to match the shed.

Now for some inspiration photos to show you my vision!

Window Box Inspiration:


Shutter Inspiration:
via - sage
via - white

Trellis / Vine Inspiration:

This is moonflower! It actually opens its blooms in the evening and night, kind of the opposite of a morning glory! But it's great for shade.



Shed Inspiration:

Isn't the crushed rock beautiful up next to the shed? I think it'll give it a really clean, more polished look! 

At first I was dreading this backyard process, but now I'm looking forward to it and glad we have a blank slate. Maybe I'll get into yard design next ;) Just kidding!
Let me know what you think!

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Our Dining Room Reveal

I hope you all had a lovely Easter! If you missed out Easter post, you can find it here :) 
Today I'm revealing our finished dining room and I'm so excited to show you! It's been a work in progress, much like the rest of our house, since we moved in. We finally got the art hung, our new chairs in and I got it photographed, so here we are!
So you know what we started with, here is a BEFORE photo (from the listing of our house):

And here's the AFTER!

We switched the light fixture (which wasn't even a proper dining light fixture before, as it was hung way too high- ha!), added a door to the builtin nook, hung curtains high and wide so that the ceilings would appear taller, hung art, got a new table (I designed it and had it built by Haven Creek in Rockford, MI, but they sadly don't do custom builds now), rug and chairs. Phew! Thankfully other than this room, we didn't have to buy any furniture for the new house...we had almost everything we needed for now.

The Light Fixture:

I am so in love with our dining room light fixture from Hudson Valley. It just makes the whole room! The space is long and narrow so I wanted something to really fill up some visual space. The touch of brass picks up perfectly with the gold picture frame behind it. I am so grateful to have partnered with Hudson Valley Lighting on the lighting in our new home! If we move, I'm definitely going to be taking some of them with me, including this one :)

The Table:

We brought the upholstered chairs we had from our old apartment with us and had our table custom made with a bench. It works really well when people come over because you can squeeze lots of people on the bench. The table is 7' long and the top is a gorgeous herringbone pattern. I designed the base of the table to have a pretty, classic, yet simple X base.

Centerpiece hack: $2 Eucalyptus stems will last you forever!! I've had these almost a month now. They take up a lot of space on your table, so they're a perfect centerpiece.

The Artwork:

I knew we needed something large and I wanted something with color to bring in some blues and greens to tie in with the rug and curtains. Large art is expensive and I wanted to be budget conscious, so I turned to one of my favorite resources, Juniper Print Shop. The carry many different artists' work at very affordable prices. You can either get prints shipped to you, or download the file to print yourself. I was so excited to work with them for this piece of art, because the second I saw it, I knew it was perfect. It had deep green tones to play off the curtains, some blues to tie in with the rug, and some blush hues for a pop. I've since connected with the artist on Instagram and she's so talented!



The Chairs:

I chose our table stain almost a year ago and still hadn't gotten chairs for the other side. One day while shopping for a client online, I noticed these chairs from Pottery Barn were almost identical in color to our table stain! I had some credit to PB, so I ordered them right away. I can't believe it, but the match is almost the exact same. I'm so happy with it! They're a really good price and on sale right now.

The Frame:

I partnered with one of my FAVORITE frame resources, Framed & Matted. Their name is so easy to remember, too! ;) They have simply beautiful frame options to choose from and the sizes are all custom. It's so easy to build your own frame! The museum glass is what I went with and I love how it all looks. I was SO impressed with the quality of the frame, instructions it came with on how to hang it and that they include all the hardware to hang it seamlessly. Our frame is called the Parker.

The sun was shining this day I took photos, so it's making the print look rippled, but I assure you it is not ;)

Thanks for stopping by to see the dining room! I hope you like it! I wish we could have some friends over now to celebrate, but we'll have to wait for that... :)

Happy Tuesday!
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This post was in collaboration with Juniper Print Shop & Framed & Matted. All opinions are my own, as always, and I only share companies I personally use, can vouch for, and source to my own design clients. Thank you for trusting me and supporting the brands that keep MND doors open!

Our Spring Bookshelves

Hi friends! How are you holding up? 

We're hunkering down at our house and have been so blessed with some warm sunny days here in West Michigan! This weekend we even took a walk around a local lake and it felt so refreshing to be outside. We did some work outside in the yard, too. 

I can't believe Easter is Sunday! I decorated my bookshelves for spring last week, so I wanted to show you! As always, I just do subtle decor for seasons and holidays, and this Spring I'm really excited about my two cute little bunnies. 

I snagged this white ceramic bunny from Pottery Barn (before Lent started, for those following with my no shopping during Lent!) I got this plant at Trader Joes a couple months ago and holy cow, it's loving it right here! I water it every Monday and it's thriving, always growing new leaves!

This bowl is one of my favorite things we own! My friend got it for us for our wedding and she found the pottery artist at her local weekend market. So fun!! You can find her shop here. We put our shells from our Florida vacation in the bowl. I really need to get a lower bowl for these, but this will do for now.
 Books: Travel Home (on sale!) / Farmhouse Modern 

Did you spot the second bunny?! This one is painted and gifted to me by my sweet friend Jessica, of Simply Jessica Marie. She only had 25 bunnies and they sold out, but her spring shop is filled with adorable home decor, all designed and painted by her.

The other thing I was excited to put out was this chinoiserie egg. I love the blue and how it relates to all the other blue ginger jar items I have. I found it at Pier1, but it's gone now :(

It is Well sign 

Vase on the hearth (I still need to find branches for, but again, I can't buy anything until after Lent!)

Did you decorate for Spring or Easter? Thinking of all you sweet friends and readers and praying you stay well!

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