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The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home


DIY-ify: 10 Fantastic Patio Makeovers

10 Fantastic Patio Makeovers

Trend: 10 Fantastic Patio Makeovers

My husband and I are prepping to tear down our terribly ugly (and sort of already falling down) detached garage real soon, so it got us thinking about all the things we can do with the extra space we will have in our tiny backyard! We definitely need a patio to entertain and host dinners in the summer, but will we do pavers or lay down some concrete? Maybe stones with pebbles filling in the cracks? Should we just go with grass? What about a covered area since it rains 9 months of the year in Portland? So many decisions to make and that’s what this weeks DIY inspiration is all about. Take that boring patio from blah to wow! Check out the inspiration below to get started on your own patio transformation.

1. I an in LOVE with this urban patio makeover (I want that yellow chair), on East Coast Creative Blog.

Urban patio makeover, on East Coast Creative Blog.

2. Update thrifted items to create an amazing outdoor space to hang with your friends, from Liz Marie Blog.

Update thrifted items to create an amazing outdoor space, from Liz Marie Blog.

3. You have to check out the whole outdoor makeover here (they did a ton of great work), from The Handmade Home.

You have to check out the whole outdoor makeover here, from The Handmade Home.

4. Update a patio with some colorful furniture and accessories, from Hi Sugarplum.


5. A fresh coat of paint goes along way with this makeover, from Smitten Studio.

This makeover is fantastic, from Smitten Studio.

6. This covered patio transformation is pretty amazing, from DIY Show Off.

This covered patio transformation is pretty amazing, from DIY Show Off.

7. Are you in an apartment and have a small patio? Then this makeover is for you, from The Apron Blog.

Are you in an apartment and have a small studio? Check out this makeover, from The Apron Blog.

8. This homeowner really created a wonderful retreat in their backyard, from BHG.

This homeowner really created a wonderful retreat in their backyard, from BHG.

9. This deck update is so wonderful and really brightens up the backyard, from Fabric Paper Glue.

This deck update is so wonderful, from Fabric Paper Glue.

10. This tiny backyard makeover is perfect, from Sugar and Cloth.

This tiny backyard makeover is perfect, from Sugar and Cloth.

Are you happy with your backyard, or does it need a major makeover?

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama

Building a Dream House: Spring Projects

unfinished basement dream house

It’s been several months since I did an honest-to goodness Dream House update. I’ve talked a lot about little projects that we’ve started working on over the past 6 months (playroom, studio, mudroom, front porch garden containers, etc.), but I haven’t written a plain old update since we moved in. I’ve been very focused on getting things done, and have completely forgotten how fun it is to see works in progress, not just finished rooms. And we’re up to our eyeballs in half-finished projects, so here’s a peek at what we’ve been working on (little by little) this Spring…

dream house basement studio

The basement: Back in the beginning of March (over two months ago), I wrote that the basement was slowly but steadily being finished, and that my studio would be done very soon. Well, it turns out, not so much. The basement is still being worked on steadily, just much, much more slowly than I thought it would. That’s life in the construction world, I’ve learned. The good news is, all the taping is pretty much done, so I’m guessing texturing should be happening soon. We already have the cabinets, shelves, and hardware for my studio, and I’m chomping at the bit to get it move-in ready!

apricot trees dream house orchard

The garden: When it was still cold out and still appropriate weather for planting fruit trees, we put an orchard in! Cherry trees, apple trees, peach, pear, apricot, almond, olive, quince, and plum. We dragged the kids into the backyard one sunny Saturday, used long pieces of kitchen twine to measure and make sure everything was square, and marked tree locations with those colorful little flags that landscapers use to mark irrigation systems. A few days later, our landscaper came out, dug holes, and planted 30 trees. And just like that, we became orcharders (I’m sure that’s not a word). Everything is green and leafy now, which is presenting a bit of a problem in the form of hungry deer. The orchard/garden area is massive, but fencing it is a top priority. We hired a team to sink the upright posts for us, and are just waiting until the weekend to hang mesh field fencing to keep the deer out. Hopefully they won’t strip all of the trees in the next 2 days!

dream house terraced garden orchard

We also started terracing a spot for our vegetable garden. We tilled up a big rectangle of land, covered it in chicken manure (our neighbors probably love us!), put down rows of railroad ties, and back-filled them with top soil to create level planting beds. We’ve gotten two rows terraced, and one row planted with potatoes, onions, and garlic. We have plans for corn, tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries, cucumbers, radishes, and a million flowers. It’s going to be amazing…if we can get it done!

dream house planting a garden

The mudroom: We’ve been talking about finishing the mudroom since we moved in. At first, we thought it was something we could put off since it isn’t a room that everyone sees all the time. But it’s one of the most-used rooms in the house and it gets a lot of traffic, so the sooner it can be finished, the better. The list of things we need to do to get the mudroom done is pretty short: install and paint a plank wall; mount two rows of hooks for jackets and backpacks; build a new cubby bench for shoes; and install a shelf at the top of the planks. Not an easy list, but not a terribly long list, and not one that’s that difficult to finish. We can do all of these things ourselves without hiring anyone or relying on help. And we actually crossed a major one off already by installing the plank wall after dinner a few nights ago. It took an hour and was ridiculously easy to do. I don’t know why we didn’t do it sooner. Now we just need to keep whatever momentum we have going so that we can finish crossing things off the list. Yay for Spring projects!

dream house mudroom plank wall

DIY-ify: 12 Outdoor Lighting DIY Ideas

12 Outdoor Lighting DIY's

Trend: 12 Outdoor Lighting DIY Ideas

Summer nights are the best, especially if you have twinkling lights all around the yard. Last year I shared twelve outdoor lighting DIY ideas on the Better Homes and Gardens blog, and it seem like you all liked it, so I decided to create ANOTHER list of inspiring ideas to share. You really don’t have to spend big bucks to light up the backyard. Head on over to your local craft shop or hardware store to make your own unique outdoor lighting. Pretty backyard lights aren’t just for parties, they’re lovely for your everyday outdoor life.

These DIY candy lights are perfect for a party, from Brittany Jepsen for Oh Happy Day.

DIY candy lights, from Brittany Jepsen for Oh Happy Day.

This “Relax” outdoor rope light DIY is lovely, from A Beautiful Mess.

"Relax" outdoor rope light DIY, from A Beautiful Mess.

Make some Moroccan candle holders, from Creme De La Craft.

Moroccan candle holder DIY, from Creme De La Craft.

I love these vintage bottle mosquito repellent lanterns (mosquitoes eat me alive), from Yeah Vintage.

Vintage bottle mosquito repellant lanterns, from Yeah Vintage.

A hula hoop chandelier DIY is inexpensive and cute, from Sunlight and Sequins.

Hula hoop chandelier DIY, from Sunlight and Sequins.

This battery operated light bulb centerpiece is so cool, from Warm Hot Chocolate for Buzzfeed.

Battery operated lightbulb centerpiece, from Warm Hot Chocolate for Buzzfeed.

I always love a DIY outdoor marquee letter light, from Tatertots and Jello.

DIY outdoor marquee letter light, from Tatertots and Jello.

I’m seriously considering tackling this outdoor modern concrete fire pit DIY, from Manmade DIY.

Outdoor modern concrete fire pit DIY, from Manmade DIY.

Check out this Restoration Hardware inspired fire column DIY, from In My Own Style.


Pretty pink outdoor candles are fun for any barbecue, from A Subtle Revelry.


Check out my outdoor chandelier makeover, from The Paper Mama for BHG.

Outdoor chandelier makeover, from The Paper Mama for BHG.

This balloon outdoor wax candle DIY looks like a fun project, from DIY Enthusiasts.

Balloon outdoor wax candle DIY, from DIY Enthusiasts.

Do you have any special outdoor lighting DIY plans for this summer? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama

P.S. The projects from the first images are from: A Beautiful Mess, Manmade DIY, A Subtle Revelry, and In My Own Style.

DIY-ify: 12 Outdoor Lighting DIY’s

Trend: DIY Outdoor Lighting. 

With the warm summer coming up, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about barbecues and spending more time outside! That also means we need some lovely lifting to see while we’re all sitting around enjoying some wine and roasting marshmallows by the fire. These 12 Outdoor Lighting DIY’s are just the thing you need to light up your yard this summer. Enjoy!

Birthday Hat String Lights DIY, on Creme De La Crafts.

 DIY Painted Jar Garden Lights, on Cheryl Style.

 Recycled Wine Bottle Torch, on Design Sponge.

Tuna Can Hurricane Lantern, on In My Own Style.

DIY Glowing Orbs, on The Art of Doing Stuff.

DIY Doily Stenciled Voticed, on Cheryl Style.

Mason Jar Porch Light, on Saved By Love Creations.

DIY Mason Jar Solar Lights, on Today’s Creative Blog.

Paint Can Lights DIY, on Lowes Creative Ideas.

Outdoor MOVIE Light Sign, on We Lived Happily Ever After.

 Outdoor Planter Pendant Lamp, on Design Sponge.

Mason Jar Chandelier, on BHG.

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama

P.S. The 4 images in the first photo are from: The Art of Doing StuffCheryl StyleBHG, and Design Sponge.

DIY-ify: Mini Herb Garden

Trend: Mini Gardens

In need of a garden, but don’t have the space? No worries. I can help you out. I’m rethinking the hanging planter today. Instead of hanging, I’ve added some wire, moss, and some time to make a much more interesting addition to my little tiny home.

With a little bit of time you can recreate this. Here’s what you need:


- 1 hanging planter (with coconut liner)

- 1 twelve inch section of hardware cloth

- Wire

- Wire cutters

- Pliers

- Gloves

- 1 package of sheet moss

- Dirt

- Herbs


- Use a marker to trace a half circle onto your hardware cloth.

- Use your wire cutters to cut out your traced shape. Set aside.

- Cut your hanging planter coconut liner in half. Set aside.

- Use your pliers and wire to attach the cut our shape to the front half of your hanging planter. Tip: also fold back any sharp points sticking out on top.

- Optional: If you’d like plants to grow out the front of the planter, like mine, cut out a couple of uneven holes in the mesh.

- Flip the planter over and use your wire to wrap around the back of the planter (to hold in the moss).

- Line the back wire with your sheet moss. I do this so the moss shows, instead of the coconut liner.

- Add the coconut liner inside of the planter. If you’d like, cut out the some coconut liner shapes to cover the front mesh portion of the planter. I didn’t do this, but it may help retain water.

- Finish lining the inside of your hardware cloth with moss. When it’s all covered, start adding your plants…. starting with any plants that will be hanging on the side.

- Add moss onto any spots that may have disappeared under the dirt.

- Hang outside, in full sun, enjoy!

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama

P.S. Check out my inspiration for this project on Rancho Reubidoux.

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