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Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 | 4 comments

Brad and Heather’s DIY Wooden Porch Remodel

Brad and Heather’s DIY Wooden Porch Remodel

I did a double-take the first time I drove past Brad and Heather’s home and noticed their handsome gleaming wood porch. Later, I learned that they designed and built it themselves and were willing to share their experience with us. Here is the porch the way it looked when they first purchased their home. Brad initially did his planning on paper and with computer software. He went through many drafts before​ c​oming up with the perfect design. Once they had the final plan, Brad spent several months ​drawing the interlocking wood panels using a key to indicate the differen​t e​lements. They then ordered enough white oak to build the railings and to replace the ​five original pillar​s that were removed. They salvaged the old yellow pine for other DIY projects.​ While Brad worked on the wood pieces, Heather prepared the flooring by removing many layers of paint by using a floor grinder and pressure washer​. They installed slate tiles, a choice they admitted to regretting since they said it...

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Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 | 1 comment

The Canel Family’s Modern Backyard Guest House

The Canel Family’s Modern Backyard Guest House

We first met the Canel family when their home was a stop on the 2014 Del Ray House and Garden Tour. Their handsome farmhouse, completely renovated with personal touches throughout, was a standout on the tour. But the Canels had more in mind for their home. If you were lucky enough to participate in the 2016 tour, you got to see the unexpected structure in the backyard. Just this past year, the Canels finished building a modern guest house/office/garage, the work of architect Robert Larson of Larson, Koenig, Hendricks and interior designer Lindsay Boudreaux of Shotgun Double, LLC. The style is completely different from the main house, but it’s complementary and we were thrilled to get a second private tour. The Canels love to throw big parties – they often set up another long table on the patio – so it’s great when they can use their outdoor kitchen, which also now serves as a convenient spot for kids to fill their Nerf spray guns. The main living room...

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Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 | 0 comments

Tim and Dawn’s DIY Outdoor Living Space: Part 2

Tim and Dawn’s DIY Outdoor Living Space: Part 2

In our last post about Tim and Dawn’s outdoor space, we showed you the before pics and plans to completely overhaul their corner Rosemont lot. We’re back today to give you a look at their progress of turning a neglected yard into an attractive and functional space for their active family. After building a small deck landing, Tim sought the city’s approval. He was proud to learn that the city code administration not only approved the small deck landing he built, but they told him that the quality of the work was as good as a licensed contractor. Here’s what the home looked like before Tim built the deck. And here is the completed project. Tim still plans to place LED lights on the steps, another side rail up the stairs, and a bench for the kids to sit on when taking on and off their muddy or wet shoes. To give the appearance of a beach boardwalk, Tim bought 500 sq. ft. of stone pavers. You may remember...

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Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 | 1 comment

A Backyard Makeover Part 1: Installing a Dry Creek

A Backyard Makeover Part 1: Installing a Dry Creek

When we moved into our house three years ago, the backyard was pretty much a blank canvas. We always knew we wanted something different but turned to interior and front yard projects first. Last year we added a slide, a rope ladder  and some chalkboards to make it a little more attractive for our children. This year it was finally time to direct our energies towards the back yard. We decided to call a professional designer to help us turn our ideas and vision into a plan. The space is not large, but consists of various areas which we wanted tied together in a meaningful, aesthetic and useful way. We searched high and low for the right person and came across Beth Ginter of The Honeybee Group in Silver Spring, MD. She turned out to be exactly what we were looking for in a designer — with an emphasis on sustainability and use of native plant material and a lot of experience in creating versatile outdoor spaces for families. Beth...

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Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 | 3 comments

Improving a Popular School & Community Playground

Improving a Popular School & Community Playground

Big changes are coming to the playground at Mount Vernon Community School on the corner of Mt Vernon Ave. and Uhler St. On any given day throughout the year, the space is teaming with children — kindergarten to 3rd grade students use it during the school year, and in the afternoons and weekends, countless families in the community hang out there, even those without kids at the school. But aside from the bright blue and green monkey bars, multiple slides and rounded passageways, the rest of the play area leaves much to be desired. On rainy days, the small field is a mud pit surrounded by trees with exposed roots, the picnic table area is frequently flooded and the unappealing chain link fence is often times littered with trash and weeds. At the end of the last school year, parents and community volunteers made the first attempt to spruce things up by redesigning the rock and tree garden, but now it’s time to take on the next phase —...

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