One of my best friends turned 30 this week. She had decided to flee the country for this momentous birthday, depriving me of the opportunity to throw her a big party. She only made one mistake. She gave me the key to her house. . . (insert slightly evil giggle here.)
Sarah is one of the most giving and generous people I know. She “is the gooey,sticky…stuff that holds” our group of friends together. (name that movie. . .) She often spends so much time doing things for other people that she is left with very little time to do anything for herself.
When Sarah and her husband Jon bought their house a few years ago, along with a slew of things to fix on the inside of the house, they also inherited what Sarah has called the “Northwest Living Encyclopedia of Noxious Weeds.” Sarah has spent hours nursing the nearly dead rose garden in her front yard back to health. Her huge back yard, however, sat relatively unchanged, a giant intimidating jungle.
Until we(Tabitha, Kristin, Kristen, Sonya, Denise, Amanda, Melanie, Rachel, Elle, Meghan, myself, and our 17 children, all under the age of 5) showed up. . .
For several months I had been compiling materials on Sarah’s back lot (and lying through my teeth to her about what I was planning on doing with them – no, there are no Jews in my attic!)Nearly all of the materials were recycled and came off ofcraigslist.org,freecycle, one our our houses, or one of our neighbors’ houses.
Do you recognize the chairs? Yep, they were for Sarah all along!
The fire pit is some kind of old metal planter or bowl. I got them off of Craitslist and even the man who had them didn’t know what they were for sure. I painted this one with a high heat epoxy paint to make it safe to build a fire in. The bricks are from my neighbor’s chimney he recently tore down. The little table was a roadside rescue by Kristin and I made the top out of left over materials.
The white panels are an old school garage door that one of Amanda’s neighbors was getting rid of. This window was in the free section at the theReStore.The wreath I found at Goodwill. It was tightly bound and I released it from it’s ties after painting it to get that look.
The ladder came out of Sarah’s basement. I made the shelves, which are easily removed and replaced so the ladder is still functional, from reclaimed wood that was s cedar fence in its previous life. The items on the shelf(which look better from a front angle, but were purposely left somewhat sparse so Sarah had room to add her own favorite things)all came out of our attics, basements, and gardening sheds.
The super cool glass jugs also came out of Sarah’s basement, a relic of her beer brewing days. The pieces of metal that they are resting on are vintage gas stove burners from the ReStore, painted to match the color scheme.
The table, the beautiful, beautiful table, was another roadside rescue of Kristin’s (the woman is amazing, I tell ya.) It was in sad shape, but the cedar had aged to the most beautiful color. We tightened up the rusted old bolts as best we could (which was pretty good, if I say so myself) and then sanded and sanded and sanded and sanded the top. I applied tung oil to the top after that to protect it and bring out it’s color and detail. The legs were painted to match the chairs and then distressed to match the age and style of the table. The bench was given the same treatment.
Tabitha came up with the “Stone Soup Garden” and it just fit so perfectly. We created this “birthday card” to hang in the garden, each of us signed the back of it.
There are five raised beds. They were made from the same reclaimed cedar fence. The trellis is the frame to an old daybed that had lost its hardware long ago. The photos in this picture are of each of our kids holding letters that together read “Happy Birthday Auntie Sarah.”
These windows were pulled out of a house in North Seattle that is currently under renovation. I saw the post on craigslist about 9:00pm one night. I knew where the house was because I had also picked up some broken concrete a few weeks earlier from the same house. I knew they would be gone in the morning so I pulled myself off of my couch and drove over there right then to pick them up. The bunches of herbs hanging from each window came from Meghan’s yard.
The patio was made using“urbanite”or broken up concrete. We stained the concrete to give it more of a stone like look. After filling in the spaces between with gravel and sand we put a layer of dirt on top of everything, and planted steppable ground covers. As our lovely Seattle rain works its magic the pavers will emerge and the ground covers will fill in to create a beautiful natural looking patio.
Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.
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