Our favorite spot on chilly nights

October 14, 2015

We had our new back door installed about a year ago and we LOVE it. There were some problems with the manufacturer (it took much longer than they said it would) and when we got the door it was obvious they rushed through it. 

The guys who installed it for us ended up taking photos back to Lowe's and got new trim for the door (the trim it came with was not installed well at all).

It came primed but I didn't get to painting it before the winter. Or the spring. Or the summer. Oops.

So over time it became an eyesore:
peeling paint on trim
This section actually looked better than most. 

I finally decided to tackle it -- we couldn't leave it like that for another round of wet, cold weather. And I was tired of tracking in tiny little paint chips that stick to everything. 

I grabbed some tools and started the process of removing as much paint as I could: 
removing peeling paint

You can use a chemical stripper to get it all off, but I wasn't interested in dealing with all of that this time. I used these two tools primarily: 
tools for removing peeling paintOne is a wire brush and one is a scraper. I used the scraper more than anything -- getting that flaking paint off is key. Then I used the brush and then a sanding block to make sure no more was coming off.

When I was done I had a much bigger mess, as always:
removing peeling paint from trim
Fun times! You can see how big of a mess this back door was from the outside -- dead plants and lots of spider webs too. It was on point, let me tell you. 

I painted the trim with an exterior black paint, cleaned up all the mess, planted some new mums and then added some new door mats: 
black trim around door
Oh my goodness. So much better! (I showed you how I revived those planters earlier this year here.) I chose two rubber mats because I wanted to give the look of two operating doors, even though only one side opens up. 

We have to have something really thin here or the door won't open, and these work great. Now I'm dying to take that light down and spray paint it like I did these -- it looks so washed out. I'll do that next spring when I paint the actual doors -- baby steps my friends. :)

Last weekend I hosted a 40th bday bash in the back yard so I started sprucing up the patio then. Spring is my busiest time working outside but fall is a close second -- it's a great time to plant! For us it means cleaning up a lot of leaves, but at a certain point you give up and just leave them and embrace the fall look: 

stone outdoor fireplace
We adore our patio and fireplace area and this time of year it's used more than any other. It's so cozy and pretty back there. 

Since we're out there more and the nights get chilly, we've wanted to add one of those standing propane heaters for years. You know the kind they have at restaurant patios? I was so excited when I found one from the Better Homes and Gardens line a couple weeks ago! 

I was a little less excited when my husband opened the box and found all the pieces -- but it only took about 30 minutes to put together. It's so sharp looking: 
We haven't decided where it will stay for good, but for now it's between the chairs by the fireplace and our outdoor table:  
tall propane heater
Holy cats, we love it. My hubby turned it on and the whole family stood under it, enjoying the warmth. So cool! It has a high and low setting -- the high gets super hot. I also loved the little table on it -- how fun is that? You can move it up and down to whatever height you want. I was going to stage it with a glass of wine but I may have drank it. 

It has wheels so we'll be able to move it around wherever, or take it up on the deck too: 
stone patio with fireplace
It's heavy so it takes some effort to move it but that means it's safe in that it would be really hard to knock over. The hood assembly on the top took more time to put together than the whole unit, but that's the best part because it keeps the warm air pushed down. Love it. 

Can we talk about those mums? Gorgeous right?? I've never seen them with blooms like that. They are so big and FLUFFY. I'm going to have to plant them in the ground later this season: 
stone outdoor fireplace
I always decorate the hearth a little bit -- a few pumpkins and pine cones (throw a few in to help start your fire!) and call it done. With the pretty changing leaves in the background I don't need to add much. :) 

I wish I could have you all over for a glass of wine back here. It really is a special spot, especially this time of year:  
stone patio and fireplace 
We will cover the chairs and bring in some items later this season, but otherwise it's cleaned up and ready for cooler weather. By the way, the heater comes with a cover for the top, not sure if we'll leave it out all winter or not though. 

Are the leaves changing where you are? Is it finally cooling down? It happens so fast -- we were just in the 80's and now it's downright chilly in the evenings. I'm not complaining! This is my absolute favorite time of year! 
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  1. Do mums come back if you plant them? I always thought they were annuals!

  2. It's almost 5 pm here in SE MI and it's 57 degrees. Beautiful crisp fall day! My fav season as well.

  3. Your back doors look STUNNING! Very upscale and expensive looking.

    It's almost 5 pm here in NW Arkansas and it's over 75 degrees. Tomorrow is going to be warmer, then we get a cold front which will bring the temps back to normal fall. I have 2 flowering pear trees in my back yard, and they are turning red in splotches. Even though we're in the south, we're far enough north to have great fall color. I love fall!

    1. I'm in SW Arkansas and we have a little bit of color change. Still hot during the day but chilly in the mornings.

  4. Sarah, you're home is simply beautiful. It looks inviting and just like a comfortable home. I love your outdoor areas. I wish I could come over and hang out! Great job!!

  5. Were still in the 90's in California. Really hoping we don't pass fall and go right to winter. Although, El Nino is suppose to give us a warm winter. Who knows?? I love your patio and I have wanted one of those heaters forever. I may have to look into buying one now. Happy Fall.

  6. Ah where do I start with naming all your awesome back yard/patio greatness? Love it all. When we lived in Tucson and I was still a kid my Dad built a really nice fire place area in our back yard. He also built little shed for yard tools by it and laid blocks for flooring. We used to cook out there and sit by fire alot. In those days 50's, it got lot colder in Winter in Tucson, even used to snow.
    Its been in mid 80's here in western CO and am really tired of it. Want those cool days so we can take our dog with us when we go to Grand Junction.Just too darned hot for him in car yet. He loves the cold.
    Your patio sure is pretty, great for your family getting that incredible heater. You could almost sit out there in winter, take sleeping bags out, Your patio is so nice and looks so welcoming, great for parties. You have pergola also? Or is that on your deck? You'll get lots of warmth and happiness being able to be out on your patio more often this year. Happy days

  7. What an amazing space - I love seeing photos of your beautiful home. And what a huge difference the black trim made on those doors - holy smokes!!

  8. Trim looks good. I have the same chore ahead of me, too bad black will not work for my house. Amazing job with the patio too. Looks very inviting.

  9. Ahh this post came a couple days too late.. This past weekend I had to touch up some paint on our exterior trim and I didn't know to make sure to scrape off of ALL the flaking paint off first! #NewHomeOwnerFail I did sand it down a little first, but apparently not enough as it doesn't have a smooth finish at all! Oh well, redoing it will have to wait to spring. :)

  10. It's 62 degrees at 4:30 here in Western Wisconsin and our fall is in full swing - love it! Your home is so lovely and cozy so I am not surprised that it extends out to the patio. I love the fireplace, surrounded by mums! It's supposed to freeze here this weekend, so there goes my flowers! Enjoy!

  11. It still beautiful here too. The leaves are gone though and it freezes every night. But the sun comes out every day and warms up a bit. Plus we have no snow yet!! We're in Central Alberta.

  12. The trim on our workshop door is beginning to look like your before photo, I was waiting for cooler weather to repaint the trim since it gets full sun most of the day. Did you use a primer first? The black is a great contrast to your siding!

  13. Looks awesome, I love the black it makes the door POP and the new mums looks great :) I can't wait to have a garden of my own one day. Spray painting that light either black or black and gold would look awesome!

    What a special space, if only I lived closer I would totally come for a glass by the fire!!

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor


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