Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

I‘ve always been quite inspired by gates. They aren’t just a way to keep unwanted visitors out or beloved pets in, the right gate can feel like a special invitation to enter a secret magical garden. You know what I mean?

As far as I’m concerned, a gate doesn’t even have to be fancy (but a little charm is nice!), I just love what they represent. I actually go gate hunting in neighborhoods as often as I go just to drool over houses!

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

You may have seen those two gates from my previous drive bys. If you missed them, you can find the drive by posts here. But if you’re curious about our gate …

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

We’re still Gateless in Seattle, at least on this side of the house. I know.

Years ago (insert eye rolls over how long it’s been) I started talking about how excited I was about installing a gate to our side patio.

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

In fact, we had two other gates built around that same time, the double gate between our side yard and backyard (which we just painted, you can see a bit of it above) and a single gate on the other side of the yard (above).

But the side patio gate? It didn’t get done. It’s a long story, just a series of unfortunate events. So we still have to use a bench and assorted garden supplies piled up in the opening to keep the dogs in. I agree, it’s truly quite ridiculous.

The good news is we finally have a new contractor lined up that I’m confident is going to do the work (thank goodness for Lowe’s contractor service, I should’ve called them years ago! So much easier.). The new contractor is going to build our gate and wrap our side porch posts with wood trim (which we’ve also been waiting on for a long time! Wrapping a post gives them a more substantial, finished look).

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

This photo above is before our railings were installed (they look amazing, you’ll see soon!), and how our posts look now before they get wrapped. Note the pallet in the background acting as our gate. Lol.

Fingers crossed, knock on posts and gates, we’re on the home stretch here.

The gate and the porch posts are actually the last two projects we plan to complete in this long spree of outdoor projects this summer. Most of our projects have been on a small scale, like planting our veggie barrels!

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

These are the same barrels we have been using for the past few years (they are chemical-free for planting). I still envision a big garden in our backyard, but these barrels are so easy to plant! They tuck in quite nicely to this small space, too. Since we had so many other projects going on we decided to use them for another year rather than start another large project.

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens
We planted a lot kale and lettuce (we got a late start so these plants were bought ready to plant, we didn’t grow from seed). I love watching them grow and can’t wait to eat ’em. We get a lot of our vegetables through a weekly delivery box from a local organic farm, but it’s still fun to grow some of our own.

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens
Speaking of small gardens and growing, Lily’s little fragrant garden has really filled out! This was from a couple of weeks ago.

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

We spent the last couple of weeks setting up the deck furniture, planting the garden and flower pots. We planted these miniature rose trees (bushes?) that we bought last year. This spring they sadly got totally destroyed by aphids. I cut them all back thinking I’d have to wait until next year to see them flower. Well, they surprised me! They leafed out again and bloomed. The aphids came back, though, so I was going to go get ladybugs, but I tried some essential oils in a spray bottle first and it worked. Good-bye aphids! So far, so good.

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

As soon as I got all furniture set up, it rained so we had to put all the cushions and rugs inside again, ha! Yes, we live in Seattle so you just have to expect that rain might happen. I do bring cushions and some of the rugs all in if there’s going to be a longer spell of rain, otherwise I don’t worry about it and just let ’em get a little damp . We mostly have had fantastic weather, so I can’t complain about rain too much this time of year.

I will definitely show you the furniture and flower pots when I take the photos, and of course I can show you the porch posts and the gate as soon as they’re in! I might even be able to show you some progress on that in the next week or so.

I know lots of you have been asking about how we stained our side patio concrete (you can actually see it in the white gate photo with Jack, above). We’re just about done so I’ll update you on that project, too.

And of course, as promised, we’ll be hosting our virtual deck party for the big reveal! I’m really looking forward to all of the yummy dishes y’all offered to bring :). I’ll announce the winners of the Simple Gatherings books this week so if you didn’t enter yet, it’s not too late to enter by sharing what you’re bringing to the virtual party (you’ll find the giveaway in the previous post about the deck progress).

We can’t wait to be able to just get outside and relax in our entire outdoor area, I’m so ready to enjoy it all!

You can catch up on our deck and exterior projects here:

Painted Brick Exterior and Outdoor Projects

Outdoor Projects Part Two

Designing and Shopping for our Deck Project

Trex Deck Building Process

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak Peek

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak PeekThis deck project is in partnership with Trex and Lowe’s

Our backyard was a big selling point for us in buying our home three years ago, so we were so thrilled to finally be creating an inviting deck where we could gather with friends and family to really enjoy it! If you aren’t familiar with Trex, it’s a beautiful composite decking that (unlike wood) won’t crack, stain, or splinter. It’s also low maintenance, which was a huge deal for me. I prefer to enjoy my home and yard, not be slave to the maintenance of it.

Even as you begin to design the features of a new deck, start to visualize it in your head, and even see the dimensions all drawn out on paper, until you’re actually seeing it in person you may not realize what tremendous difference an improvement like this will make! A new deck becomes like an additional room, so it’s a great way to expand your livable space. It’s an investment that adds value to your home, but it also improves how you live in your home which is always a win for me with any project.

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak Peek
We started with an old cracked concrete patio. Not the worst situation in the world, of course, but definitely not the most inspiring. It was ready for a refresh.

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak Peek

A really cool thing about our project is that we were able to leave the entire existing patio in place. I’m all about simplification in every way possible, so it was wonderful that the deck framing was able to be constructed right over it!

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak Peek

Since my husband and I are definitely not skilled DIY’ers when it comes to construction, it was wonderful to be able to have a Lowe’s PSE (Project Specialist Exterior) build the deck.

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak Peek

One of the things I usually dread about home improvement projects is the whole process of looking for quality contractors you can trust to take your vision and make it a reality. Being able to line up a qualified, skilled and experienced contractor for our deck through a Lowe’s was a HUGE plus for us! I highly recommend taking a look at (and benefitting from!) the Lowe’s scheduler service for your projects. It’s definitely worth it.

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak Peek

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak Peek

Our deck was built in the winter (thus the missing leaves on our Japanese Maple tree!). Every day I’d look out to see the progress (and of course dream about when it would be filled with furniture and flowers!).

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak Peek

Our Trex deck color is called Saddle, which was an in stock option at Lowe’s. There are so many colors you can choose from! Even if you think you have an idea of what color you want before you begin, I still recommend you bring samples home first so you can see how natural surroundings impact your decision.

We found that the wood hue created a cozy, inviting, organic feel that really complemented our natural “Northwest” surroundings, too. When you consider your home’s location in the country, and even style features found in the neighborhood homes, you have the opportunity to bring together elements that will create a harmonious mood.

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak Peek

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak Peek

We were especially excited about having black railings installed around our deck. While our deck isn’t high off the ground, we wanted to utilize railings to give the space a cozier feeling. I find railings bordering a deck establishes a backdrop that can make furniture placement easier, too.

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak Peek

Trex offers so many styles of railings and color combinations! Our railings are called Trex Enhance in Charcoal Black. I love the classic style. The black of course makes a nice statement and contrast with a white house, yet it allows the natural greenery around the yard to stay in focus.

The added architectural detail as well as the diagonal layout of our railings make the deck design feel so special.

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak Peek

Another detail I absolutely LOVE is the layout of the diagonal deck boards and the border around the perimeter, it makes it feel so custom and unique. I love how a diagonal design element creates a pleasing sense of movement for your eye.

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak Peek
Creating that movement and design interest is also the reason why we decided to lay our tile in a diagonal herringbone pattern in our kitchen!

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak Peek

As soon as the deck was complete the whole backyard felt like a new place! The railings and deck established such a wonderful outdoor gathering space, but I’ve also noticed that somehow the new deck made the yard feel like an even more inviting destination, too.

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak Peek

We are setting up the deck right now, so I cannot wait to show you the finished and furnished reveal (Lowe’s has some really great furnishings and decor pieces for your outdoor spaces. If you missed the look we’re going for, you can see our vision board and find sources for some the furniture we’ll have on the deck here).

Trex Deck Building Progress and Sneak Peek

Oh, and in case you’re wondering what the dogs think of this change, Jack was quite obsessed with the deck from the first day he could walk on it. If I can get a video of him on the deck, you’ll laugh! He loves taking a running leap off from the deck to the grass. He clearly thinks we designed this as his own personal playground. (Notice Lily way off in the yard, always sitting somewhere outside enjoying the sea breeze in her fur! She’s waiting for the furniture to be set up, she’s all about the comfort.).

Stay tuned for the big reveal, friends! I can’t wait to invite you over for our first virtual gathering on the deck right here on the blog.

Leave me a comment below to tell me what you’re bringing to the (virtual) deck reveal party at my house! I’ll give away a copy of my book Simple Gatherings to five commenters at random, or to whoever is offering to bring the tastiest dishes. ;-)

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Learn how to begin planning your own Trex deck and schedule Lowe’s Installation service here!
Decking and railing in this project was provided by Trex
Installation and furnishings provided by Lowe’s

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