Modern Screen Door

screen tight wood unfinished screen door diyI’ve wanted a screen door on our bedroom/backyard door since we moved in. It’s been one of those little projects that we just never get to. I’m not a screen door fan. They totally scream Southern/country to me and I would usually steer way clear of them. But in this instance it seemed like the best option. Our bedroom is lacking in windows and having the door open, an all day everyday habit, allows natural light, fresh air, backyard views…and bugs in. California bugs aren’t nearly as bad as other areas of the country, but they still bug. So my only requirement out of a screen door was that it kept the bugs out and let the light in while blending with our house in an unobtrusive and minimal way (read: no shabby chic country trash).We always thought we’d have to build one from scratch, the main reason we haven’t gotten to this project sooner, because there aren’t a lot of modern looking wood screen doors out there in our price range. Rejuvenation carries this one, which is decent looking but expensive. Last month, in a semi-desperate search for a cheap, temporary stand in, I saw this Screen Tight wood screen door in-stock at Lowes and decided to give it a try. It is simple, unobtrusive and just might even work as a long term solution. And for $70, way cheaper than anything we could throw together. (FYI Home Depot carries it too for even cheaper, though not in stock for us, and so does Amazon but for quite a lot more – which I almost paid before finding it locally because it’s still cheaper/easier than DIYing. Ours is a 32″ door for reference.) The downsides are what you’d imagine from a cheap, off the shelf screen door: it is sturdy enough, but slightly warped. We had to trim ours because something wasn’t square – totally possibly our house! The actual screen construction is flimsy, barely making it through taking it off/screwing it back on process in order to paint the frame. But now that it’s in we are SO happy with the quality for the price. It feels like it will last us for years and we like that the screen can be easily replaced when the time comes. Do you notice our fun little work around? We had to trim off the top corner of the screen frame to clear a roof beam. We thought it would look WAY worse than it does and be so noticeable that we almost abandoned the project, so we are so happy that it’s only obvious from certain vantage points. screen tight wood unfinished screen door diyThe screen door comes unfinished and painting it the same color as our door seemed like the best way to blend it seamlessly, so I went with Fireglow by Behr again, in their Marquee paint in exterior glossy…it’s NICE paint. Orange paint is notoriously a multi coat color, especially over white primer – which I always end up using because that’s what I have on hand and I’m impulsive. So anyways, this paint is high quality enough (paint and primer in one with excellent coverage) to skip the primer so that’s what I decided to do here. And after doing one thin coat, I stopped because I loved the accidental wood stain look achieved with the grain slightly showing through. It adds some interest in an otherwise flat scene.screen tight wood unfinished screen door diyWe decided to hinge it opposite our door because, as you can see, that configuration was the least awkward for passage. I think what often dumb downs screen doors is ramshackle, country looking screen door pulls. Instead I planned on going with this dummy knob that matches our interior door knobs. Way better right? But I hesitated in order to sit with it for a few days and I’m so glad I did because I actually ended up preferring no hardward for an ultra-clean look. We put a roller latch on the inside so the door easily opens with a light push or pull on the cross bar and, especially since this door doesn’t get a ton of traffic, the no hardware situation is totally doable!behr fireglow exterior paintBefore the screen door (and the chair paint faded) and after:screen tight wood unfinished screen door diyIt’s so lame to call this life changing for us, but it really has improved our day to day so much. We open it the second we open our eyes in the morning and don’t shut it ’til eyes shut at night. We love having a cheerful view to our backyard. Our bedroom used to take on so much heat in the summer and the screen has dramatically changed airflow to where it’s often freezing cold in here by the time we go to bed – the best! And NO MORE FLIES, though oddly the cutest baby lizard did sneak in under the other day. The only downside is that everything is way more dusty than it was before, but that’s a trade I’ll gladly make.

So what do you say to screen doors? Heck yes or hard no?

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Modern Fire Pit Roundup

Any self-respecting suburb lover enjoys a good backyard, myself obviously included. And any respectable backyard has fire. A favorite addition to our backyard was a simple, low fire pit. Even when it’s not fired up, it serves as a gathering spot, as places where fire happens often do.mid century modern landscape mosaic wall firepit fire pit esschert design butterfly chair I purchased ours after a pretty exhaustive search and I’m here to share some of my favorite fire pit finds, just in time for backyard season. I was looking for modern, simple, woodburning (so portable), and a few hundred dollars or less. If you are instead searching for sweet vintage fireplaces for your outdoor fire needs, I’ve got some info on buying right here. But if we are talking fire pits, here’s the goods:

I’ll start with the Low Fire Pot by Esschert Design, the fire pit we own and shown in our backyard above. I landed on this one because it was very similar in design to my first choices but considerably more affordable. There is a 24 inch or an XL 31 inch. I cheaped out and bought the smaller one and wish I’d gone with the XL to be better scaled to our space. Otherwise, we have been very happy with it. It is cast iron and very heavy. (I did give it a coat of high heat paint last summer, and need to do again after this year’s rain, because some rust follows wet weather. I used this paint with initial doubts, but it totally holds up to fire and makes the pot look brand new!)

 

modern firepit mid century

 

 

CB2 has a very formidable contender, the Ember Fire Pit. The design is so sleek and the bowl is a whopping 36 inches, all at a very good price:modern firepit mid century Next up is the fire pit I badly wanted, Design Within Reach’s Cast Iron Fire Bowl. But at only 23 inches and many more dollars, it wasn’t the sensible purchase. Those angles are calling out my name, though:modern firepit mid century While we’re in the $400 range, umm check out this gorgeous 47 inch steel monster:

 

 

 

modern firepit mid century

 

 

 

A smaller 31 inch cousin to the above bowl in an iron oxide finish on steel. So pretty:

 

 

 

modern firepit mid century

 

 

 

Same as mine BUT OVAL:

modern firepit mid century

 

 

An interesting one from Esschert Design:modern firepit mid century

 

So I know I said cheap and this is absolutely not that, but I can’t talk about modern fire pits without including the masterful metalworks of Modfire. Prices are 1K+, but designs are impressive and fun and worth a look…if only for their major Palm Springs street cred.

modern firepit mid century

And that concludes our foray into fire pits. Time to fire up the backyard friends! xoxo

Mid-Century Inspired Patio

mid century backyard patio set dining chairs table wrought ironHey there!! I shared the pretty-much-all-finished-and-so-colorful-backyard a few months ago (with an additional post all about plants and another on that crazy painted wall), but the patio was shielded from your eyes for your own protection. It spent a few months last year looking respectable until we decided to bring that tulip table into the family room. Since then, the patio has been serving time as a dusty alfresco storage unit, making it an eyesore of wasted space.

I’ve cleaned it all up in time for spring – and by clean up I mean I got rid of a bunch of crap. A long but narrow patio can only hold so many patio sets/tables/plants/bar carts. I drag my feet sometimes on letting go of stuff, but am ALWAYS so happy after I clear out. It’s hard walking that minimalist/hoarder line. It may take me longer than most, but I get there in the end.The biggest change is our new patio table, a vintage set I found on Craigslist after a surprisingly long and discouraging search. While I really, really loved our old setup (a vintage tulip coffee table with wood Ikea chairs and bench) my husband strongly disliked eating dinner, which we try to do outside nightly in warmer months, over a low coffee table. Our family room was more than happy to gain the tulip and this new-to-us dining set is so cute, so I can’t argue.I gave it a coat of paint to freshen it up and then searched high and low for vintage style round, outdoor, thin, yellow cushions…an almost impossible feat. I worried I would have to stoop to dreaded sewing. Having no luck, I decided to give these very poofy ones from Greendale Home (mine are in yellow) a shot first. Aside from their thickness, which I’m hoping will mellow with the weight of butts, I love them! They are nearly perfect and are totally giving off that mid-century/desert/resort vibe I was hoping for (Pinterest patio vibes here!) Sidenote: the cushions come in sets of 2 and in TWO size: 15″ or 18″….I almost purchased the 15″, which would have been way too small for my chairs.vintage mid century patio set white yellow chairs table flower wrought ironI went overboard last summer on Acapulco chair purchases when I found them on clearance at TJ Maxx. Six chairs later and no regrets! Two white ones ended up out here, another white pair are in the front yard, the turquoise one floats around the backyard, and a black chair ended up in my daughter’s room (here’s a pic). No waste. We love and use the whole lot.I’ve still got that strange green moonrock fountain sitting on top of our gross hose reel box^ (which I really want to replace with this modern metal hose cabinet and paint it orange or turquoise or yellow, but can’t pull the trigger because it is such a splurge on a such a boring thing…) But that fountain is too weird not to love so hopefully I will find a spot for it in the yard soon (while I wait out a pool).

The side tables (one is a piece of wood on a vintage stool frame, the other an accent table from target) got some bright coats of paint. We are certainly lacking in mosaics out here, so one day soon I hope to make colorful tile tops for these tables. In the meantime, these colorful painted tops are so much better than the haggard wood underneath. Why didn’t I take the 10 minutes and do this years ago? I semi-DIYed this driftwood starburst in order to cover up an unsightly hole in our stucco left when former owners removed an intercom unit, that we really need to patch up but we’ve got some out of sight out of mind going on. Dream hole cover-up would be a vintage ceramic Meridian clock…but I don’t really have a grand lying around for old clocks!There’s that sweet, unnecessary backyard doorbell from Rejuvenation to match our front door. Why does one need a backyard doorbell? Who the heck knows.You can see that I really ran with the orange/yellow/turquoise theme already happening in our backyard. It’s tight and oh so crazy.

SOURCES

Patio set – vintage | Chair cushions – Amazon | Acapulco chairs – TJ Maxx | Tables – vintage and Target | Doorbell – Rejuvenation | Planters – vintage and Homegoods | Wall Hanging – DIY | Birdhouse – TJ Maxx

PATIO TO DO:

  • Repaint table set 
  • Replace mismatched patio lights
  • Replace doorbell
  • Organize patio/toys/furniture
  • Repair sliding screen door that the dog turned into a dog door
  • Find new patio dining set
  • Paint patio set
  • Chair cushions
  • Paint side tables
  • Cover hole in the wall
  • Patch the hole in the wall
  • Mosaic tops for side tables
  • Dining light for table
  • Better looking hose storage

And there we go! The rest of that to-do list is feeling like NOOOO BIG DEAL, for once in my life. Thanks for reading everybody! Hope your weather is warming and your outside spaces are being put to use! xoxo