Category Archives: Outdoor

Recap – Front door

The days before starting the school, I decided to put some deadlines for me as I imagined that it would be difficult to keep working in the house during classes. So, we took the front door out (it was already broken but still functional), so I had some months in front of me to have it finished before winter arrived. And we did it! We installed the door under the first snow, but we did it!


There were some problems with the front door: one of the hinges was broken, forcing even more the others; the hinges were not strong enough; it opened to the side that was more likely to get wind coming in, forcing it open; the hardware was really not beautiful and had nothing to do with the house. So..

The door is not solid wood. But is still very heavy. Someone built it using solid pieces of wood, a lot of them, and two plywood planks. The plywood was in bad shape, but not the structure, so I made some repairs were the wood had rotted, and changed the plywood.


I will have to make some extra coats of red next spring because red on plywood is kind of a complicated mix to achieve a great result. But it is already much better.

The hinges and knob are from a place specialized in replicas, and are very similar to the ones on the basement door (that I don’t know from when it is, but it is problably not original to the house. Or maybe it is, hard to know). And they match the house style much better. The letter box plate is the same that was there before. I just stripped the paint and spray painted in black.






Our back yard is actually at the side of the house. And it is a sunken backyard with little walls on some of its sides. The walls are the foundation of the house, supposedly a boulangerie, that previously occupied the space. It was basically a squared space, with some features: a little brick area and 2 brick flower bed in the middle of the lawn, a stone flower bed and a little patio, where we have a pic-nic table.



It was a very plain space, that we just used to eat outside in summer days. One of the reasons being the fact that it is not very comfortable to sit long in a pic-nic table. And we didn’t have nice seats to use around the fire.

So first thing I did long ago was taking out the brick flower beds, they just didn’t make sense. And last year I started to destroy the stone one, and we finished that beginning of last May. We used the stones and all the dirt we moved to make a new flower bed in a new location of the garden.


After, it was the gigantic work of loosening the soil and moving all the dirt to the new flower bed. It was a 3 generation work and a very nice family moment (even if exhausting).


We covered the space in landscaping fabric and had 2 tons of gravel delivered, and Pierre had to move all that in place. Heavy work… I made a border using the old bricks we moved from other places, but we still have a lot of bricks for future projects. We them made two benches use cinder blocks and 4×4. And here we are:


We already have the pillows, and you can see the decor and plants already set on the space. It has  received some use, even if it is soooo windy… But there is some to do to be finished.


Coming next:

– Putting pea gravel as a finishing layer

– Moving the wood to under the benches

– Replanting grass in all damaged area and thyme on the bricks

– Finishing the flower bed on the other side of the patio

– Making wood planter for the herbs on the wall

– Some extra decoration (may curtains? Painting the wall? some landscaping under the lilac?)

Front porch – railings



We finished painting the railings. Preparation took forever and then another 4 days of painting (2 coats of 2 colours) finished just on time for the big storm of today. Now we have to wait till fall to paint the new wood (part of the railing, stair and floor) and the deck will be finished. Next year will be just about decorating it.


Ali has fully inspected the works and approved it. She just cannot understand why she could not paint it with us…


Trellis 2

Finally we had a great weekend and it looks like summer is here. I hope to stay… So we enjoyed the hot days staying a lot outside and we also put some time to work more on the front deck. we installed the trellis and there was some scraping but not enough to be ready to paint. Preparation is always soooooo long.

So it looks like that now…



I can finally work on this part of the front garden!

More to come very soon. I hope.. 😉



We are progressing slowly to finish the front porch. Mainly because what is left to do is painting and it never stops raining! But also because there is a lot of preparation to do, and that takes time. A lot of time. This weekend Pierre finished assembling the trellis panels and I started painting them. I almost finished but it started raining again so I still have one panel to go.



Lets just say that working with trellis is not very nice. It is rough, nothing really fits well and it takes forever to paint. I hope they last looooooooong!


Uma casa para duas cachorras


We finished one of our multiple fronts! This weekend my father-in-law came to Lévis again (to watch Kyana singing in a contest, by the way she was amazing) and helped us a lot, again. Yesterday the boys finished levelling the area, installed the floor and the fences. And now we have a controlled area for our crazy ladies.

Marcia e Erick, de novo, super mega obrigada!! Esse verão as meninas vão até ficar bronzeadas! 😉

We started spring with a heavily damaged grass area in our skinny backyard.


And now we have this fantastic outdoor area for the dogs.


The girls prefer staying around us, for sure, but they can stay outside much more now.


Front Porch – update


Last weekend we finished the railings. Now we have to install the trellis and wait because the woods have to dry so we can paint. Anyway there is so much to do in the garden that this waiting time will be good..