Last year we transformed the backyard and the year before that we built a new deck and had a deck dinner party and installed cement pavers. Now it’s time to spend some time talking about the front of the house!


In 2014 we dug out some old roots, trimmed the bush in the front, removed some trees (the big pine on the left side of the photo above), and trimmed the birch tree to open up the yard. Since then Nolan worked his butt of taking care of the grass and by the end of last year it was looking very green and lush. For reference, below is the GoogleMaps photo of the house over 10 years ago.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 8.50.23 PM

This is the best before picture I have of the front door.


Last year we replaced the front door with one similar to this one. The glass is etched so it provides privacy but lets in a ton of light! When we first got it I was constantly thinking the door was open because it was so bright in the entry. When we’re gone, Sophie lays in the entry, I love driving up the driveway and seeing the outline of her body through the glass door. (Any suggestions on a good outdoor welcome mat that doesn’t fade within a month?)

Bayer Built offers several pre-painted options, we chose Shutter Blue for the outside and Coastal Gray for the inside. I snagged the shot below while removing the wallpaper, after the door was installed, but before we installed the new hardware.

FullSizeRender (18)

I love the new hardware!! We replaced the front door, garage-to-house, and garage-to-backyard hardware so we could have them all keyed the same. This is the front door handle, but we used the deadbolt on the garage-to-backyard door and upgraded the deadbolt to this electronic one. You can still use a key but when you leave you just tap the Schlage button to lock it. It’s super convenient when you have an excited dog waiting for her W-A-L-K.


More recently we also replaced the garage lights. The previous lights were dusk-to-dawn lights which was nice because whenever it was dark outside they’d be on. The downside is that whenever it was dark outside they’d be on and during Minnesota winters that’s upwards of 15 hours a day. In the few years we’ve lived here we’ve had to replace the lights several times. So this time around we purchased these LED lights16244

If that wasn’t enough we replaced the doorbell, but that’s still a bit of a WIP, so I’ll save that story for another day.