I never knew I could be so happy about garage doors

When we commissioned the construction of our carport (way back when we jumped onto the renovation roller coaster), we always knew that we would finish the space into a garage. Secure parking and outdoor storage were important to both of us. Despite relating this to our contractor something got lost in translation, and when the concrete pad was poured, the drop from left to right was so severe we couldn’t find standard garage doors that would work.

Aaron, the primary home material researcher, relayed this message to me on a particularly bad day at work. He said some sort of custom door arrangement might be possible, but that wouldn’t be in the budget for some time. Maybe it was the work stress, but this revelation sparked more than few tears. Yep, I cried over garage doors. Renovations are weird and can be emotionally draining.

I dried my eyes, time passed and I became resigned to the fact that our cars wouldn’t be fully secure. This spring, we attended the St Louis Home Show hoping to find a good deal on a replacement tree for the one that was felled by the electric company (no dice) and looking for a window company to create some custom windows we have in mind for the first floor living room. On a whim, we explained our garage door predicament to the people at The Wright Door Company booth. They said some of the sweetest words I’ve ever heard: “That’s no problem.” The addition of an extra thick piece of weather stripping would allow the doors to sit properly, despite the several inch drop off.

Aaron had to do some framing for the doors (no progress pics because our cameras were getting cleaned), and now our cars are snug in their new home. We’re still marveling at the change!

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We opted for brown doors to help them blend in. We still need to decide how to finish this side of the garage: stain the wood or more ipe (which you can JUST see in the picture above – the slats above the steel on the right side of the garage.) Ipe would be nicer, but since this faces the alley we’re not sure if it’s worth the effort.

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You know you’ve become an adult when you become inordinately excited about purchasing garage doors. I’m totally there.

I’m so glad we stopped at The Wright Door Company booth. After their positive response, we actually approached another well-known garage door company at the show and were told that we’d have to replace that section of concrete with a level section in order to have doors. Pfft! We’ve since learned from the Wright Door Company that they get a lot of business because they’ll do custom jobs, like ours. We were incredibly pleased with their responsiveness and service. If you’re in St Louis, give them a shot!

This means I need a green thumb, right?

Sorry for the accidental hiatus. We’ve had a jam packed few weeks that included a trip to Chicago where we shot an engagement session, made real life friends with some fellow (awesome!) home bloggers, and stocked up on Ikea goodness. As soon as we got back, Aaron got sick, I got a really bad haircut (like texting-my-boss-to-say-I-had-to-work-from-home-until-it-was-resolved bad), I caught Aaron’s cold, my computer decided to die and we restructured how our blog images are saved so Aaron can do the photo editing. Oh, and the St Louis Post-Dispatch stopped by to shoot the firehouse for an upcoming issue (details when we have them). Anyways, how have you been?

The ipe fence/carport wrap is still crawling along. It may be the project that never ends. The only positive is that we’ve been spending a lot of time outside. It’s made us crave plants and a recent brunch outing to new-to-us spot gave us a place to scratch that itch. Cafe Osage is a super sweet cafe that actually sits inside of Bowood Farms – an urban nursery a few blocks from the firehouse.

The biggest problem is that we have plant fright. (That’s a thing, right?) We literally have no idea what to plant. It’s compounded by the fact that during the summer we have little to no time to keep things, besides ourselves and our dog, alive. We’re also not quite ready to commit to landscaping. Even though the staff at Bowood is beyond helpful, right now we’re sticking to the plants in pots (besides a few lilac bushes we sprang for.)

On our first trip, I loaded up on herbs to create a patio garden and bring some life to what we’ve recently dubbed “the courtyard.” (It will make more sense when… if… when we get the carport finished.)

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I had some success last year with a basil and mint plant, in part because I walk right by them every day, making it easy for me to remember to give them some water.

If all goes well, I’ll be mixing up meals using three kinds of basil, mint, dill, rosemary, Italian parsley, thyme and two types of oregano!

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I also picked up a little flowering something for the other side of the door. Hopefully it withstands the heat of the steel fence this summer.

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The Ikea trip also fueled some additional indoor plants thanks to this sweet shelving unit (assembled by moi in just under two hours and just under a bottle of wine. Great success!) and a bevy of cheap white pots. We really wanted to bring some plants into this space to warm it up. This white flat-pack shelf had the right dimensions and price to fill the space.

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On that trip to Bowood, we grabbed a lot of “Oooh that looks nice” plants and made sure to run our choices by one of the staff members. She gave us the OK to plant all of these inside, even though some of them were in the outdoor section. She also hooked us up with some fertilizer, which I’m hoping extends my meager plant care skills.

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Oh my, do I love succulents!

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Last, but not least we scored a sweet mid century planter at The Future Antiques when we picked out our new living room tables. This (rubber?) plant seemed like the perfect addition to our bedroom.

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That’s a lot of plants! I think I need a lot of luck… Are you adding any greenery to your space (indoor or out)? Any tricks for a barely-better-than-novice plant grower?