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A few weekends ago, Christian and I decided that it was time. It was time to deal with the unfortunate disaster that is commonly referred to as "the garage".
Now, let me fill you in on something: in downtown Toronto, if you have a garage, that is pretty awesome. When our area was built in the 30s, the houses were made to back onto a laneway, and little free-standing garages face said laneway. Over the years, some garages started to...well....desinigrate. And the rule is, if your garage falls down, there's no rebuilding it. It's a by-law. So, I will just reiterate how excited we are to actually HAVE a garage, however, we were over it being a disaster zone, both inside and out. We actually do have plans to restructure the garage in the future: new siding, replace the rusted out eavestroughs, put in an electric door opener, and one day actually park our car in there (what a concept). We park on the street.
Baby steps, people. It's all about baby steps (side note: I think that is the 3rd time this week that I've quoted "What About Bob")
First of all, we tackled the inside. Unfortunately, we decided to do this on one of the hottest days of the summer, but not to worry - we forged on! I will spare you with the organizational details, however, here is one snap shot of a newly reclaimed shelf for all of my gardening supplies and our lovely (and properly labeled) seasonal storage bins! Yes, it's the little things that make me excited:
You also might notice some stereo receivers on the upper right-hand shelf. This was Christian's little project. He picked these up at our Annual Lane-way sale for about $15, re-worked the wire, integrated some old speakers, and voila! We can plug in our I-Pod and rock out in our back-yard. It's amazing what $15 and an hour can do.
Once our interior organizational overhaul was complete, we (well, I) decided that the exterior wall of our garage wasn't very inspiring when sitting at our backyard patio set. So, until we have the budget to do the massive overhaul, I decided that a little coat of paint could go a long way. First, I cleaned the surface:
And pulled out my trusty rollers and some leftover paint...
While cleaning and organizing the garage, we came across some cute butterfly iron outdoor decorations that had been stored in the garage for "when things looked a little prettier" - well, we found a home for them! And I used a Groupon I had scored for a garden centre to purchase some beautiful hanging baskets....so, $20 later (the amount we spent on the Groupon about 2 months ago), our backyard went from this:
It's not a super dramatic before-and-after, but the point is that a few hours, some elbow grease and a can of paint can really make a big improvement. We have a long way to go in order to achieve that backyard city oasis that we dream of, however, this mini-makeover, coupled with a string of Christmas lights and recycled Chinese paper lanterns from our wedding day, strung on the clothesline, helped to create a welcoming outdoor space for a BBQ with friends last weekend.
And, oh yeah, we were certain to rock out all night under the stars thanks to Christian's McGruber-ed outdoor stereo. Three cheers for my crafty husband: hip-hip hooray!