How To: Get that rusty look

We wanted our steel planters to have that nice rusty look that says, "I've been here for a long time, but I still look darn good." To do that, we had to find a way to create rust, but stop it from destroying the steel. Here's what we did:

How to Get the Rusty Look

  1. Mix 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water in a garden sprayer.
  2. Spray a heavy coat on the steel.
  3. Let the steel get as rusty as you want.
  4. Mix 1 part baking soda to 3 parts water.
  5. Spray the steel to neutralize the vinegar. 
  6. Hose down the steel with water to remove any lasting vinegar.
  7. Let steel dry completely.
  8. Coat the steel with polyurethane to keep it from rusting any more.


Blog Love

The folks over at You Are The River featured our industrial lighting yesterday. If you get a chance, mosey on over and check out the site.

We have vegetation!

What's green, pretty and lively? Our new planters! We decided to go with mostly native plants because they require less water and are more likely to thrive in our climate.

These are Lantana. They can survive a nuclear explosion. They will take over if you don't keep up with the pruning.

Bulbine are one of our favorites! They have little orange and yellow flowers. They're not native, but they like our hot Austin sun!

Russian Sage and Salvia attract bees. We like bees.

This Yucca shoots up coral colored stalks in the spring. Gorgeous!

The whole shebang!

Just wait until it all grows in!


Planters in the front yard, part deux

What's this handful of loveliness? It's decomposed granite, and it's going in our walkway. It compacts easily, and it looks great against our steel planter. However, it's not soft and cushy, so I don't recommend it for areas where little ones will often be playing.

Here's where we began to fill the area with the granite. We had a lot of this stuff delivered. I think it was 3 cubic yards.

And here's our lovely steel planters that Mr. Venture built himself out of steel plate, angle, nuts and bolts.

We went for the terraced look, which I ended up loving. 

And voila! All the planters and granite are installed and cleaned up. Next comes some pavers for the walkway and some plants for the planters. Until next time...

What plants would you put in this front yard? Leave us a note in the comments!


Make way for the garden!

First off, please ignore the part of the photo where I'm blurry, making a weird face and running out of the shot. Mr. Venture loves to catch me running out of the photo, because he knows how much I hate being photographed. (He's sick and twisted.)

After installing the new fence out front, we decided it was time to put in a walkway and modern planter. Mr. Venture used a sod cutter to remove the grass from the area first, and we transplanted the sod to some bare places in the back yard. Next he leveled out the dirt, and staked out the path for the walkway so that it would be straight.

I'm leaving you with a cliffhanger today. You've seen the prep work, and you can see the finished product tomorrow. For now, just visualize how nice a clean walkway and nice planter will look in this area. (And we have taken a slight break from posting about the interior. Never fear, back to that soon.)


Fenced In

Check out our lovely lattice fence. It guards a pile of rocks and the trash can. Isn't it pretty?

This fence really bugged Mr. Venture. It really served no purpose, and it was ugly. So, he kept the posts and made a modern fence out of 1x1 cedar. He left extra room for a walkway leading to the front door. Later, the pile of rocks will be transformed into a lovely garden, and the trash can will find a new home that isn't within 3 feet of the front door.

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


Finishing the Kitchen... Maybe

First comes drywall. Then comes paint, and cabinet installation, and plumbing, and more paint. There's a lot to talk about in this post, so let me break it down for you.


We wanted to go with a nice neutral gray for the kitchen and hallway. What we got was ugly with a splash of violet. And the bright red accent wall in the dining area wasn't doing it for us either. I believe we painted these areas a total of 4 colors before finding ones we could live with. Did I mention that I hate painting? Well, I do. A lot.

Tip: If you want a warm gray that's indeed warm and neutral, we finally landed on (and love!) Sherwin Williams Worldly Gray (SW 7043). In fact, all the colors on that card are nice, and we used may of them.  


We initially purchased Ikea cabinets in their Nexus Birch finish, because we were told that the Nexus Black-Brown finish was being discontinued. We later decided that we weren't huge fans of the light color of the birch, so we purchased the black-brown when it was re-introduced. This was not a smart budget decision. We should have either sprung for a finish that we liked better in the first place, or just lived with the birch. Oh well, live and learn. 

As for the installation, it was a breeze. The cabinets are easy to put together and hang. It took the two of us a few hours to do. 

Remember when this used to be the kitchen? Now it's the dining room, and it has a lovely opening into the living room. It flows so much better. It feels bigger and more open. That door is eventually going away and there will be a ton of windows added. And obviously the fridge will find a home elsewhere.