...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Sometimes people leave comments saying they are envious of my house. Today I’m going to quell those jealous thoughts. My house isn’t big. My house isn’t in an elite neighborhood. My house doesn’t have interesting architecture. My house isn’t my dream house. My house still needs a ton of work – even after all of the renovations we have completed. Case in point…

garage light before 1

The garage is a disaster zone. It’s large enough for two cars but we haven’t parked one. single. car. in it. EVER. Instead it holds the typical garage miscellaneous: tools, ladders, bikes, potting soil, random brick pavers, grass seed, a wheelbarrow, a kid-sized basketball hoop, cornhole games…you get the picture. There’s also a full bathroom in there somewhere. All of the supplies for making over the kid/guest bath are scattered within the garage mess. HH and I have reluctantly accepted the fact that there isn’t much we can do in the way of garage organization until we finish the {currently gutted} bathroom. So it is what it is. A jumble of crap with a precarious path leading to the man door. I like organization and things in their places so the garage is hard to handle.

Not only is the inside of the garage a mess, the overhead door needs replaced. It functions okay {i.e., it sounds like a malfunctioning freight train when in goes up or down} but it’s warped, the seal is broken and the paint is peeling badly. We’ve decided it’s not worth the time and effort to scrape and repaint. I have no idea what that trim piece above the garage opening is for but all of the houses in our neighborhood have it. I think it’s ugly. And don’t get me started on the driveway. It is bumpy and riddled with cracks. Grass is growing up through the neglected asphalt. We’re saving up for a new garage door and concrete driveway but until then this is what we’re living with. It ain’t pretty.

garage light before 2

The other day I was outside waiting for Layne to get off the bus and glaring at the garage in disgust when I noticed a forgotten electrical box in the soffit above the garage door. Maybe installing a new light fixture would help ease the pain until we could afford a new garage door and driveway?

garage light collage

Um, still painful but decidedly less so. {I can’t decide if I like the garage best with the door up or down. The view is disgusting both ways.}

garage light after 2

I give the light an A for effort. Poor thing. It’s really nice but there’s just too much big stuff going on around it for it to make an impact at this point. It’s the Hinkley harbor flush mount in titanium. The matte silver finish is perfect and ties into the metal roof. HH liked that it was large enough to cover the soffit hole so he didn’t have to do any extra finagling during installation.

garage light collage 2

The seeded glass gives a diffused, warm glow at night. I love that.

garage light after 1

Can you picture it with a new garage door and concrete driveway? Eh, someday.

Thanks to Wayfair for supporting my habit.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



Okay, I’m not a designer but I do live in an old house with no budget for renovations. Much of what I do has to be so things look better and/or are protected from damage. I just painted a floor because I can’t afford to have it refinished. So I would buy a can of paint and paint that garage door – no scraping or sanding- it is going to be replaced, right? But it will look clean and fresh for a period of time. Spray some RoundUp on the grass and it will look soo much better. It won’t smack you in the face when you are out there. Just do it, be wild and crazy. :)


Pretty light! I had a terrible time finding a flush mount light we liked when we redid the lights on our house. I think we ended up with only 2 options as we wanted a copper finish to complement our orangy rust brick. Really only 1 option once price was considered – good thing I liked it!

Will your new garage door be white or something darker for less contrast between the brick and the door? I can’t remember if you have any color other than white used for trim on the outside – but maybe a light to medium gray for the door & trim above it will help make it jump out at you less.

And we are envious of your house because it is filled with LOVE – all the rest it small stuff.

I’m jealous of your house in the simplicity you’ve focused on. I started reading this blog about a year ago and read the entire thing in a car ride, because I was so impressed and inspired that you saw the potential in that house. So many of us would’ve been overwhelmed, too overwhelmed to try, but you were fearless.


That particular trim piece over the garage door will only be found on houses in your neighborhood that have “cladding” installed over the underlying wood soffit and fascia. I prefer the look of the original unclad wood myself. Could that one trim piece be removed without too much difficulty? (By the way, I love your new light fixture!)


Thanks for keeping it real. It’s good to see other bloggers’ proverbial dirty laundry every now and again. :)


Nice light! We had a very noisy garage door when opening and closing and assume because it was old we would need a new one. Finally one time a repair manat our home working on another project commented on the loud garage door advising it needed the spring oiled. We tried it using WD40 and it worked. No more garage door that sounded like a jet plane taking off and landing every time we opened or closed the garage door. Try it that may be your problem too.


Thank you for keeping it real. I loved what you said about giving the new light an “A” for effort. Thank you for showing us the beautiful & the ‘still in progress’ photos. My garage has too much in it at the moment too. Get some roundup for those pesky weeds in the cracks.


Thanks for keeping it real. I love seeing the behind the scenes shots you post. Too many bloggers only show the “perfect” rooms of their houses. And we all have the rooms full of stuff, the messy corners.
Please, don’t use Rounup on your driveway! That stuff is toxic and I’m sure your kids are out there. You can pour boiling water on the plants for a short term fix, or burn them with a propane torch (carefully so nothing else gets torched).


The best bet for weeds is plain old table salt. Sprinkle it on whatever you want to kill on a hot day, and let the sun burn the weeds safely.

If you think you’re garage is bad, you should drive through my subdivision. More than half the homes here have packed-to-the-gills garages. Not mine, fortunately.


I see it as a sunporch or a playroom addition. Or at least part of it, then maybe a storage space, also. As for cars, maybe one of those cool canvas things?


Check the home diagonally opposite yours. It has cladding, but the trim piece over the garage door is smaller and a better fit for the space.


We moved around a lot over the years. I always arranged the furniture, bought or made curtains, grew houseplants but the rooms never came together fully until my husband had time to paint the rooms. (He liked to do it himself) usually right before we moved. So I know how you feel.


[…] couldn’t stand it’s peeling paint any longer. (You can see images of the original door here.) And I needed an excuse to be outside. I have a hard time being anywhere…I always have to be […]