deck door siding outside Adirondack chairs mailbox privacy screen party lights

As Maryland lurches through its usual January drama–ice and snow one day, 50 degrees and pouring rain the next–we are daydreaming of how nice it will be to sit on the Shutter Cat House’s new front deck on the first warm day. We all gotta dream….

The thing–the one big thing–that made this house irresistible to us was its location. Tucked into a one-block street and facing half-million dollar (and more) waterfront homes, our little house has water views directly across the street, and down the block. The flash and sparkle of sun on water is ever-present. (Provided the sun ever shines again in the mid-Atlantic region.)

Much to our delight after we closed on the house, we noticed that the back yard includes a little slice of water view as well!

When you are working with a total of under 1500 square feet, it’s important to design a space that embraces outdoor living. That’s true even without any kind of interesting view!

Corner to Corner Deck Party

Here, we are replacing a crumbling brick front stoop with a nearly ground-level deck that spans the entire front of the house. Food and drinks will easily be passed through the big sliding kitchen windows. Hello, happy hour! A big, wide swath of composite decking will provide a gracious welcome and plenty of room for outdoor lounging from spring right through to late fall.

We'll Bring Marshmallows

And when the weather changes and the time is right to sit out by a fire? Why, the Shutter Cat House has got that covered, too. A circular patio sits out in the middle of the back yard, absolutely perfect for a cheery fire ring and a few Adirondack chairs. Stow some cushions and a few other essentials in the cute new shed that’s going up, and you’ll be all set for a fall evening under the stars.

For privacy, we’re putting up a few nicely stained fence panels at the back of the yard. But we left the sides open. One side features a nice glimpse of a wide section of Stoney Creek. The other side? A vacant lot, squared away and well maintained by its owner, who also lives on the street.

Dapper New Siding

We’re replacing the dinged-up, dirty white aluminum siding with new vinyl, and we’ve chosen a dusky blue color for it, with smartly contrasting white trim. It was important for us to get this color right. We wanted to give the place a water-oriented feel, but honestly, we’re not in Key West. A tropical color would have been all wrong. So we chose this rich blue which, paired with gray or black would look quite dignified and Colonial. But instead, we’re juicing it with a bright pop of color on the door and at the mailbox, which sits at the front edge of the yard.

Orange Crush

And the mailbox! Good grief, is that orange number adorable or what? Its sunny color, repeated on the doors, (which are admittedly more glass than frame) will be just the vibe needed.

Our regret is that we will be all finished with the Shutter Cat House by the time porch-lingering season returns. But it makes us happy to think about the many hours–seasons–of pleasure that this newly refurbished outdoor space will surely bring the next owners of this home.

Maybe they’ll invite us over for happy hour.

deck door siding outside Adirondack chairs mailbox privacy screen party lights
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