Category Archives: Exteriors

Ashley & Nathan’s DIY wedding

Today, I am beyond honored to share the lovely DIY wedding of our good friends Nathan and Ashley. Now, if ever there was a soulmate couple to our own little twosome, this is “the one.” Made up of one part manly musician and outdoor enthusiast, and another part girly crafting extraordinaire, the newlywed Hilbish’s are the yin to our yang. I could sit and chat for hours with Ashley about this and that for the home. Her exceptional taste (no surprise, she works as an interior decorator for Curtains, Blinds and Bath locally) is one that I have come to rely on for bouncing ideas off of. And nothing showcases that taste better than her and her hubby’s wedding day.

Shot by the talented Colling Photography, this oh-so-special May event is just saturated in style and elegance. What I thought a lot of you would appreciate is that, while the wedding ceremony and reception look filled to the brim with exuberance, a large portion of it was created at the hands of Ashley and her family and friends.

Throughout the photos shown below, you’ll find thoughts and memories spoken straight from the bride herself. If you’re planning your own wedding this season, Ashley shares tons of valuable (and practical) advice for tackling the sometimes stressful planning stages. A full list of local event vendors is also included along with links at the end of the post. I hope you enjoy!



I never thought it would be so daunting to recollect a day that was literally just a month ago! Trying to remember your wedding day is like trying to remember your 5th birthday – You know it happened and lots of amazing people were there to share the experience with you, (and yes you have way better pictures from your wedding than your 5th birthday, unless your parents are photographers) but that’s about it! I’ve never been a “focus on me” type of girl, or so I think, so I was all about the details. I had so much fun planning my wedding with my maid-of-honor/sister and mother, it was like I wasn’t even doing it. Also, props to Pinterest because without it I would have been lost.









I really started planning everything like um … a month or two before! I’m a low to no stress type of person so I didn’t worry about stuff (but seriously, take Pilates it will help). I knew the wedding would happen no matter what and that it would be awesome because everyone I surrounded myself with was awesome. So what if I verified flowers a week before, or my caterer had something terribly tragic happen and we had to switch to someone brand new four weeks before. Just wait until you see the food. Yeah, it was awesome. You can be “that girl” who stresses over everything, but what’s the point? You make your vendors miserable AND yourself, along with everyone around you who wishes you were just eloping.










Nathan and I didn’t have any type of ideas to plan; well, frankly he didn’t care. We started out one way but as events fall into place, you can get a sense of direction on your true style. Don’t force it if it’s not meant to be, otherwise you’ll look back and you won’t even be reflected in it. Ours I think was relaxed, vintage-y, fun and personal. We had little details, from Nathan’s squirrel tie (yes, he loves squirrels and I thought why the heck not) and a group dance to break the ice prior to going down the aisle, to really cute things about us on the program to keep people entertained while they waited! It was fun to have fun doing everything, and I think it made it that much more special to the people involved because it made them know you really appreciated them as individuals. If you know your wedding party isn’t filled with “tux-loving” guys, don’t try to put them in one – They will just look super awkward in the pictures. Yes, my girls are girly in 3” designer heels and dresses from who knows where, and the guys were “the guys” with rolled up sleeves and Vans – It just worked together because we were all comfortable.





















The best advice I received that every bride should remember is that it’s your wedding! People are going to ooh and ahh over things they find, and  they will bring you magazine clippings from 1999 that make no sense to your scheme, and email you 1,000 photos of dresses you hate with hints on what they “wish” you’d do (but that you actually want to gag over), or tell you how they did it at their wedding; but what you actually decide to do is a different story. I learned to breathe deep, smile, tell them how great their ideas were, and thank them for thinking of me. I only had one huge meltdown before truly embracing that advice, and then it was all groovy! Have fun with it, it’s your day and your adventure, so surround yourself with people you love and who like to have fun, because in the end it’s so great to stand back and still have all of those people around you laughing at how ridiculous you look in a group jumping picture. 

Photography: Colling Photography
Venue: Afton Mountain Vineyards
Flowers: Doyle’s Forist (Bloom)
Dress: Celebration Bridal
Hair: Bliss Salon
Catering: Cater This!
Cake: Willie Payne (former owner of Magnolia Foods)
Coordination: R.S. Exclusive
Entertainment: DJ Mendez of Mendez Music Academy


Our next HHI house?

While typically today would be reserved for “The Options” feature, I’m suspending my normal schedule in lieu of catching up. In the past few months I’ve often struggled with coming up with projects to fill my weeks here but, as predicted, after coming back from vacation a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been on project overdrive – Now I have too MANY projects to share! I’ll take this problem over the former any day though. So instead of “The Options” this morning, I’m sharing yet another little sneak peek into that aforementioned vacation we just recently returned from.


One of our family’s (namely, my mom’s) favorite pastimes while vacationing in Hilton Head is planning which house we’ll stay in next. There are so many beautiful options across the island, I can certainly see why it would be a bit of a treat to imagine what our next rental property will be like. Thankfully though, mom’s tastes are pretty superb and we just sort of follow along maintenance for wells tucson az, no questions asked. This year though she let us in on the decision making for future visits, taking us on a quick tour of a new home we’d never been to before. If you want your airconditioning to work well kindly checkout Go Home Heating LLC. While wandering the hallways, I was able to snag some shots with my iPhone that I thought were worth sharing. If you want to install excellent quality security cameras, visit Inc. to learn more.





Frankly, it was love at first sight for me. I adored the streamlined modern-meets-traditional look of this house, with its stone floors, high ceilings and monochromatic color scheme. As you can see from the tour I posted last week of the home we actually stayed in, we typically go with warm, traditionally beachy homes with lots of color and styling. This house though felt almost like an Elle Decor spread (which I know is hard to picture through these grainy, dark iPhone photos, but maybe you can get a sense…).




This home was actually on the end of a cul-de-sac, with a lagoon in front and a golf course behind. It was incredibly private with neighbors on only one side, the pool nestled behind high walls and trees curtaining off the rest of the neighborhood.

To know more about the equipment, go to a closer look at the Makita



The best part if you asked my sister and me was the guest house – attached to the main house just by an extension of wall (no shared walls – more like a fence) was an extra room, complete with its own bathroom and bed. No matter how old we get, we will always love to watch movies together in bed after our parents fall asleep, so the idea of having our own private little room to giggle in is very tempting (speaking of this little tradition, I saw “When Harry Met Sally” for the first time this past trip – SO good).




After our quick tour of the home itself, it was on to the back yard to investigate the golf course and water views. They clearly did not disappoint, and neither did the pool and patio. It’s hard to be critical of your own private pool, outdoor dining and upholstered lounge chairs.



As is typical of these post-beach posts, I’m entirely depressed that we aren’t still there…But as a comfort, there are only 347 days until we go back. I can handle that. Oh, and although I was 100% on board with this house, I think the rest of the family was a little unsure about the modern look and feel. We’ll see if I can convince them for 2015’s adventure…

Where do you guys vacation?

P.S. Don’t forget! I’m giving away one of SIGG’s brand new Active Top bottles just in time for summer – Click here to enter.


All in the details…

Courtyard Pool


Continuing with this week’s travel theme, I couldn’t help but chat about the fun, energetic poolside image above. While our own rented courtyard pool for the week isn’t quite as glamorous as this one, I wanted (nay, NEEDED) to spend a little time imagining the possibilities.

Let’s talk details…

1…I know our next house will never include such a decadent outdoor eating area, but that doesn’t mean that this girl can’t dream! Potted palms, a dining table that seats 10 and cushioned corners for reading in the shade make this the be-all and end-all of outdoor living.

2…I’ve never been well-versed in architecture, but thanks to being an avid reader and subscriber to Dwell magazine, I DO know how dramatic an extensive overhang can be. This one is a great example, with its dark stained boards and massive industrial windows underneath. The shade there on that upper deck must be hugely tempting come afternoon. Plus, can we please take a moment to admire the gorgeous curvy white detailing on the railings?

3…Who knew glass blocks would come back into style?? This patio is flanked on either side by what looks like twin glass feature walls. I can only imagine how gorgeous the lower INDOOR living area is with the natural light shining through the frosted surface of the glass.

What are your favorite details?

For past “All in the details” features, click here

All in the details…

Home Depot Patio


I’ve recently become an avid fan of the Home Depot blog, The Apron – Specifically obsessing over their outdoor Style Challenge series. I think the series has come to a close, but feel free to click that link to see all of the posts in one place. Essentially, the idea is that The Home Depot contacted a number of bloggers throughout the community and asked them to review different collections from their outdoor furniture lines. While I really enjoyed the reviews (and am now hard core coveting new patio furniture), My favorite part was getting to know some new voices in the blogging industry. There is so much talent out there – I wish I had 8 hours in the day JUST to read blogs.

But anyway, let’s talk details about this particular outdoor Style Challenge space

1…As I’ve mentioned before, I have quite a black thumb when it comes to gardening. Flowers almost NEVER take up residence at our house, at least not for long. Plain greenery is far more likely to stick around just because of its hardy nature in general, but there’s nothing very fun about greenery. And yet…One tip I’ve snagged from this space is the idea of color blocked gardening containers. I can have my color AND my live plants too by parking them in pretty neon striped pots like the ones shown here. Adding this to my (growing) list of things to do this season!

2…I recently wrote an article for Central Virginia Home Magazine (for the summer issue, out soon) all about indoor/outdoor fabrics, and ever since finishing up my research I’ve been obsessed with the idea. Modern weather resistant fabrics and rugs have come SUCH a long way, featuring tons of gorgeous, vibrant color and pattern. You can hardly tell the difference between patio pillows and living room pillows anymore – Sort of like these colorful beauties shown under the sunshine. Makes me wish, yet again, that we had a patio to speak of…

3…5 years ago, you would totally think that this punchy pink rug was pulled from the living room just for styling the photograph, only to be pulled to safety as soon as they got the shot – But that’s not the case anymore. This beautiful rug is likely one of the new polypropelene blends. UV resistant, bleach resistant and water resistant, these accessories can survive a hurricane – And look GREAT doing it.

What are your favorite details?

For past “All in the details” features, click here

P.S. In case you missed it, I wanted to shout out to a DIY I published over on the Le Papier Studio blog. It’s a tutorial for watercolored DIY Silhouette Mother’s Day cards – If you’re running low on time and ideas, this could be the perfect solution!


The Options: Pallet or Container

Pallet or Container

Option 1: Etsy | Option 2: Martha Stewart

So, confession time. I have such a black thumb (and disregard for gardening in general) that I didn’t even fix the toppled topiary planter on our front stoop before BHG came to visit.

Yeah. I need help.

I wish that I had the time and energy for gardening, but it’s just one of those things that keeps getting pushed to the back burner. But for those of you who do know a thing or two about keeping greenery green, today’s feature is for you.

Option 1: I adore this repurposed pallet planter. The pop of green from the herbs plays so nicely with the rustic aged wood of the pallets. If I had the itch to get gardening, this project would be at the top of my list.

Option 2: But then there’s the simple idea of terra-cotta pots and a Sharpie marker. It certainly doesn’t get much easier than that, and it really looks so quaint and cottage-y. Now I want to add this project to my fantasy gardening to-do list!

Is it just me or would the two be really cute together…? Cast your vote!

P.S. I’m over on GalTime today with a fun DIY placecard holder tutorial, perfect for summertime party planning. Enjoy! 




The Options: Deck or Entry

Deck or Entry

Option 1: The Porch Company | Option 2: Better Homes and Gardens

It’s times like these, when the weather is starting to warm up and the grass is ESPECIALLY green, that I long for a yard. Our little townhouse has only a small patch of grass out front, so small that even a birdbath would look badly proportionate, and a tiny back deck with no greenery to speak of.I recommend contacting pressure washing service once in a while to have the outsides of your house clean. Also, if you’re planning to renovate your house, installing stumps is a good idea. Just look for to see affordable house raising and restumping services carried by qualified restumping specialists. So this will be yet another spring season where I live vicariously through inspiration images like the ones above…

Option 1: Ever since starting work as a professional blogger and website designer (WOOHOO!) for a local exterior renovation/construction company, I’ve been losing myself in outdoor-focused blogs. This one in particular based out of Tennessee is such a great resource for beautiful porch renovations. The idea of creating a covered oasis that’s still immersed in the elements is such a fantastic way to add value to your home – and your life! Also, considering the use of surveillance cameras on your property is essential so that you’ll have peace of mind. Go to Security to see a variety of security system installation or you can contact (786) 800-2609.

Option 2: That said, the entryway of a home has MAJOR influence on the sell-ability (and personality) of a home. This one, with its bold color, modern lines and approachable greenery seems like a great use of budget. I can’t help but lean a little more towards a well executed entry, mostly because I want my guests and neighbors to feel as welcome as I do in our hypothetical future home. Curb appeal is everything, right?? Or is it…

Cast your vote!

App to Try: Houzz

For the longest time it seems (although I’m not sure how) I lived without a smart phone – More specifically, I lived without an iPhone. And I always hated when people posted about iPhone- or smartphone-specific apps because I wasn’t able to partake in all the fun. But then my sweet hubby surprised me with my very own fancy touch screen iPhone and it took no time at all for me to embrace “the other side.” Consequently, I have turned into a huge hypocrite because I’m here today to share my latest app obsession. If you happen to be iPhone-less, I am deeply sorry for teasing you with this brand, BUT rest assured that their website is pretty darn cool and totally worth your perusal via laptop or desktop computer.


So DG-DIY readers, I’m pleased to introduce you to Houzz. A co-worker of mine actually got me in-the-know about this glorious little app, and I have since become glued to the screen. Picture me propped on the couch thumbing through the images in between commercials on HGTV – Yeah, that’s my kinda Saturday night.

How does it work? Okay, so it’s pretty similar to Pinterest really but it’s completely specific to your home. You scroll through their collection of millions of photos and add your favorites to your personalized “ideabook” with the tap of a finger. The image above shows a tiny snapshot of the inspiration I’ve cataloged away for future reference. Although it may seem silly to some, images like these are absolutely the fuel to the fire that keeps my creativity (and the existence of Dream Green DIY) going. Without rooms and colors and design to emulate and drive my own direction, I feel like I’d be completely lost. So this app is honestly such a priceless tool for me as I continue to acquaint myself with my style in adulthood.


Now, before I share some serious eye candy, I wanted to point out some of the cool features (P.S. You may have gathered that I tend to sound like an infomercial when I find a brand I like – Rest assured that I am not being perked in any way to chat about this app. I just love it to pieces and think you might too!). Anyway, beyond scrolling through the beautiful images, you can also hone in on certain specific topics like design and architect professionals (as seen pictured in the screen shot above) or products (as pictured below).


You can even post design dilemmas on a forum-like discussion board in order to get opinions and tips from others. What a great way to allow us to put our heads together when we run into issues in the home – I know I could have used something like this in the past.


But enough talking, let’s gaze…Below is an oversized handful of the rooms, spaces and corners that grabbed my attention while browsing through Houzz’s image inventory (with a couple of interjected thoughts in between). Some I was compelled to capture because of the way the room was arranged or because of a statement piece of art that I thought I might be able to recreate, and others were grabbed because they just plain blew me away.




Although I did my best to keep my ideabook limited to images that I could logically and realistically recreate, I DID cave and grab a couple of wild, extravagant images just to satisfy the dreamer in me. From beach side mansions to opulent pools and outdoor rooms, I am all but drooling at what could be if only we had a couple million bucks on hand.




Oh, and some images offer yet another layer. See that little green tag peppered throughout the image(s) below? Well when you tap one while inside the app, advanced product information and even paint color names will pop up allowing you to FULLY capture the look if you so choose. If I wasn’t putting myself on a strictly limited budget these days when it comes to home goods, I definitely would be snatching pieces up left and right.






The point of this long, drawn out love fest for all things Houzz is that you MUST check it out if you too are starving for home inspiration. My final point before I sign off for the weekend is that, once you’ve got a good start to your ideabook, you can run a customized slideshow of all the photos you’ve stored away. Talk about one of the best ways EVER to waste an afternoon, am I right?






What home apps do YOU guys dig? I’d love to add to my collection.