How to Lay a Gravel Walkway


I am in LOVE with older homes…like 100 year old homes. Unfortunately, our brick ranch was built in the 1970’s, so it didn’t come with the “older home” character that I was dreaming of. Over the past four years, we have been renovating our home and trying to add some farmhouse character to the interior and exterior.

We recently built a new porch on the front of our ranch home. When trying to decide what type of walkway we wanted leading up to our front porch, I was drawn to the look and feel of a gravel walkway. They are definitely characteristic of old farmhouses, and they take me back to my childhood. :

Here are the reasons we love gravel walkways:

  1. They are easy to install.
  2. They are inexpensive.
  3. They are a fluid walkway material that won’t crack or break in colder temperatures.
  4. They can take on any shape you desire.
  5. And they are beautiful and charming!!

See why we chose gravel?!   It was the perfect solution for us!

how to lay a gravel walkway

We followed 5 easy steps to

complete our walkway in one day.


STEP ONE: Dig the shape of the walkway.

how to lay a gravel walkway

First off, you need to mark out the desired shape of your walkway before digging. We used line-marking paint to mark our walkway. It’s basically like spray paint, usually orange, that you hold upside down as you spray and mark your line.
You could also mark your pathway with a rope or even a water hose. Make your walkway as wide as you want it. We made ours a little wider since we were lining it with pavers.
Use a square-edged spade to dig your walkway a depth of four inches. You will want to check the depth of your trench with a tape measure as you go. Be sure to smooth walkway with a steel rake and then compact the soil with a dirt tamper.



STEP TWO: Add crushed stone to your walkway trench.

Once the dirt in the trench is raked smooth and compacted, line the trench with about 2 ½ inches of crushed stone.  We used Class 1 Sand from Lowe’s.  
Crushed stone is a mix of ¾-inch stones and stone dust and will give your walkway a compact base.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 1.04.35 PM

STEP THREE: Lay Landscape Fabric
Next, roll out a layer of landscape fabric over your walkway.
You will be able to cut the fabric to match the shape of your walkway. To hold the fabric in place, you can use landscape anchor pins or spikes.














STEP FOUR: Install edging.

For our edging, we used pavers. We installed the pavers along the edges and used a rubber hammer to compact them.

The pavers we used are called “Allegheny” from Lowe’s.

sidewalk beauty



If you do not want to use pavers, you can install edging. I suggest a galvanized steel edging, but you can use what will fit in your budget. If your edging does not come with spikes like the edging below, you can use a soft hammer or a wood block/hammer to install the edging.



STEP FIVE: Fill walkway with gravel.
This is the fun part! There are many different types and colors of gravel that you can use for your walkway. Pick one that matches the style of your home (or your personality if you choose.) :)
You want to lay enough gravel to come about ½ inch shy of the top of the edging.
Be sure to rake the gravel out evenly so all of the landscape fabric is completely to lay a gravel walkway

If desired, you can landscape around the path with flowerbeds, sod, or lighting.  I’m loving these lights from Lowe’s!


Your new walkway will require very little maintenance. You may need to rake it smooth occasionally and add more gravel if needed over time.
how to lay a gravel walkway

(Confession:  We have NOT covered our crushed run with gravel yet.  We did our steps a little differently.  We put our crushed run over our landscaping fabric because we knew we wouldn’t be able to add the gravel just yet.  I am hoping to add the gravel in November.)

I am super happy with my new gravel walkway!  I know it will look even better once we lay the top gravel and add some new landscaping in our mulch!

how to lay a gravel walkway


*This post was sponsored by Lowe’s!  All design ideas and product opinions are 100% mine.  #lowesgirlforlife

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Gravel Walkway Inspiration {For our Front Porch}


Happy Monday, friends!

Hope you had a great weekend!  If you are on the east coast, I know you have been battered with a ton a rain.  I am praying for your safety.  

It has been dry and sunny over here on the west coast, and I have to admit that I am missing the cooler temps and the feeling of “fall.”  My time here is half way over, and guess what?!!! I get to see Cy and my boys this week!!!!  They are flying over here on Wednesday night!!!  YAY!  Please pray for their travel safety.  

I cannot wait to hug their necks!!!  

And I have got some more good news!!!!  Things are moving quickly on our adoption.  Yesterday, our sweet girl’s foster family got a visit from a lady from the government and found out that we are officially wanting to adopt her!  We didn’t expect this to happen so soon, so we are hoping this means that we may be flying over there to get her in November!!  Again, there are no guarantees because sometimes things get tied up in the court system, but so far, we are excited about how quickly things are going. :)

Here is a fun collage of her visit with us this summer.  I did it in pencil sketch since I can’t show her true picture yet online. :)

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.11.57 AM




Now to today’s post!  

I have a deep love for older homes.  Especially farmhouse style homes.   Something about them just warms my soul.  :)  So when adding on our new front porch, I wanted to give it an “old” farmhouse feel.  I started looking on pinterest, and I started noticing that many of the pictures I was drawn to had one thing in common….



Many of them had gravel walkways leading up to the front porch…




There is something so simplistic and rustic about a gravel walkway.  It seems that you usually find them in gardens, and they seem to always lead to somewhere magical.





 I have always loved the crunchy sound that gravel  makes beneath my feet.  

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.40.27 AM


The more I looked at these pictures online, the more I knew I wanted a gravel walkway leading to our front porch.  I showed Cy some of my inspiration pictures, and he loved the idea too.



There are many different types of gravel walkways that you can create, and I think they even look beautiful on newer homes too…



My favorite look is light gray gravel lined with pavers, so this was the route we decided to go.  Something similar to this pic….




Before I left town a couple of weeks ago, we finished our front walkway (sort of.)  We have filled our walkway with a layer of very fine crushed run to give our gravel a good sturdy base.  When I get back, we will be getting a little larger gravel to layer on top of our crushed run.

Tomorrow, I will share with you what it looks like so far!  I am very happy with how it has turned out.

So!  What do you think about gravel walkways for a front porch?  Yay?  Nay?


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Farm Table Makeover {Miss Mustard Seed}

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Happy Monday!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Today, I am so excited to have one of my very dear blog friends here today, Marian from Miss Mustard Seed.

Haven Conference 2015

Haven Conference 2015

Marian and I started blogging around the same time many years ago.  I loved following her blog because she had the best style and made things beautiful for less. It has been fun to watch her blog “blow up” over the past five years.  She has been featured in practically every magazine on the planet, written a home decor book, and has her own line of milk paint products!  {And that’s only the half of it!}

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 7.28.18 AM

She’s a rockstar, y’all!

The best part is she is humble and grateful for all of the blessings her blog has brought her.  Plus, she knows from whom all blessings flow!  {wink}

Thank you, Marian, for sharing this beautiful project with us today!!



Would you believe that this…

farmhouse table makeover | miss mustard seed

…started out as this?

table before | miss mustard seed

I was hunting for a really great, large farm table, but everything I found was just a bit more than I wanted to pay. So, I decided to open my search to include new, solid wood tables that could be refinished to look old. That search yielded this newer table that had a great shape, but the shiny, orangey finish wasn’t the look I was going for.

I tried stripping off the finish with a chemical stripper, but it only took a little bit of the shine off. So, we had to go to sanding. Kriste sanded off the finish one afternoon when it was pretty and the table could be carried outside of the studio. It took some time, but she was able to get it down to the raw pine boards. Now it looked like a brand new, unfinished table. I wanted it to look old and worn, so I abused it with various sharp and blunt objects…denting, dinging, scratching and poking it.

how to make new wood look old | miss mustard seed

I tried to be random with the marks, except for clusters of pinholes I made with a nail, meant to look like worm holes.

how to make new wood look old | miss mustard seed

I wanted to give the wood a rich patina and a finish, so I slathered on some Antiquing Wax.

how to make new wood look old | miss mustard seed

When the excess is wiped away, the Antiquing Wax stays in the dents, dings and “worm holes”, simulating the look of age, wear and patina. It’s not quite as warm as pine that has been aged over decades, but it’s a great option for instant age.

how to make new wood look old | miss mustard seed

Here is a quick video on the finishing process, so you can see it in action.

The cool thing about using the Antiquing Wax is that it’s one step. It’s the technique and the finish all in one. I only applied one coat, buffed it by hand and then buffed it with a buffing pad on my orbital sander to make it smooth and slightly shiny. It’s not glossy, but the buffing pad brings out a luster.

And I love how it turned out. When I showed it to Kriste she said it didn’t even look like the same table.

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

We lightly sanded the table base and applied a coat of Lucketts Green followed by a coat of Ironstone. We then distressed and left the paint unfinished. (I say “we” because Kriste and I both worked on it during various stages.) I like the two-tone look for the legs, because it’s pretty common to see that on old tables. It also gives the legs some visual texture, since they are pretty smooth to the touch.

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed


Check out  more of Marian’s amazing makeovers by visiting her blog….


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Gorgeous Sunroom Makeover! {Jenna Sue Designs}


summer spectacular

I am so excited about our guest poster today!!!  I found Jenna Sue’s beautiful blog a couple of years ago, and I immediately fell in love with her style.  Her blog is probably one of my absolute favorites right now, and if you haven’t ever visited it, you are in for a treat!  Today she is sharing with us her gorgeous sunroom makeover!  Enjoy, and give her lots of Beneath My Heart love.  





Hello and happy summer, Beneath my Heart friends! This has always been my favorite season—though I live in the mountains of California now, I’m a tropical weather and beach girl at heart so I have very fond memories of our home back in Florida.


My favorite room from that house and the biggest transformation was our sunroom. It was the embodiment of the eternal summer coastal Florida vibe and held many great memories for us.

We renovated the space over a five week span using lower cost materials and plenty of DIY, just in time for our official summer kickoff party.

Here’s how it looked before we bought the house:


Then after we threw some furniture in:


We broke this project down into several stages.

Phase 1: Building a secret cat outhouse:

built in cat outhouse
built in cat outhouse


Phase 2: Tearing out the ceiling panels, adding insulation and a new humidity resistant drywall ceiling (with recessed speakers and lights)

humidity resistant drywall


Phase 3: ‘Wood’ tile flooring



Phase 4: Building the beds, coffee table and console table


Phase 5: Accessorizing

Compass and Coordinates Nautical Art
Art can be purchased here and here

We were so in love with the after.

A sunlight filled room where we could look out over the pool or catch the turtles swimming in the lake…

The perfect place to take an afternoon nap or cool off from the summer heat…

A lookout point for our kitty to observe birds and lizards…

Or just a restful retreat for guests to relax in when visiting.


Head on over to the Sunroom Reveal post for more After photos plus a complete source list and price breakdown! I hope this makeover can bring some inspiration into your own summer decorating. Soak up every drop of this beautiful season while it lasts!

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Lowe’s Spring Makeover REVEALS!


I am so excited to be participating in the

Lowe’s Spring Makeover Reveal Tour!

You guys are going to be blown away with these makeovers!  Seriously, I think my jaw dropped on each one of them!!!


 Lowe’s rounded up a team of all-star bloggers this past Spring to help bring some much needed cheer to some of the hardest hit areas of the US from the harsh winter weather. 

But these bloggers could have never completed these projects in two days without the help of the amazing Lowe’s Volunteers!


These volunteers were ROCKSTARS!!  It is amazing what you can accomplish as a team!

EEK!  I cannot wait for you to check out all of these makeovers!  You will be soooooo inspired!  Be sure to check on each of the pictures below to view each beautiful makeover!

 I am going to start with my exterior home makeover just in cased you missed it a few weeks ago. :)


Beneath My Heart‘s Exterior Makeover


 Cy and I headed down near Nashville, Tennessee to brighten up the exterior of this basic brick ranch.




Brooklyn Limestone‘s Outdoor Oasis


 I am so in love with pergola’s after seeing this makeover!  And the beverage station is adorable!




The DIY Playbook‘s Patio Refresher

i5yMzGsVWV8pjF5fy54PQtug8vDM5wgRgxjUkpxcYUEIt is amazing what you can do in a small space!  Bridget and Casey hit a home room with this makeover!



The Golden Sycamore‘s Bathroom Makeover


 This bathroom makeover is absolutely beautiful!  Allison took this bathroom from blah to AAAHHHH!




Our Fifth House‘s Spectacular Pool/Outdoor Makeover


I kept scrolling back and forth on Carmel’s post comparing the befores and afters!  It is A-Ma-Zing!! 




City Farmhouse‘s Breathtaking Outdoor 


 Jen has CRAZY good design style!  This makeover looks like something right out of a magazine!!




Pretty Handy Girl‘s Front Yard Transformation


 Brittany killed it on this front yard makeover.  It went from dry and dull, to va-va-voom with color!!




Liz Marie Blog‘s Cozy Sunroom Makeover


Liz turned this little sunroom into a beautiful, relaxing space for these homeowners! 




Home Stories A to Z‘s Inspiring Sunroom and Deck Makeover



Beth spruced up two spaces in her makeover.  I LOVE how she took the sunroom from dark to bright and airy!

All Things G&D <— Reveal coming soon! Dusty headed to Maine last weekend for her big makeover and she’ll be sharing all of the details soon. Can’t wait to see what this talented Midwest gal comes up with for the coastal homeowners!

Just A Girl Blog <– Reveal coming soon! Chris has been forced to delay her makeover because of weather issues. Once she reveals the makeover, we will add it to the line-up. And if this makeover is anything like her previous projects, you will definitely want to check it out.


Thanks for stopping by!  



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How to Build a Window Box


I wanted to share another project we completed during the Lowe’s Home Makeover in Nashville last month!

How to Build a Window Box 1

I have always loved the look of window boxes!

So I was thrilled to hear that our homeowners in Nashville wanted window boxes on their windows too!  It gave Cy and I a chance to make some, and it gave us practice for the window boxes we will be making for our own home soon.  :)

They are so much easier to make than you would think.

Here are the supplies we used:

 1×8 poplar boards

1/4 x 2 inch poplar trim piece

18 gauge nailer with 1 1/4 inch nails

wood glue

compound miter saw (to cut wood pieces)

Black support brackets (we got ours at Lowe’s)


Important tips that are not included in the video:

1.  Be sure to drill holes in the bottom of the window box to allow for water drainage.

2.  Be sure to let the glue completely dry and set before adding the dirt and flowers.   

3.  You can use “liquid nails” and screws instead of nails to increase the durability of the window box.



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How to Build Board and Batten Shutters


Yesterday, I shared the Lowe’s Exterior Makeover Reveal with you, and today I wanted to show you how we made the board and batten shutters.

How to Build Board and Batten Shutters


We had the most amazing team of Lowe’s volunteers to help with the makeover!

They helped us build, sand, and stain the board and batten shutters for Grant and Beth’s house.  

Lowe's volunteers

Steve, the assistant manager, was helping us make the shutters, and I put him on the spot and asked him if I could video him making one of the shutters.

Without any practice at all, Steve whipped out this 3 minute video tutorial with complete perfection!  He nailed it in one take!

As soon as he finished, all of the volunteers erupted in applause!  It was so fun!  I told Steve he was giving Mike Holmes a run for his money and that he was better than most guys on HGTV!   

You are going to love this video tutorial!  Steve does such a great job!  :)  Please give him mad props because he deserves it. 

Here is our supply list:

  • 1×6 poplar boards
  • 1×4 poplar boards
  • compound miter saw
  • wood glue
  • nail gun and nails (1 1/4″, 18 gauge finish nails)
  • tape measure
  • sanding sponges
  • stain  (We used MinWax Dark Walnut.)
  • rubber gloves and cloths for staining
  • paint sticks to use as spacers between boards



If you have any questions at all, just ask!  

Have a blessed day!

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Lowe’s Home Exterior Makeover Reveal


Y’all, I am BEYOND excited to show you the exterior home makeover that Cy and I did with Lowe’s last week near Nashville, Tennessee.   

Cy and I LOVE a good makeover, and this one made a HUGE difference in the exterior of a home.

Now let me back it up a little bit….

Remember last month when I told you how Lowe’s was sending bloggers out to the 10 Bleakest Cities of 2015 because of the harsh winter weather?

Well, Cy and I were assigned to Nashville, and we looked over a bunch of projects that readers submitted in that area.  It was hard to decide which project to tackle, but we ultimately decided on Grant and Beth’s brick ranch home.  


It might have been because it reminded us so much of our own brick ranch?

Or it might have been because of the way Grant wanted to surprise his wife with the makeover and how he gushed about his love for his family?

Or it could have been because we wanted to show our readers how easy it is to change the look of your home with just some paint (and a little sweat equity)?

Or it could have been ALL OF THE ABOVE!

Cy and I both agreed that Grant and Beth’s home project was the one for us, and we eagerly got to planning.   We had a chat with Grant and Beth via the computer and talked about plans for the house. 

The main things we wanted to accomplish were:

1.  Paint brick exterior.

2.  Add new landscaping.

3.  Build and install new shutters and window boxes.

4.  Build and install new porch columns.

We knew we would have to do some more minor changes as we went along, but those were the main goals of this makeover. 

I have a ton of posts planned that will show you all the steps we took to complete this makeover, but today we are focusing on the amazing BEFORE and AFTERS.  :)

Here is what it looked like when we arrived…

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 7.46.59 PM

And here is what it looked like when we left…



HUGE difference, right?

The homeowners were wanting to paint their brick because you could see where an addition had been added on to the back of the original house.  We contracted the paint job out to a professional painter.  We knew he would be able to paint the house more quickly, and we needed all the time we could get since we had to complete this makeover in two days!

“Paul the Painter” was amazing!!  We changed the colors on him a couple of times during the first day and he didn’t even flinch!  He handle it all like the PRO that he is, and we were THRILLED with the results!  I told him I was going to share his information with my readers because he was THAT GOOD!  So if you live near Nashville and need something painted, you will be very happy you contacted Paul!

Paul Chisenhall
Genesis Coatings Inc


We started out with the color Accessible Beige (which is gorgeous, but too light) and ended up with Balanced beige SW7037.  We had the employees at Lowe’s tint the original paint color to the darker beige color, and they did it awesomely.  :)


The Lowe’s Heroes ROCKED the landscaping!  They spent the first day ripping out all of the old landscaping and getting the ground ready for the new plants. 



Didn’t they do a great job?  These plants will look gorgeous as they grow over the years.


They also added beautiful flowers to our DIY flower boxes!  (Tutorial on the window boxes coming next week!)

Steve, the Lowe’s assistant manager, helped us make our DIY board and batten shutters.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 8.19.28 AM

He created a video just for my readers on how to make these shutters!  I will be sharing it next week, and you will not believe how easy it is!

Steve’s wife was a ROCKSTAR too!  She doesn’t work for Lowe’s but volunteered BOTH days to help, and she was a workhorse!

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 8.18.31 AM

We could not have done it all without the AMAZING Lowe’s Heroes!  They worked so hard, never complained, jumped it to help whenever it was needed, had great attitudes, were funny and sweet, and were such a JOY to work with!

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 8.18.12 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 8.18.41 AM









Here is what the left corner of the house looked like before…

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 7.47.08 PM


And here is the AFTER…



One of my favorite “touches” was the turquoise blue door.  We painted it SW6486 “Reflecting Pool” in Semi-gloss by getting the color matched at Lowe’s.   It really makes the front porch a focal point!



We hadn’t planned on removing the vinyl ceiling on the front porch, but ended up having to when we installed the new wood columns.  We were able to put the wood bead board ceiling up the second day, but the homeowners were not sure if they wanted to paint it white or stain it.  So we decided that they could make that decision later. :)



 We also prettied up the right side of the house with more shutters and window boxes.frontMy talented husband built the beautiful wood columns.  I will share more of that next week too! ;)  Lots of great posts coming up, y’all!

We LOVED working with Grant and Beth!  They were so much like Cy and I, and our boys had a great time hanging out with their boys.  Again, more on that later. ;)


A HUGE thanks to Lowe’s and their amazing Heroes that helped with this makeover!  We couldn’t have done it without them!

Lebanon, TN Store #1692
Stephen H (Store Manager)
Steve P (Assist Store Manager)
Karen P (Steve’s wife – not Lowe’s employee, but after seeing her work she should be! LOL)
Jason P
Laura W
Ronnie K
Jamie G
L.J. W
Alex D
Robert K
Steve D
Chris T (last initial t, not j)

Mt. Juliet TN Store #2654
Brad W (Store Manager)
Bernie A (Assistant Store Manager)
Brett S

*This project and post was sponsored by Lowe’s, my absolute FAVORITE home improvement store!  All ideas and opinions are 100% mine.





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How to Stain your Patio to look like Tile {#tbt}


 Hey Friends!

It’s throw back Thursday here at Beneath My Heart, and I wanted to share with you one of my FAVORITE Spring projects that Cy and I complete at our previous home!



How to stain your patio to look like tile


This project was pretty easy and very inexpensive, but produce HUGE results!

As you can see in the “before” picture, we had a dull, ugly, concrete back patio like many homes do.  We brainstormed ways that we could change the look of our patio inexpensively, and staining the concrete to look like tile did the trick!

To see the complete tutorial of how you can do this yourself,



You can also see how we decorated our back patio by clicking on the picture below!



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DIY-ing our Basic Brick Ranch into the Cottage of our Dreams {Part Seven}


Hey friends!

I am back with part seven in my series. :)  I am thinking there will be a total of 10 posts in this series!  That’s crazy!  house transformation series

Today, I am going to share some pictures of Jonathan and Luke’s room in the upstairs addition.  Next,  I’ll share their bathroom and Adam and Eli’s unfinished room. Next week, I’ll finish up with our den and our future plans for our home!  

Here is a reminder of our floor plan…Our House Plans


Jonathan and Luke have a long room across the back of the house. 

We thought about putting bunk beds on one side of the room, and then having the other half of the room for a desk and dresser space, but decided since our boys are older it would be best for them to have their “own” space. 

I am in love with the industrial look, especially in a boy’s room, so I decided to build Jonathan and Luke their own set of shelves. 

Here are Jonathan’s shelves…


I created a space for him to hang his guitars since he is our “music guy.”

Click HERE to see a detailed tutorial of how we made them.

It’s kind of hard to tell in some of the pictures, but we put brick paneling over the studs and painted them the same color as the walls. (Sherwin Williams, White Dove)



You can see it in the picture below…


Now for Luke’s side of the room!  I created his custom shelves a little differently since he doesn’t play the guitar.  :)  He has sort of an “explore” them going on…


I also built the shelves around where his bed was going to be and hung a light above for reading.


To create some more storage, I made some DIY Rolling Storage Crates.  These are perfect for Luke’s socks and other small items. 


In the middle of the room, between the two windows, we built a DIY Sawhorse Desk.


This has become a perfect spot for the boys’ to do their homework.  


To see a video of how we built it, click HERE.


We used some old lockers we found in the shed when we moved in our home and turned them into some clothes storage for my boys.  (The closet where they hang their clothes is to the right of those lockers.)


So that is Jonathan and Luke’s room!  It has been a great space for them.  

Source list:

Bedding:  IKEA

Small rugs:  Ballard Designs Outlet

Large Rug:  Lowes

Lamps:  Home Goods

Blinds:  Lowes

Industrial shelves materials:  Lowes

Red Stools:  Garden Ridge

Arrow sign:  Hobby Lobby


Come back tomorrow for a look at their bathroom!


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