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Renovating my House

My New Decorative Gate: Before & After

By 09/15/2013May 3rd, 202059 Comments

When MaryAnne White, my Landscape Architect and I were discussing the decorative fencing and gate for the side entrance to the backyard, she sent over this picture with a note that said “Your gate should look like this”.


And of course, that’s just what I installed.


Here’s the before with the endless amounts of concrete we inherited last year when we bought this house.

New Gate

And here’s the after with the decorative fencing, flagstone, trellis for the climbing Hydrangea, Dogwood tree, Boxwood and gate installed.  I planted some Mums earlier this month as most of the Perennials won’t be installed next Spring.

I didn’t like any of the hinges that were available at the local hardware stores so I went shopping on-line to find it and found this one on Amazon.

Gate Hardware

And here’s what it looks like Spring 2020:

Happy Monday my lovelies!

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271 pins


  • StagerLinda says:

    You have such an eye for detail, Maria. Your hinge looks so much better than the hinge on the door Mary Ann recommended. Great internet work on finding it at a bargain price!

  • Mary says:

    Stunning transformation!

  • BillP says:

    A great transformation. Thank you for sharing!

    A question regarding the hinge- I thought that a gate should swing in, not out? Please fill us in.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Good question, I forgot to mention that. If you want the hardware to show (which I did) the gate swings out. And it makes it easier to rig it when I need it open. I have a little string on the lattice gate that I loop around the latch when I need to hold it open.

    • Barbara says:

      No, most gates commonly swing out. Currently one of my gates does swing in, but that is because there are downward stairs immediately outside the gate and if it swung out it would be dangerous.

      Doors into indoor places must swing out for safety reasons, so maybe that is why gates swing out as well.

      • BillP says:

        Out of curiosity, Barbara, are you in Canada? Maybe that is the difference. My gates always swung in, and the latch was not visible from the street. Even in Maria’s first picture, the gate swings in from the driveway into the patio.

        • Karlaintexas says:

          I never really thought about the swing of gates (but must have discussed it with the welder when I put in the iron fencing. I have 7 gates. 2 swing in to the back yard, 1 swings out into the pasture. 2 large gates (drive through) swing into pasture. 2 swing into pasture from outside of the pasture. I live in Texas.

  • Katrina says:

    Wow! I love it. I am loving how the entire yard is transforming. Have you ever tried searching for the image by uploading your image onto Google Images? (This is new to me-but maybe old news to others.) Searching by the image makes it so much faster to find the best price. Thanks for sharing pics of the new gate.

    • susan says:

      This isnew to me as well and very interesting. Would you please explain a little more how to do this? Thanks!

      • KJ says:

        Here’s how I do it in Safari (I’m SURE there’s a faster way though and each browser will be slightly different!): Open the “image” you want to search in it’s own tab (to do this “hover” over the image and right click “open image in new tab”), copy the image address from the address bar, go to google, click on the Images tab, paste the image address in the search box, google will say “didn’t match” but will have an option to “search by image”, click that link to find the pictured item on various sites

  • What a great before and after! Love the gate and hinges. I’ll bet your neighbors are thrilled with your beautiful yard now too.

  • Lori Fischer says:

    so beautiful! what was the source for the gate? I’d love something like that at my house ; )

  • Susan @ Susan Silverman Designs says:

    Love the gate. Your house must make a beautiful addition to the streetscape. Your neighbours must be thrilled.


  • connie Tan says:

    Fabulous transformation. Hear! Hear for a guest post – go Terreeia!

  • evelyn says:

    Next time you need to find hardware check out Lee Valley. They are a Canadian company and they had your hinges. I use them all the time and they ship to the US.

  • Laura says:

    Beautiful gate!
    Regarding a US billing address, just call your credit card and ask them to add your US shipping address as an “authorized billing address”. Since doing this, I’ve been able to shop at all stores that require a US billing address for shipping to the US, including Home Depot.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hey great tip of the day Laura thanks!

    • mairi says:

      Great tip! Does anyone use a resending service in Canada- for those who don’t live near a border? I’ve been looking for one that will do this. I’m in Nova Scotia.

      Can’t wait to see a post from Terreia on Italy. I just got back from a tour there, oh my I’m hooked!

  • Debbie Bruna says:


  • Jackie says:

    I have been holding back on commenting on your landscaping. But now it’s kinda bugging me. In this day and age, I know people want low-maintenance, yada, yada, yada. However, I really do feel that it just makes sense to put in more edible types of landscaping, and many can be just as low-main…like a dwarf apple tree instead of that dogwood…or a blueberry/blackberry…gooseberry, currants, the list goes on. Is it because you’re too close to nature (meaning it would attract bears, etc?). Even a little raised planter to grow fresh greens…? I feel an opportunity was missed. Am I coo-koo? A little too hipster?

    • Marianne says:

      Check out some of her other before/after posts. She has a whole section of her back yard in raised veggie beds – probably enough food to open her own farmers market!

    • Barbara says:

      Jackie there is a lot to growing fruit trees and fruit that people don’t always understand. The trees need a LOT of chemicals and these may be required by law in some spots, such as where I live in BC (to protect the commercial farmers from pests/diseases).

      Many/most of those berries are really ugly plants and take up a lot of space. If you can grow them easily in your yard, it is likely that you can buy them cheaply from someone else just down the road. Or they will be given to you. Gosh, I had so much black currant jam for years….easy to make.

      And yes, bears are a problem.

    • Margaret says:

      I think low maintenance is a worthy consideration. If she does not want to be picking fruit and pruning and planting year around she needs to go low maintenance. The idea is great, but the reality of what works for an individual household may be different.

  • Heddy Bing says:

    Fabulous! What a find from your landscape architect!

  • Linda says:

    Great tip Laura regarding the credit card.
    I have had a post box for years in the states and the majority of places I make a purchase from ask if the billing and shipping address are the same..if not, you fill out two pieces of information.
    Maria, your home is really coming together and looks lovely.
    Keep up the posts!!

  • SandyCGC says:

    How totally charming and so inviting, Maria. Bet the neighbors across the street are delighted to share the view every time they look out their window. Would love to experience Italy through Terreeia’s senses!

  • JulieC says:

    You didn’t mention the additional wider-squares lattice you used to the front and side of the new gate. That extra panel really adds a lovely dimensional element. Is there another function or simply aesthetics? Either way, it seems to provide a complete look to your entry—nicely done!

  • Design & Decor says:

    Maria, Did you take out all of that concrete? Or just a few feet? That would have been quite the task..
    The landscape and your home look absolutely beautiful!

  • No surprise, but your garden entry is magazine worthy. Are you going to hang a charming sign for your business?

  • Sandy says:

    You’d better be careful posting all this eye-candy! Pretty soon there’ll be a regularly scheduled tour bus stopping in the street to admire your house and yard.

  • Janet Courtney says:

    Hi Maria,
    Are you going to the IDS West show this week in Vancouver? I have an interior decorator from the interior of BC and have never been to this show before. I would love your impressions and any comments if you have, thanks so much!

  • Paula Van Hoogen says:

    What is so cool about the design of this gate is–it uses readily available materials–the lattice and, I assume, pressure treated wood for the rest. So simple & pretty. Ok, so I want a ticket for that tour bus too!!

  • REBECCA R. DYER says:


  • Fran says:

    The hinges coordinate perfectly with your outdoor lighting fixtures and really pull everything together! Great job!

  • Really lovely, Maria. Amazon has saved the day for me many times…and saved me money too. Isn’t it great? I love it when the detours lead you to a better deal.

  • Norma Fournier says:

    Your house and landscaping are stunning! I love the gate and the path and landscaping on the side where just the ugly concrete used to be!

  • Barbara says:

    Very pretty fencing and gate, Maria. I love it!
    Don’t let the little guys swing on it, or climb, hope it stands up well. Years ago we spent a lot of money on a custom built fence and it was so worth it for the pretty look.

    Who would have guessed that a hinge could be over $100!

  • Carol Anne says:

    wow, best looking gate ever!

  • Julia says:

    I am glad that Terreeia is back home safe and sound. Would love to hear about the trip to Italy. Your fence is beautiful and all of the work that you did (and/or had done) is amazing.

  • karen says:

    The gate and fence are gorgeous. Beautiful transformation. As for the plants, I love a beautiful Dogwood and it is one of our Native plants in BC. Glad Terreeia is home safe and had a great trip. In fact, I’d prefer it myself but you have lots of food growing for some great cooking.

  • karen says:

    oh, I meant I’d prefer the Dogwood over the fruit trees especially already having enough of them.

  • Sandy says:

    I love the half size gate and the touches of white through out the landscape. I am also just finishing off my backyard and I have set aside an area for the raised garden beds. Thank you for all the great ideas and lessons.

  • Kathy says:

    Very Pretty!

  • Margo says:

    I love how you turned the UGLY concrete area into a BEAUTIFUL area!!!!! What a delightful transformation. I will save your blog to remind me how something that appears to be so ugly can be changed into something quite attractive.

  • Eileen says:

    Thanx so much KJ for the image search tip – totally works – another new world opens. Live and learn from this site and awesome contributors.

  • Betsy OShea says:

    Love the gate…its so different. I see you planted the climbing hydrangea i reccommended. You will love it.

  • MaryAnne says:

    I just did same thing in reverse looking for gate hardware! I live in the US but found the hardware at the right price at Hinge and Latch.comin Canada. Paid a lot for shipping tho…

  • Alicia Stavropoulos says:

    I love the transformation taking place in your yard before our very eyes! Thank you for sharing. I am more impressed with Mary Anne with each new landscape post. I love the gate and the hinge. Great find and proof that where there’s a will, there’s a way. On the way to visit Mary Anne’s website! ~ Alicia

  • It seems very interesting and sounds like you did quite phenomenal job to give very attractive look of Door. Even, hard-work pay for you and gate looks really nice.

  • Julie K. says:

    The new gate is really beautiful. But I must add that without the right hinges it wouldn’t have been that eye-catching.

  • Karen says:

    Congratulations on your first anniversary!
    This landscape transformation that you accomplished for Maria is absolutely amazing and beautiful, especially considering that your consultation was done on-line. That was gutsy!
    Karen Swedlund

  • Karen says:

    Oop, oh no, I posted on the wrong site! This was accidential. I was excited to see that it finally worked until I realized it was on the wrong website! I tried repeatedly to post on MaryAnne’s website (again) and couldn’t make it work even though several hundreds of other people apparently had no problem to post.
    Maria, please forward my comment to MaryAnne.
    Thank you very much!
    Karen Swedlund

  • Tina Gramlich says:

    Hi Maria!! I too love your gate! Is the material vinyl or wood?
    Thank You,

    • Maria Killam says:

      The lattice is vinyl and the rest is wood. The fencing is vinyl which means zero maintenance – Hooray!

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