This project is one of the most pinned posts from my previous blog. Unfortunately, all of my photos were lost (thanks, Blogger) and therefore I had shut down my old blog. I know when I am on Pinterest and I find a DIY project I really want to try, I am always devastated when it leads to no-mans-land on the internet. Since this project is pinned so often, I wanted to create a new post (that links somewhere!) showing how we created this outdoor living space on a budget.
When we bought our house, we could see tons of potential in our backyard. It is an odd space: long and narrow with multiple levels and a retaining wall. Since we had very little entertaining space outside, we wanted to create an outdoor living/dining area for entertaining that could hold our rather large family. There was also this hideous exhaust pipe on the right that was really quite an eye sore.
To start, we removed the grass/weeds to create a dirt bed that still sloped away from the house. Brian then created a brick foundation where the four corners of the deck would be. We had purchased rustic treated wood planks at the Habitat Restore for a steal (75% off!) and used these for the frame as well as the boards on top. Brian made a basic frame and then nailed the boards on top. Once all of the boards were laid and nailed, he cut them down to size to create an even lip around the perimeter. Major kudos to him for this work - he only had a hand saw and hammer to work with!
After the deck was built and stained, we moved onto to Phase II - the cabana. Brian dug a few holes with a post hole digger at two corners of the deck. After spray painting everything in Rustoleum Black Flat Paint, we made a simple frame out of treated 10' posts, heavy-duty brackets, and a handful of 2 x 4s. I added the decorative scroll brackets to match the ones we used on the window boxes. A bit of a splurge, but worth it in my books.
Lastly, we added the curtains and rods. I used cheap cafe curtain rods and inexpensive 100% polyester sheer panels. I looked at outdoor curtains, but they were a bit too pricey. I knew that by going with the Polyester version, they would hold up and I could bleach any mildew off when necessary. Over a year later, they are holding up pretty well! I can't find the exact product anymore, but they would be similar to these in white. One thing I wish I had done is spray paint the curtain rods with a Rustoleum Clear Coat. These little guys have started to rust a little.
To cover that odd pipe, we purchased two sets of bi-fold doors for $10 (salvaged from the Re-Store) and attached them together to make a screen. I then painted them in the same color as the front door and distressed the finish to make it look a bit more weathered.
It was a while ago, so don't hold me to this estimation, but I am pretty sure we spent less than $200 on the entire project (we did score some major deals along the way). I always loved this little area. Whenever my parents came over, they always wanted to sit back there. Many a bottle of wine was consumed here over great conversation. :) Even when we rented our little house, the new tenants wanted to make sure we would leave the curtains for them. This is a labor-intensive project, but you will reap the benefits summer after summer! Feel free to email me if you have any questions or if I left something out. Has anyone attempted something similar? I would love to see photos!