Entries Tagged as 'Upstairs Deck'

Adding Potted Flowers to the Deck



Deck Flowers 7

Well hello everyone,

Did you all have a great memorial weekend? Ours was wonderful, it included lots of boating, BBQs and all around family fun. I took lots of pictures and will share some of what Memorial weekend is like on the lake in a post later this week.

Aside from the tremendous amounts of boating that took place we also got around to potting some flowers for the deck to bring in some summer color. The deck has already come a long way since we painted the floor, added new cushions and painted out the wicker furniture but in my mind it it would never be close to complete without adding potted plants.  Of course we still need to paint the balusters, we just need to figure out what color we’re going to paint them first 😉

Deck Cushions

Potted plants add a touch of softness to all the hard lines of the deck and furniture.  The plants bring the whole thing together and make it feel more lived in and less sparse.

Deck Flowers 7

Back in the early spring I purchased a few pots from Home Goods, for a great price, each pot was under $20 with the smaller ones being around $10, unfortunately they didn’t have any holes in the bottom. That was easily fixed with a drill and a special masonry drill bit. Terra cotta is really soft and the drill made quick work of the holes adding drainage to those pots. No one likes a soupy mess in their flower pots, especially the flowers.

Deck Flowers 2

Our deck is super sunny so I chose flowers and that can take a good amount of sun and heat. Gerber Daisies happen to be one of my favorites and can also take a good amount of sun provided they’re well hydrated.  A few Vincas were also added in the larger pot to round it out.

Deck Flowers 6

Geraniums and few more Vincas found a home on our new tabletop we built . The lantern Bryan picked up from Target for me and it holds a citronella votive to help keep the mosquitoes at bay. Mosquitoes are unfortunately a fact of living on the lake. The seashell that usually sits inside has made it’s way into the sun.

Deck Flowers 5

Our peonies are full bloom now in the yard. I clipped a few and set them out on the coffee table because they’re just too gorgeous to have only in one spot, and they smell heavenly.

Deck Flowers

I wish you could smell them they are that good.

Peace Lilly

Nikolas has his own little Adirondack chair in the  one shady corner with a Peace Lily tucked into the shade.

Deck Flowers 3

It’s become even more of our favorite spot to sit now.

Deck Flowers 4

Ice tea by the lake anyone?

Outdoor Cushion Switcheroo



Deck Cushions

After painting the deck, spraying our furniture a cool gray and building a table top all in the spirit of giving out tired looking deck a bit of a pick me up it became even more apparent that the old cushions had seen better days and were looking worse and worse the more changes we made.

Table finished Lucky for us I had be loathing them for some time. Although, loathing might be a strong word…let’s put it this way I was in a state of serious dislike while plotting their demise. I tried to source some premade pillows that would be bright and colorful while not breaking the bank. I failed miserably. Then I toyed with the idea of buy new outdoor foam and making my own, which turned out to be an almost equally expensive proposition until I wisely decided to recycle the old stuffing and sew up some new covers instead.



I’ve been loving Trina Turk’s Indoor Outdoor collection for Schumacher for some time now but not willing to spend $100 yd on fabric for our outdoor cushions I needed to find something that gave the same vibe on a budget .  I found a a couple suitable substitutes.

Outdoor Fabric copy

On the left in Coral Splendor from Lewis and Sharon Textiles and P. Kaufmann Zebra Skin from House of Fabrics. I also ordered a Neutral Sunbrella outdoor fabric remnant I found online for the majority of the cushions.

Deck Sneak Peak

A few weekends ago I whipped out the old sewing machine and got to work sewing up 4 box cushions for the seats and 4 pillows for the seat backs. I cut apart the old pillows and reused the stuffing for the box cushions to save on cost and bought 4 new 24 inch outdoor pillow inserts for the back. Buying the inserts pre-made actually turned out cheaper than buying foam and batting separately to stuff them.

Deck Cushions

The seat back pillows are reversible so if you are feeling like you want a dose of coral it’s an easy flip of the pillow.

Deck Cushions 2

Each of the cushions pillows are piped with the coordinating zebra fabric to to help tie everything together.

Deck Cushion piping

So far we’re loving them.

Outdoor Cushions

They already gotten a lot of use since I put the finishing touches on them a few weeks ago/ So far we’ve had three BBQ’s and even an incident with some BBQ sauce spill they was left sitting on the cushions over night. Fortunately it came out with a little Dawn and a scrubby brush and it looked good as new. I can’t wait to add some plants and greenery to the space.

Replacing an Outdoor Glass Table Top



Continuing on our little mini deck sprucing adventure Bryan and I recently had an idea to make use of a broken table sitting in the yard. During a wind storm last year this table had turned over smashing the glass top to bits and pieces. Being reluctant to throw it out, it sat in the yard waiting for us to make a decision on what to do with it.

Broken Glass top table

Last Saturday while we were drinking our morning coffee Bryan and I were talking about things we wanted to finish up and the table sitting abandoned in a corner of the yard popped into the conversation. Bryan suggested building a simple wood table top to fit inside where the glass top once sat. He promised it would be quick, cheap and easy made from pine boards and his Kreg Jig. So the plan was born.

A Kreg Jig is it’s a simple but sturdy device for to make pocket holes in wood at any depth. The pocket holes allow you to join parallel board together to form a table top.


Bryan bought 3, 6 inch by 6 ft pine boards. Our table diameter was 30 inches so he cut the board in half leaving 6, 36 inch pieces. He laid them all out on the work bench.

Kreg Jig

Once he had it laid out the way he wanted it. He clamped each board into the Kreg Jig secured to the workbench and using power screw driver he drilled into the Kreg Jig according to the directions that came with the tool.  Bryan then repeated this for each board, staggering the holes as he went.

joining the table

Once all of pocket holes were done he joined the pieces together with pocket hole screws.


We happened to have a round grill mat that was exactly 30 in round so Bryan used that as a guide to draw a circle onto the wood table top. If we didn’t have the grill mat we could have used a piece of string to draw the circle to the desired size. Finally Bryan used a Jig saw to cut out the circle and used a router for the edge to finish it off.

round top

We used some leftover outdoor stain we had in the shed to stain the top.

Table finished

The whole tabletop project cost about $15 for the wood, since we had everything else on hand. Score one for recycling what you have.

When the Time had Come to Paint the Deck



When last we talked we had a preliminary plan to give our deck a much needed facelift on the cheap. If you remember it was looking a little bit um tired and shabby shall we say. With the summer fast approaching and the time we spend outdoors increasing as fast as the days are growing longer I knew we had to do something to spruce up this space.

Deck Before

I already mentioned we bought this really great outdoor rug to begin the deck makeover. But with the addition of the rug the deck went from completely shabby to shabby with a rug thrown on top of it. It was in some serious need of some loving, paint and a little elbow grease. image

So Bryan and I went off to our local paint store to get some advice on what kind of product to use for a half painted half peeled deck. Deck Redesign

We ended up walking out with 2 gallons of Benjamin Moore Arborcoat solid stain in Pashmina. We had mistakenly thought that since some areas of the deck still had paint stuck in patches that we needed to use paint on top. Guess what we were wrong. Our paint store specialist advised against using paint on the floor again unless we wanted it to peel again in a year.

Instead he recommended a solid stain tinted to whatever color we wanted that would completely cover the bare wood AND old patches of paint as long as we had the loose peeling stuff already scraped off. The only downside to solid stain is that it has to be applied with a brush, it can’t be rolled on, which means alot of time spent sitting on the floor.


They also advised that we power wash the deck allowing it to dry completely . You can see how thrilled Bryan is to be in a raincoat and boots. Don’t let that look fool you people he was thrilled THRILLED! It had absolutely nothing to do with the prospect of this picture showing up on the internet…nothing at all.

Powerwashing after

After a day of drying we were left with was a clean surface fully prepped and ready for our solid stain.

Painting the Deck

Admittedly we were a little skeptical about the solid stain actually covering over the old paint, but it went on like a breeze and covered everything really well. If you look closely you can see where the paint ends and the raw woods begins but from standing height it’s totally unnoticeable.

Painted Deck

We stained the top rails the same color since we had it on hand but as time goes on we may stain them a few shades darker to add some contrast. We’re still on the fence about it as we are what to paint/stain the balusters. All in good time though.  So that the deck wasn’t completely off limits and for time’s sake we stained the deck in two phases. There is a recommended 48 hours wait time to ensure it cured properly before returning any furniture on it. So we stained one half leaving a few of the heavier items up on the corner waited 48 hours, moved the furniture then stained the remaining section.

Painting the Deck Furniture Some of the lighter pieces we brought downstairs and since the furniture was looking as shabby as the deck it was already hanging out on the lawn I got to work on spraying it gray. First we used a primer on the areas that would get the most abuse and then I topped it off with the final coat. Let me tell you wicker or fake wicker in this case eats spray paint like nobodies business.

Deck Sneak Peak

I think the changes are turning our great. Of course we still have a few things to do for this mini makeover but overall it’s looking much much better. Just so you can’t say I left you without any after pictures here’s a sneak peak. You can even see I ordered the outdoor fabrics to recover the cushions from the original mood board and they match the rug beautifully. I’m always nervous when I order fabric online without a swatch but in the case it worked out really well.

I’m so excited to get this mini makeover checked off the list it’s going to be great 🙂

Project Spruce the Deck Begins



Thanks to Miss Mustard Seed for featuring my chair upholstery project we have quite a few new visitors today. Hello new visitors, thanks for stopping by, we’re so happy to have you. I’ve been getting quite a few questions about the source list for all the things in our Master Bedroom, I love hearing all the comments but it made me think that I should put it all into one post so that it’s easy to find a reference to, so be on the lookout for that later this week.

For now though let’s take it outside. I’ve had my sights set on fixing up our deck for a while now. A couple of weeks ago I shared an impulse buy gone wrong when I purchased an outdoor rug on a whim that I wasn’t really happy with. After himming and hawing, waffling back and forth, trying to decide if I should go ahead and keep it. I decided returning it was the best thing. I’m taking my own advice and not trying to work around something I don’t love, especially when I can just return it.


After looking around for a little while for a suitable but totally different replacement I decided to go with Pottery Barn’s Corded Stripe Rug, It has more of the beachy feel with the blue and beige stripes that I’m looking for.

Deck Redesign-1

It came the other day, I almost accosted our UPS driver I was so excited to get it. I quickly rolled it out and I can’t tell you how much I’m loving it. It’s surprising how something small can go a long way to making an outdoor space feel refreshed even when there is still a million more things to do to take this deck from blah to beautiful.

Although this little update is just the beginning of a few more updates we have planned this summer for our little outdoor oasis. We have Bryan’s 30th birthday party planned and it’s just the right amount of oomph we need to get things rolling.

The addition of the rug will probably be the most expensive item we purchase for this space but we’re hoping it’ll last a long while, though some day we hope to add an addition in this spot and rebuild a deck just passed it we think it’ll work just as well in a new space down the road as it does in this one.

So for now we have a few quick and easy things planned to spruce it up out outdoor space.


It’s a pretty large space at around 12’ x 24’, we spend a lot of time out here during the spring, summer and fall months. You can’t beat the view form here and it’s a great space for entertaining.

Deck Redesign

As you can see it’s sorely in need of a paint job to spruce the whole thing up. Over the last two plus years of living here about 95% of the paint has peeled off the deck leaving gray splintery wood behind. In short it’s looking a bit tired a worn. Now that we have the new rug it’s planted a seed in our brains to do a few things like.

  • Paint/stain the deck floor
  • Paint/stain the railings and balusters
  • Spray paint the furniture a nice gray color (I started to paint it black last summer and fell of the wagon some how)
  • Recover the cushions in a fun outdoor fabric
  • Add potted plants
  • Give the whole thing a general spring cleaning
  • Other random things that strike my fancy as we move along

So that’s the plan I even put together some of the things we’re thinking of adding.


Deck Redesign

First we’re thinking of staining the deck floor and rails a soft gray color like Pashmina by Benjamin Moore and the balusters will probably be painted out white.. If it was new I would probably have chosen a wood tone but since the wood is getting old and splintery we’re going to cover it up with a new solid stain.

To tie everything together I want to paint the resin wicker chairs gray similar to the ones pictured I found from Joss and Main, a little bit darker than the floors to add just a touch of contrast. You can see in the photos above my failed attempt at painting them black last year. I neglected to use primer some some of the paint chipped off. We’ll do it right this time though and let you know how it holds up.

The rug is from Pottery Barn as I mentioned above, it’s really going to be the jumping off point for the rest of the color scheme. I’ll also recover the the existing cushions with some new new fabric from here and here.

Of course nothing is ever set in stone around here so I may change my mind 1 or even 100 times before it’s all put together. But here’s a secret, we already started staining the deck. We’re just impatiently waiting for it to dry the recommended 48 hours before we walk on it. Then I’ll be back to share how it’s coming along.

In the meantime how was everyone’s weekend? We’re you covered in paint? Or did you do something a touch more relaxing, spill the beans.

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