Another one of our COVID projects was to update our deck. We’ve been needing to power wash and stain it for years, and there’s no excuse for ignoring it now! My husband had previously procured a power washer as well as a stain we liked, so we had everything we needed without having to step foot in a store.
Previously, our deck looked something like this. It was functional, with the grill and patio table and chairs, but it wasn’t giving off the homey vibe I was going for.
With some elbow grease, a bit of cash, and a few plants, we transformed the space.
Here’s how we got from the “before” to the “after.” Once we cleared everything off the deck and power washed, we let it dry before applying our stain. We used semi-transparent cedar colored stain from #1 Deck. Even the kids jumped in to help. Mr. 7 year old was really into it! Mr. 4 year old stuck to digging up the yard. It was actually a fun family project that only took us a couple of hours, which we luckily tackled in spring before it gets hot and humid by 9am.
Afterwards, the boys left me to decorate however I wanted. First, I picked up this portable cabinet from Amazon when it was on huge sale. It’s plastic with a stainless steel top and tons of storage. We use the extra space to store dishes, napkins, and utensils that we’d like to use for entertaining outside so it’s always within reach. I also stashed some sunscreen and bug spray for quick application.
I then tried to reimagine the space. I didn’t want to ditch the table and chairs because we do eat outside fairly regularly in nice weather. They just didn’t need to take over the deck. Once I figured that it’s typically only the four of us eating out there, I took the front two chairs away and pushed the table closer to the railing. This opened up the back portion of the deck to make room for the portable cabinet.
Right by the house now is a two-person seating area using the unused chairs from the table. I shopped our basement and pulled up a vintage wine crate with bocce balls in it for an end table.
I added color to the deck with flowers and a huge container of herbs. I topped off the look with a set of smart colored lights from Costco that work with Alexa (a.k.a., the machine Mr. 4 year old sometimes calls mom). They have a bunch of pre-designed settings as well as the option for customized colors all set up on a timer.
I thought of adding more accessories, like you see in the magazines, but I just don’t see them really holding up in our climate. I have visions of an outdoor carpet becoming moldy or damaging the base of the deck. I love the large iron lanterns that are often placed along stairs or on top of patio tables, but I haven’t seen any that will withstand hours of direct sun or sitting water after a rain.
In the end, I’m really happy with the look we have now. We’ve already had several family meals there, and I’ve sipped a few coffees in private in the early hours on the deck too. I’m looking forward to having friends and family enjoy it with us in the future.