Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Home Improvement: Fixing up the backyard

Now that the dust has settled and life has returned back to normal, our focus has shifted back to our ever-growing list of home improvement projects. We received way more wedding gifts than we ever expected and want to make sure they get put to good use. A few of our favorite things include some really fun melamine dishes from Pottery Barn- perfect for outdoor entertaining. The only problem is that we really don't have a great area for entertaining in our back yard. We've worked really hard on the beds and herb garden, but that's about it.

Fun new Pottery Barn dishes

A month or so ago, Hank built a small deck off our back door that I really wanted as a place to put iron rocking chairs that belonged to my grandparents. I've had them for years, and have always enjoyed sitting in them. We had no real covered areas in the yard, so building the deck off the back door, in what little shade we had, seemed to make sense. I would be losing one of the few good beds for planting vegetables, but felt it was worth it to have a new sitting area.

Before- digging out the old landscape timbers that were an ugly, rotting eye sore.

After- pretty new deck! We have since added pots of flowers.

This deck still didn't really solve our "entertaining area" problem though, which is where this weekend came into play. Armed with some cash from a wedding gift, and a coupon to World Market, we picked up a picnic table and a pretty turquoise umbrella for shade. I knew building an actual pergola to cover our concrete patio was not very likely, so the umbrella is an inexpensive (and portable) solution that will certainly work! Hank put it all together this weekend just in time to have guests over for dinner on Sunday night. We're really happy with how it turned out! Now I just need to finish it off with some more potted plants, and maybe some fun lanterns hanging down from the umbrella.

Before- the pidly old, way too small table that I gave away to neighbors.

After- the awesome new picnic table that will eventually be stained to match our new deck.

The table is set for dinner, complete with a water bottle that we took with us from Hotel San Jose, where we stayed on our wedding night.

Marley is ready for her guests to arrive! Nothing beats new people who feed her table scraps.


  1. This looks really nice. Good job on the renovation!

    100 west chestnut

  2. The deck expansion is genius! Hopefully you coated it to avoid water damage and rotting in the future. Too bad it didn’t solve your problems with space as it is, but that picnic table will look great once you’ve done painting it.

    Terence @ The Fidus Group

  3. While I love the bigger table for the deck, I’m still loving the small black table and chairs. Too bad you gave them away to the neighbors. You probably could’ve put it somewhere in the garden as additional seats if not as a decorative/ a place to put pots and whatnot.

    Jenell @ Tristate Pro

  4. The deck expansion looks good. I like how it’s a bit elevated, though I think that would warrant a few trips on the first few weeks.

    You could expand on the picnic table concept and get some wooden lounge chairs for the garden so you can put them in the lawn area along with that picnic table.

    Jacob Sunroom & Exteriors

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