Sunday, August 12, 2012

Our $99 Deck Makeover

We're broke.

Not surprising right? We spend money when we're not supposed to and it results in us having to pinch pennies to get things we actually want done.

Living in Michigan, there are only about 12 weeks of summer and about 5 weeks on either side of it that make it enjoyable to be outside. This is why, moving during June, we lost about half of our summer. Despite the season slipping through our fingers, we made the mutual decision that we really wanted to get the back deck converted into a living space this summer and not next. It is so crucial to soak up the sun before we get plunged into the nasty gray winter.

But...we were broke. So we had to work with what we had. And what we had...wasn't pretty to look at.

 This was our back deck before. The privacy fence was broken up and our gorgeous turquoise bistro set we bought for our old apartment was just barely the wrong shade of blue. If it had been slightly more blue or green it would have been okay next to the house- but it just barely clashed. The deck also really needs to get resealed, but we decided to save that for next year.

This is the furniture we had on our front porch (which is still in the works.) It is a complete hodgepodge of Craigslist and Hand-Me-Downs...and camping furniture I suppose. My mother in law got those awesome bamboo chairs from Volunteers of America for $10 a piece. She was also nice enough to give them to us for free. Yay Free! The best four letter word.

First things first, we had to choose a color scheme. We decided to go for a bright pop of color that would look cheery against the blue. Working with just a good ol' fashioned color wheel, we chose Orange. Orange and Blue are exact opposites on the color wheel. This means that they are "complimentary colors." If we had gone with green or yellow it would have been calmer, but still perky.

But. We are artistic. We like DAMN PERKY. So. Orange and Blue was where we went.

We then picked fabrics for redoing the cushions on the old chairs. Because it is the "end-of-the-summer-season" (what? it was July!) I was able to get outdoor canvas fabric for 75% off, then I had a 10% off and a 25% off coupon that JoAnn fabrics accepted. Since I only needed about 2 yards of fabric, the cost me about $10 for a complete facelift. It was more expensive for the zippers than it was for the fabric. I measured the depth of the cushions and traced the outline of the shape of the original pillow onto the fabric and cut it out. Then, a large diet coke and a lot of Broadway music on Pandora later, the old, stained, corduroy cushions were a sassy royal blue coral.

I even installed an invisible zipper in them so I could easily wash them.

My friend, Brenna was in town, and since Nate hates everything about painting, Brenna and I went to town with spray paint. Don't underestimate how much paint a project like this will take!  Because everything was woven or grated it took way more paint than we thought it would. This resulted in us having to go to the hardware store three times. 

We ended up using this much paint!
After all the painting was said and done, we fluffed the deck with clearance stuff from World Market, and we had our $99 makeover! ...About $50 of which was paint! We love having the outdoor room, but I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Bistro chairs, before and after
This is an ornament that we had up at our wedding. I've only been meaning to repaint it for two years...
Bistro After
Bamboo Chairs After

Seating area after. Nate sawed the top of the privacy fence off
And finally....

The back deck after!  How'd we do?


  1. I love the bamboo chairs! The cusion fabric and the white! Ahhhhdorable! Could you post a "How To" on adding an invisible zipper?

  2. Agnes,

    I actually have pillow cases on my dining room table that I need to put zippers on- so I will have Nate snap some shots!

  3. yes! We need a tutorial on how to put in an invisible zipper!

  4. Great job!!! It really does not take much to fix up a space on the cheap. And ya know, in the end, I think they are the best looking rooms/projects with far more character than rooms/projects all designed up by designing people with fat wallets.

    Really enjoying the blog (and I didn't realize you were so close - I'm just outside The D, so it was fun to learn you are in Lansing!)

    1. Thank you! And Too funny that you're so close.

  5. I love it! It's nice to see an old home with a fun, modern pop. I have a 112 year-old Victorian in the Zoo that I'm trying to mix modern(ish) with Victorian. Not always an easy mash-up.

    I ran across your site via YHL. I've seen your blog name here and there but today is the first time I've visited. I saw Lansing mentioned in your link-up to YHL and had to dig a little deeper just to make sure you were in my neck of the woods Lansing and not some other random Lansing. ;) Howdy neighbor!

    1. Well Howdy, Neighbor! Thanks for coming by :)

  6. I love the pops of color!! It does wonders for the area......... but honey if you couldn't afford to paint the deck, it would have looked loads better if you powerwashed it a wee bit :)

    1. Ha! Oh girl, don't I know it. We moved into the house half way through the summer and decided to save the power washing until the spring (why rent it twice, when in Michigan the weather was going to change in three weeks?). Looking back on it, I regret the decision since now the house is filthy, but it is what it is!


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