There’s no use having a deck on the back of your home if it’s not an inviting outdoor space. That was the case for Erin Marshall, who blogs at Live Pretty on a Penny. Her total deck makeover has changed all that, though. She sanded and stained her deck and added some nice decor touches, including the centerpiece of the deck redo– a beautiful 7-piece outdoor dining set.
We love what she did to upgrade her outdoor space. Along with the deck makeover details and photos, she also shares a couple of DIY projects– a wooden cooler box and a mountable shelf for succulents.
Having a deck right off of the kitchen was one of the appealing characteristics of my home when we made the decision to purchase it a few years ago. However, making it attractive had been pushed further and further down on the “to-do” list. In the winter, it looks even worse because there is no greenery in the background to give the slightest illusion of pretty.
When I was approached by The Home Depot to participate in this Patio Style Challenge, I couldn’t respond fast enough with YES!!!! It was finally time for my deck to become an extension of my home, and with spring finally here, and the summer swiftly approaching, the oasis that I dreamed of finally became a reality!
What I envisioned in designing this space was something crisp, fresh, functional and inviting. It is hard to believe that I went from the space above, to this!
I was sent the Hampton Bay Pembrey Patio Dining Set, which put the makeover in motion.
Restoring the Deck
We knew that restoring and staining the deck was first on the deck makeover agenda, so we cleared everything off of the deck (well really just the old grill since that’s all we had) and prepped its surface for stain.
We sanded the deck ourselves using the Ryobi 3 in x 18 in Portable Belt Sander.
After staining, we swept the deck, and applied Thompson’s WaterSeal Solid Acorn Brown Waterproofing Stain using a roller paint brush on an extender. We applied two coats and let the deck dry and cure for four days. We are in love with the rich new chocolate brown color.
DIY Wooden Cooler Box
Moving on to creating functionality and appeal, I remembered that one of my pet peeves when attending or hosting a barbecue is bending down to search for a drink in the cooler. Problem solved!
Using outdoor cedar wood, and (very loosely) following the plans from Shanty to Chic’s DIY wooden cooler, I created a small deck-sized version of a counter height cooler holder. This one that I created is for a 9-quart cooler, perfect for a smaller to average sized deck as it holds up to 13 cans.
Creating the wooden cooler box, which sits on the outer corner of my deck, was easy and took less than a couple of hours to complete.
Materials for DIY Cooler Holder
- (4) 15 in. cedar wood 1 x 6’s (for the front and back)
- (4) 11 in. cedar wood 1 x 6’s (for the sides)
- (8) 42 in. cedar wood 1 x 2’s (for the legs)
- (2) 16 in. cedar wood 1 x 4’s (for top)
- (2) zinc-plated mending plates (to hold top joints together)
- (2) small utility hinges (to hold the lid and cooler together for opening and closing)
- #16 x 1.5 wire nails
- Bottle opener (optional)
- Handle (to attach to the top)
- Paint or stain of your choice
- Gorilla glue
Build your frame using the four 15-inch 1 x 6’s and four 11-in. 1 x 6’s. Attach the wood with Gorilla Glue and #16 x 1½ in. wire nails.
Once the frame is built, attach the legs to the frame using Gorilla Glue and the same nails as the frame. Use two 42-inch 1 x 2’s per leg.
Build the lid by attaching the three 1 x 4’s with the zinc plated mending plates.
Attach the small door brackets to the back of the lid.
Paint or stain the cooler any color of your choice.
I also painted the inside of the lid along with the metal brackets.
The good thing about all of the necessary cuts is that The Home Depot will make all your cuts for you, so just head to the store with your list!
Now I no longer have to bend and dig for a soda, which definitely makes me a happy camper.
DIY Mountable Shelf
Since I am a sucker for succulents, they were a must in this space.
Attach the two 17 in. boards and two 7 in. boards using #16 x 1½ wire nails.
This can be placed on a mountable surface using the “L” at the top and bottom of the shelf.
An Outdoor Dining Space
I never thought of my space as much of an outdoor dining space, but now the possibilities are endless!
Even my friends and baby boy approve!
The Pembrey Patio Dining Set comes without cushions, which looks really nice, but for my preference, I felt the punch of color was important against the floral pillows.
The Home Depot carries a variety of outdoor seat cushions, so I added six Rapid Dry Green Square Outdoor Seat Cushions and loved the look they provided.
The Martha Stewart Living Charlottetown Washed Blue Outdoor Throw Pillow, pops nicely against the seat cushions.
My rug is the Connected Navy Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug. It anchors the patio set perfectly and provides the perfect pop to the brown stained floor, while adding pattern and style.
Off in the corner to the left of my deck, next to the succulent shelf, is the Vero Chili Outdoor Pouf with weather-resistant outdoor fabric.
Having a deck which is semi-shaded for most of the day, most flowers would not survive. The Boston Ferns are perfect for this scenario as they love bright light, but don’t need a lot of sun.
On the right side of the deck, we set up the Nexgrill Cart-Style Charcoal Grill. I love this grill because its small size is perfect for our deck and fits perfectly in its little designated space.
I am so in love with my new deck!
It feels amazing to have a space that my family and friends can enjoy. I am looking forward to entertaining with our new amazing space. Many thanks to the Home Depot for inviting me to participate. Now I am off to enjoy it!!
Erin Marshall lives outside Atlanta with her husband, son, and two energetic dogs. She is obsessed with great bargains, home decor, DIY, and beautiful things. She can be found blogging at Live Pretty on a Penny, where she encourages the everyday person to think outside the box and try things that they never even imagined they could or would do. She loves to share her experiences,and hear her reader’s experiences as well.
For more patio decorating ideas, see other Patio Style Challenge articles as well as our Patio Style Challenge pinboard on Pinterest. And browse our Outdoor Living Department for everything you need to enhance your outdoor space.