Back deck before and after

Well, it snowed here yesterday—perfect timing for our deck before and after, ha. But you know how sometimes you can’t tell your kids are growing because the change is so gradual, but then they try on last year’s pants and two inches of socks are showing? That’s kind of how this backyard has been for us. Progress has been slooooow. But I think we’re in the home stretch now. You can read our other backyard posts here, here, and here.

Our backyard was ugly when we bought the house. I’m talking virtually no grass. It became more barren after we remodeled. And it’s also pretty tiny by Idaho standards. But I’m a big believer that limitations force you to be creative, and that’s pretty much what we’ve been. Also, remember “little” usually means it’s gonna cost less, so that’s good too.

One year ago I shared our that our deck was complete, so this year it was all about decorating it. We started with stain. Our choice was SuperDeck in canyon brown, which is warm but not orange. We used the same shade on our side patio and our arbor. It took a few hours but was easy.

Then I started shopping patio furniture and selected this set from Walmart. Here’s a quick and honest review: The frames are amazing. I love the “wicker” look—it looks nicer than sets at Target but is pretty much indestructible. The cushions are another story. While a fine color, they do not wash well. Spot cleaning is not an option because water spots don’t disappear. To get them looking good, I have to wash them in the washing machine, and while I’m glad I can do that, I wish I could spot clean (or hose them off) with the same result. Also, one of the cushions came apart at the seam, so I need to look into requesting a replacement since this thing is under warranty.

To mix up the look between chairs and sofa, I bought striped cushions at Lowe’s, and while pretty, they’re slouchy already.


But they fit well with my color scheme, which was cornflower blue with robin-egg blue. It’s a beautiful combo inspired by Pencil Shavings Studio. I stitched up a couple pillows for the sofa.

And here’s how it turned out:


We added the fire pit, which has been fun and produces a surprising amount of heat. It came damaged, but Wayfair was quick to send a replacement, and I sold the guts of the busted one for a few bucks, which was nice. The flame size is adjustable, and the thing runs off propane.

The table is a good stand-in for now—I haven’t found my dream table yet, but this one was about $12 at an estate sale, so it got a quick coat of paint and is fine. The chairs are from Pier One (white is sold out, but this one is the same style), and so are the cushions. Also, I’m on the lookout for contrasting chairs for the heads of the table, but that’s gotta wait till spring.

Added a few plants (including a ridiculously huge fern) and a lantern and called it good. Oops! I almost forgot one of the best parts:

We hung hooks for a projector screen under the eave so we can watch movies out here at night. We are loving it! During the winter, we’ll store the screen inside until better weather comes around. You can see the projector screen in the photo below (just above the windows):

My husband especially loves this part of our property, and I’m so glad because the yard is his baby, and it’s important that he likes it.

Do you have any big projects coming up? Did you cross anything major off your to-do list this summer? Do share in the comments.

P.S. I’m going to share this recipe for chicken-and-rice soup later this week. It’s delicious and feeds a crowd.

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