We’ve only gone and done it…
And, I have to say, I do feel rather smug about it :-).
I’ve never really liked our patio area. Dirty grey stones that were forever needing jet washing and nasty little weeds that were forever growing, despite constant weeding and copious amounts of weedkiller.
I swear, if weeds had fingers they were definitely growing back with 2 of them sticking up at me.
So this year I decided enough was enough. I didn’t want another summer of discontent. It was time for some action.
It was time to create our perfect outdoor dining area.
And this is how we did it…
Of course, nothing is ever straightforward and we decided that if we were going to make our perfect outdoor dining area we’d have to start by making the back of the house look up to scratch. And that meant giving it a coat of fresh paint and re-staining all the windows.
Now, I’m always up for a challenge and I certainly wasn’t going to let standing on 2 planks of wood at the top of 20ft scaffolding, balancing a paint pot, sandpaper and brush, defeat me. And anyway, I was keen to impress the children as the last time they’d seen me at that height was frozen to the spot on a rope bridge between 2 very tall trees at an adventure park in Devon last year – what was I thinking??
So up I went. And I can definitely say I’ve now regained a little street cred in my children’s eyes.
Our big treat to ourselves was a fabulous wall mounted canopy (the perks of having a gardening business ). So exciting.
And this is where my husband came into his own. While I was balancing precariously 20ft above him with a paint pot in hand (an accident waiting to happen which thankfully didn’t) my husband built the canopy and fixed it to the wall.
A spot of blood, a lot of sweat and a few tears (that bit was me as I climbed down the scaffolding) later, it was done. And in a day too. Clever hubby.
I was still painting(!) while my husband laid the decking.
A little word of advice here. We bought all the decking boards but when we looked into buying the decking bearers that go underneath the boards, they actually worked out more expensive than the boards themselves.
So we had a rethink. And my husband decided to make his own deck bearers by buying some planks of timber, cutting them down to size and laying them out. Clever hubby again.
This was a little more time consuming and all in all took a weekend to do, from making the bearers to laying the decking around the canopy.
But we saved some money. And it was definitely worth it.
And I took a thankful break from the painting to stain the decking – that really brought it to life!
Now it was the fun bit and this is where I came into my own.
Pots of plants, solar lights hung around the canopy, baskets of flowers hanging from the rafters, wind chimes, lanterns…
I ordered some new garden chairs and cushions to go with our fabulous fire pit table and voila, total transformation.
Our little, grey, uninspired patio area was turned into what feels like an extra room at the back of our house where we can eat or just spend time as a family.
And it’s fabulous for entertaining too. Where better to enjoy the company of friends and family than sat round our firepit table long into the night, cooking our sausages and enjoying the warmth from the fire, surrounded by twinkling lights and colourful lanterns.
Only trouble is we can never get them to leave…
So go on, you really should give it a try. It’s worth it. And you’ll love it.