Last year we did a full deck reno- completely redoing the flooring, painting, putting up lights, redoing the furniture. This year, we just needed to do a deck refresh after a long winter. The truth is that I wasn’t 100% happy with how everything looked and there were a few projects I wanted to tackle.
The awesome and hard part of working on a house is that it is never done. Above all, I love that I am free to let a space evolve with my needs and taste as time goes on! So if you ever have a room that’s supposed to be “done”, but you don’t love it, this is my permission that it’s ok to go back and perfect things until you like them.
After working on our kitchen, I was ready for a long break from house projects, but our deck was so sad that I decided to commit one weekend to revamping it. Our deck is right off our living room and overlooks the condos in our complex. There is a big tree that blocks most of other condos and we have a pretty view of the Great Salt Lake. During the warmer months we love to hang out here at night! It’s our only outdoor space so we try to get the most out of it. Here’s a picture of last year’s deck project-
I tried hard to love the rug we used last year, but the color was all wrong and just too bright for me. I’ve had my heart set on the Mohave indoor/outdoor rug from Target, but it’s been sold out for months. Finally, I checked the website and saw 2 available and I bought one SO fast! I just love the colors and vibe of this rug. It has a little yellow that brings in the color of the siding and the mint and pink really pull the whole deck together. It even has grey that pulls in the color of the deck carpet.
Last year, I tried so hard to create original art for the deck. I wanted moss to grow to shape the word “hello,” but I could never get it to grow (darn hot and dry Utah)! It would have been so cool if it would’ve worked, but it was a fail. The one thing about the project that wasn’t a fail was that I found these fun hooks that you can use to hang things on siding without damaging it! You just slide them in! So I ran to Hobby Lobby and found the cutest art for $20! I love that it is simple and the perfect message for the deck.
While at Hobby Lobby, I also found swan fabric in a pastel pink that I adore! It isn’t outdoor fabric, but the pillows are under a small roof and rarely get exposed to the elements. I bought one yard for $5 and made two pillow covers out of them using this super easy tutorial.
I ordered some brass swans off Etsy for $10 shipped and they round out my swan theme (these are similar). The seating area is my favorite spot on the deck- the pinks and white and gold all make me so happy! The swans sit there and add the perfect whimsical touch. My son loves to play “mommy goose, baby goose” and I love that brass animals aren’t breakable :).
Our deck serves a bunch of functions, besides having a seating area it is also entertainment for Don. He still loves to play with his mini play kitchen that I made him last year (which happens to be one of my most popular posts ever).
My husband also made him a digging station that my son literally spends a few hours every day digging in! It’s made from a plastic feed bin and filled with pea gravel. We keep a good variety of garbage trucks and diggers ready and my son has a blast! The question we get all of the time is how do we keep the rocks in the bin? We don’t. I mean we try, but my son loves dumping them everywhere so every few days we sweep them up and dump them back in the bin.
Next to the digging bin is the grilling section. My husband loves his Treager smoker. To make the grilling station as efficient as possible, we used these hooks to hold his grilling tools.
We have a bunch of plants on the deck. I painted the planters on the railing white to blend in (they used to be brown). My husband made me the tire planter and we have the prettiest peach roses that grow there. We also have a mosquito citronella plant that helps repels mosquitos naturally The back planter has peonies that I love! Last year was my first getting blooms- I got three so I was so thrilled that we got six this year!
I’ve always wanted to do drapes outside, but never got around to it. This year I bought some $8 drapes from Ikea (I got 3 sets) and $6 rods from Target and put them up! I love this addition to the deck refresh because they add a little privacy, but mostly I love them because they add softness to the deck and you feel a little like you’re in a dream when they are blowing in the wind. They diffuse the sun a bit and which helps since the deck is south facing and gets super hot.
The biggest thing that helps with our hot deck is our new evaporative air cooler! I received a Honeywell outdoor evaporative cooler to review and guys, its heaven. I was working on the deck, putting up the drapes and sweating like crazy (TMI, sorry!). My husband came home and was like- “silly Ashley” and he pulled out the cooler. It went from uncomfortably hot to an enjoyable cool breeze- it’s like being on a lake with the cold water in the air.
My husband and I talk about what a game changer this evaporative cooler is and we both are in love. I wish I could have you all over to enjoy the deck now that we have the cooler because it is so wonderful on our deck now. This cooler is a huge step above a fan because it cools the water, fans it into the air, and drops the temperature. Pretty much, you know where we’ll be every night this summer! Sometimes we bring our laptop out to watch a show. Sometimes we have dinner out there. Most of the time we chat while Don plays- heaven I tell you! We were out to dinner and saw this cooler at the restaurant- Honeywell is known for their quality and powerful airflow so it makes sense!
I made a quick video that shares how to work the Honeywell evaporative unit:
- Plug in and fill with water. If you have access to a hose, this will be super quick. Make sure you are above the minimum line before running.
- Turn on and enjoy! You can have the evaporative cooling function on or off. The cooling function uses water evaporation to create a refreshing cool breeze, and i can tell you it WORKS! There are three fan speeds, and you can choose if the fan is swinging or not. So many options!
Are you ready for the good news?! Myhomeclimate.com is giving away three outdoor evaporative coolers! This would be the perfect Father’s Day gift! It would be perfect for your dad’s or husband’s garage, bbq, or patio area! All you have to do is fill out your information below! For another chance to win, visit my Instagram page and let me know how you’d use the unit. May the odds ever be in your favor!