more patio funness! (sure, it’s a word)

The Patio Project Chronicles continue with minor updates on our first 2 projects — the hanging pallet bed and the wine crate planters. Craig finally had time to stain the planters and coat the insides and bottoms of them with a sealant to keep water from running out everywhere when the plants are watered. I think they look so great — especially considering they were in a trash pile at our neighbor’s house before Craig rescued them!

And we got plants! I wanted mums for the fall/winter, but Craig was told at the garden store that we missed the window for those. So after a little pouting, we I moved on. The plants that look like mini Christmas trees (how appropriate for the season!) are actually rosemary plants. I really like the way they look when paired with the pansies. They’re festive and a little unexpected. I just hope the bunnies that terrorize our neighborhood plants don’t sniff out the rosemary and eat it all!

Moving on to my favorite part of the patio — the hanging bed! We’d been brainstorming on how we could easily and cheaply create some sort of cushion for the bed… but we don’t own a sewing machine, and I don’t know the first thing about making something like that. I remembered that my favorite bloggers, Young House Love, had posted about some cute seat cushions they’d gotten recently for their new deck. I searched their blog archives for that post and found that they’d gotten them at Garden Ridge. I have never been to a Garden Ridge, so I looked them up and found one just north of Atlanta. They have like 100 different options for outdoor cushions, but most of them resemble something you’d see on your grandma’s patio if she lived in Miami in the 80s.

Luckily, we happened upon this modern pattern in black and white, and I’m in love!! We hadn’t thought to measure the bed before heading out on our cushion search (we were already out running errands), so we just guesstimated and got 4 cushions to cover the width of the bed. Turns out, they work perfectly! They’re outdoor material, but we plan to only put them out when it’s being used so as to preserve the fabric longer. When we’re ready to use it, we just have to tie each cushion to the slats in the bed so that they’re nice and secure. Craig also stained the bed to match the fence and planters.

Perfect for lazy afternoon reading and napping!

fancifying our basement

Sometime around Christmas last year, we decided that our fully-finished basement (complete with a bedroom, full bath, living room/bar area, built-in desk and bookshelves, and a huge storage room) wasn’t completely cutting it for entertaining. We love having friends over to watch football games, for New Year’s Eve, various wedding showers, etc. The room was a decent size with a great bar area, but it was pretty tight for a group of more than 6-8 people due to a wall that jutted out from one side to create a built-in desk. So we decided on a plan to knock out that wall to open up the living room area. Easy enough, right?

In the spring, we had a contractor come in to check out the space and tell us what we needed to do/what would look best/what would be safest. With removing one whole wall, we’d need to add in a support beam so that our living room floor wouldn’t one day come crashing through the ceiling. So right before Easter weekend, Craig got the itch to do some demo work and took a sledgehammer to said wall. One of my many favorite things about him is that he’s so handy and can figure out a way to fix almost anything (just like my dad and his dad). I couldn’t have married a man who didn’t know how to use a drill.

Craig did all the demo work himself to save us some cost on the remodel. Once the wall was removed, though, we realized that a portion of the carpet would have to be replaced, because there wasn’t any carpet under that wall. We were probably never going to find an exact match to the 10-year-old carpet currently in the basement, so we begrudgingly expanded our budget and started the carpet search. After a few weeks of some very frustrating calls/visits with Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Empire Today, we ended up choosing a company called Restor-It (a receommendation from our friend Renee) that had a great price for carpet, pad, and installation and caused us the least annoyance.

Oh yeah, and on top of all of this, we decided we needed to re-paint the entire living area, the staircase area, and the bathroom! So much fun. We painted the bathroom the same navy blue that we used in our main floor 1/2 bath, and I love it. It was solid white and so boring before.  (This was our second try on that bathroom. The first time around, we tried a minty green, and it was rather unsightly in such a small space with very bright lighting.) We chose a light grey for the rest of the space and Restor-It ended up being able to paint a good portion of that (once we got tired of painting and gave up) AND the ceiling, too. So worth the extra cost, because nobody likes painting ceilings.

So now the carpet has been replaced, the walls and ceiling have been painted, and the furniture has been moved out of our storage room and back into place. After about 6 months, it’s finally a useable space again! We still have to hang all of Craig’s Auburn/Tennessee/Titans football paraphanelia on the walls and get somet more furniture, but it’s 100% better with this change. Also, we’re in need of a big sectional counch to fill up the larger living room we now have… so if anyone wants to donate, feel free to do so.

Now on to the next project… Craig wants to redo the bar. Here’s hoping that it doesn’t take another 6 months for that!

BEFORE — boring white walls, old carpet, not enough entertaining space::

PROGRESS — no more wall, half-painted room, some holes in the carpet::

AFTER — pretty painted walls and ceiling, nice new carpet, and a much more open space::