I was just over a year ago today that we began construction on the massive house renovations. It was absolutely a labor of love [and stress and OHMYGOD I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE]. That being said, each morning I wake up in a bedroom that used to be a squirrley [not eccentric, but actually filled with squirrels!] attic, and drink my coffee and eat peanut butter toast [or avocado + turmeric!] in my great room that used to be a decrepit screened porch and I'm incredibly thankful for living in such a wonderful home.
One of the finishing pieces to last year's massive undertaking is the deck. I had dreams of having a stone patio, and an elaborate landscape plan [that included a pool, mind you!] but in the end, getting a second floor and great room outweighed the insane costs of having an aquatic park in my backyard. Either way, I still love spending time outside [insert here: gigantic 450+ sqft. deck]. I've been patiently waiting for the pressure treated pine to dry out [you're supposed to wait anywhere from 3-9 months and we waited 10] so it could start to become less of a giant wooden edifice and more of an extension of my interior living space. Here are some quick before photos I took the day before staining happened:
It actually looks a lot nicer when it's wet, like it does in these photos, but the quality and continuity of the wood isn't the most stellar [the budget was dwindling by the time we got around to the deck...] and there are lots of stains and spots. I do love the look of natural wood grain, but I'm a little bit of a perfectionist, and all the little issues with the wood would inevitably jump out and bother me to no end. So we went with solid stain from Sherwin Williams Deckscapes collection [I scoured plenty of reviews and I'm a huge SW fan in general, so I felt safe going with their stains]. I was terrified of having a deck that was too dark, so we took the color River Birch, and lightened it to 75% for the floors and 50% for the railings and lattice work. Here are the results:
I have to say, the deck looks so bright and clean! The photos were taken around 9am this morning, so the deck is getting the least amount of daylight at this point. It faces north, so it's never incredibly sunny back here, but we do get a nice burst of sun from around 2-5pm this time of year. I probably could have gone a shade darker on the floors, but I didn't want the deck to get hot in the summer [our previous deck was stained a really dark brown that I HATED!] so I think this choice will work well. The color coordinates perfectly with the house [which is also painted in SW] and makes the deck feel like an extension of the home.
All I want to do is walk all over the deck and start filling it with furniture. I'm planning on doing a vegetable garden up here, and a wall of Jasmine trailing up the lattice work [definitely MOST EXCITED about that concept!]. But I need to hold my horses [what an odd phrase..] because you need to give a stained deck at least 2 days to settle, so patience is essential right now. But I'm looking forward to creating a living and dining space out here, and I can't wait to take you through the process! Just in case you're curious, here are some of the side by side before and afters, along with some other photos of the deck [okay so as I was writing this, I cheated and ran out and took a couple quick photos- I was barefoot, so maybe the deck didn't get too upset with me...!].
Can't wait for many summer days spent out here! HAPPY FRIDAY! -Jo
My gigantic vintage Highland Inn sign looks amazing up against the gray lattice! Wahoo!