Our back deck is one of our favorite spots in our home. It’s a large, covered area that we can easily reach from a door in our kitchen and dining room, and we love it for entertaining or just for hanging out together as a family.
Since our deck is covered, it doesn’t require as much maintenance as one that gets full sun, but it has been quite a few years since it was last stained and sealed, so we decided to give the area a quick little refresh this year so we can really enjoy the space this summer. One of the main reasons we decided to tackle this project right now is because we started seeing evidence of carpenter bees boring into some of the posts on the deck. We haven’t had any issues with this until this point (we moved into this house last summer, and Jeff’s grandmother lived here before that and there was no evidence of bees boring holes into the deck that we could see before). We decided to re-stain and seal the wood in an effort to keep the carpenter bees away, and since we were already going to all that trouble, I decided that I’d just do a quick little makeover of the whole area.
You can see from this before picture that we use this deck a lot. It is one of Jack’s primary outdoor play spaces (I have plans to create a more defined kid space in the yard later this summer and will share that space as soon as it’s finished), so we had his sand table, his basketball goal, and lots of his toys in the space. We also have multiple seating options (Jeff usually sits in one of the blue chairs or on the couch and I’m almost always on the porch swing) and like to just spend time together out there. The view from the deck is pretty and it’s a quiet and relaxing spot that we all enjoy.
These photos were taken after we cleaned everything off the deck and Jeff pressure washed it. He pressure washed it last summer before we moved in, so it wasn’t very dirty, but we wanted to make sure it was nice and clean before applying the new stain.
When we moved in, the door shown was a heavy, solid wood door. The door was pretty, but I wanted something to let a little more light into the kitchen, so we replaced it with this French door. I have been intending to paint it since we put it up, but of course, that’s a project that kept getting pushed to the back burner. I decided this was the perfect time to get that project done as well.
Jeff stained the deck in two afternoons (one to do the railing and one to do the floor boards). The railings were definitly the most tedious part. We chose a stain that is just a tiny bit darker than the one that was already on the wood, so it doesn’t look drastically different, but it gives the space a fresh, clean feeling. That freshly stained sheen gives me all the heart eyes. 😍
Once we let the stain and sealer dry for a few days, I started bringing items back onto the deck and decorating the space. Since I’m going to work on a play area for Jack next, I decided not to bring his bigger toys back into this space. I did want an area for him to play, but I wanted it to look more pulled together than random toys scattered everywhere.
I ended up finding this cute chalkboard at Hobby Lobby and decided to hang it up on the brick using brick clips (I didn’t want to have to drill into the brick) to create a space for Jack. I added his little rocking chair so he has a place to sit when we’re all hanging out together on the deck (not that he does much sitting).
Next, I cleaned the cushions on our outdoor couch and set it up against the brick. We originally intended to put this couch on the other side of the deck, facing the TV. We had it situated that way for a few weeks after we got it, but then Jack started climbing on everything and we were afraid he’d climb on the couch and fall over the railing. We moved it against the brick, under the TV, which I know doesn’t make sense for watching shows or games out here, but it definitely eases our peace of mind and helps keep our little guy safe.
We got the couch and matching table from Amazon last fall and are so happy that we ordered it. It was easy to put together, it’s the perfect size for Jeff to stretch out on it, and it gives us lots of seating when we entertain. I bought some new throw pillows to freshen up the couch at Walmart. The only outdoor pillows they had were red, white, and blue, and that’s not really the color palette I was looking for, so these are regular indoor pillows, but since the deck is covered, I think they’ll be fine in this space.
I also added this metal shelf (I bought it at Hobby Lobby years ago) to the space to give us a little storage. I added a basket for Jack’s smaller toys, as well as a sign that my mom gave us after we got married and a plant. I’m sure we’ll collect more random items (like toys) as we spend more time in the space.
I used our blue chairs (purchased from Walmart a few years ago) and side table (from Lowe’s a few years ago) to create a second seating area on the end of the deck next to the gate.
As far as the doors are concerned, I painted the French door using Blackberry House Paint (my favorite paint) in the color Morning Dew. It’s a really pretty pale blue. I think it looks good with the red brick and gives the door a subtle pop.
The other door is a metal door, and I want to replace it with a French door to match this one. I originally was going to paint the metal door so the colors would match, but then decided to save my paint for when we get the new door (which we’re planning to do soon).
The wood measuring stick next to the French door was a gift from my mother-in-law for Christmas a few years ago. She had the numbers put on a piece of shiplap from an old house. I decided to put it next to the door so we can do first and last day of school photos here to see how Jack grows. I still need to get Jeff to secure it to the wall, but for now it’s propped up between the door and the shelf.
I also made a trip to Lowe’s for plants and came home with four plants that said they did well in shade. I’m crossing my fingers that I can keep them alive (I do NOT have a green thumb).
The last thing we did to complete this makeover was replace the TV. Our old TV quit working a few months ago, and we hadn’t gotten around to replacing it. The new TV is Jeff’s Father’s Day present. We got it a week early so he could watch the last of the NBA finals in this fun space. Having the TV out here should make this an even better space for entertaining. I just need to figure out a way to hide those cords… any suggestions?
This was our first project of the summer, and it’s already proven to be worth it. We have spent so much time out here in the last week since we got finished, and I know we’ll continue to enjoy this space for the rest of the summer and into the fall.