Shuffling the Deck

So first the good news.  The deck is FINALLY finished.  A project that was supposed to take 3 days has ended up taking about six weeks (not continuously). During which we’ve had enormous loungers lounging in our bedroom.

This what the deck looked like when we first moved in.

The built-in furniture was very weathered and dirty and dangerous for a small child, who could potentially climb from the benches onto the tables and then topple over the sides.  The horizontal railings were also an invitation to toddler suicide.  There was also a large gas grill just hanging about in the middle of the floor.

Our initial spec to Mr Handyman was to power wash the deck and furniture, fix glass over the railings, remove the ends of the benches so that it would be impossible for a child to climb from the benches onto the tables, build some sort of small barrier across the back of the benches and stain and paint everything.

And then we asked him to see if he could actually remove the railings and insert plexiglass between the uprights, and then the safety barriers became much smarter than I had envisaged, and we decided to embed the grill into the table.  All of which needed a lot more carpentry than originally planned for.

And then poor Dan the Handyman was either collapsing with heat exhaustion from working all day on a deck with no shade or else dodging torrential rain showers, not exactly ideal weather for staining and painting (this is Seattle, remember?)

But I’m super thrilled with the results.

The ‘windows’ at the front work really well – completely toddler proof and yet maximising the view. 

The ‘windows’ round the edge are what I’m most pleased with.  We thought they were a necessary evil with a toddler, but they have turned out to be very unobtrusive and like they’re meant to be there, not just an ugly safety feature.

I also nearly had kittens when the woodstain first went on.  We’d chosen a very dark stain because of the condition of the wood but halfway through the process I was having SERIOUS second thoughts and wondering how on earth we could get rid of it.

But it looked a load better once we lightened the colour on the railing (from its original bilious yellow) and painted the floor a much lighter colour.

I’m hoping it looks quite chic and contemporary and, what with the million dollar view, it feels at the moment like we’re on holiday at a luxury hotel.  I have to pinch myself to remember that we actually live here.  How lucky are we? 

And the bad news? 

I’m really not very happy with the loungers.  I was looking for something more sleek and contemporary but couldn’t find anything which wasn’t either imported from Europe at vast expense or very uncomfortable-looking. (UK readers, do you have any idea how lucky you are having Habitat?  It’s one of the things I miss most about the UK).  

In the end I succumbed to the blandishments (and moving-in discount) of Pottery Barn and now really wish I hadn’t.  The loungers are extremely comfortable and well made, but very large and solid and clunky-looking. 

And I don’t know what on earth possessed me to buy them in red.  I bought them online and it looked like a darker, pinkier red on screen.  But these are very red indeed.  I’ve contacted Pottery Barn and they’re going to change them for cushions in a very unappetising sounding Sprout Green (their customer service is truly excellent), but I’m seriously considering sending back the loungers themselves.  Now that I’ve discovered Teak, Wicker and More, I can see that I have some much nicer options at affordable prices. But I’m not sure I can go through the hassle of lugging the loungers downstairs, sending them back and waiting for new ones, when there are chocolate martinis to be drunk and lounging to be done.

What do you guys think?  



  1. says

    I think they look great!VERY luxury hotel! And the “windows” are brilliant! I’m just thrilled with this post since I’m looking for loungers myself. Off to check out the website you listed…

  2. camilla says

    From the pics, I like the loungers you’ve already got. You’ve got the space for large and chunky, and they go well with the benches round the side.
    But then I rather like the red cushions too -original and kind of dramatic.
    What’s a chocolate martini?

  3. lissie says

    Pilla-box red bound to fade to far lighter tone after a few weeks of seattle sun, ditto the wood colour.
    Stop faffing about and pour me a martini.

  4. says

    Is a pilla-box a gangsta version of a pillar-box?
    I wish you all hated the red loungers now that I’ve gone and ordered the new colour…

  5. camilla says

    Well you hardly sold us the new colour by telling us it is called sprout green. :-/.
    Just hoping the cushions don’t smell sprouty…..

  6. says

    Look guys. When I say that I’ve ALREADY asked them to change the cushions, aren’t you supposed to say ‘Quite right Paola, the bright red looks terrible’?

  7. says

    The lounge chairs are fine, it’s those benches I’m not liking! They’re clunky and look a little bit like something you’d find in a state park or a beachfront tourists trap along the waterfront. Not a fan.
    I love the RED! I would dislike green. Red is perfect against the blue sky and white clouds. Lovely. Also nice against the grayish tone of the city skyline.
    Gorgeous views, wow!
    Lovely Paola!!! :)

  8. says

    Oh and by the way, I can totally see bold graphical throw pillows on those against the red. Maybe in bright yellow and white or black and white. Florals or ethnic prints would be nice. I’d love to even see a black/white zebra print. Serious yum!

  9. says

    Well after lots of indecision, we’re keeping the red. Mostly because I’d cut the care labels off the red ones (note to self – only cut care labels off things when you’re ABSOLUTELY sure you’re going to keep them).
    They’re sort of growing on me now anyway. Funnily enough, Holly, I was already thinking of black and white graphical prints for the accessories. You’re also right about the benches – but they are useful for large gatherings and getting them stained was a heck of a lot cheaper than pulling them out and replacing them with outdoor sofas and armchairs. Though that would be utterly wonderful.
    I’m also considering a lilac umbrella for over the table. What do you guys think?

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