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?