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  • Jennifer Pike

Out of the Ruin Came a Backyard Oasis in 2020

It's 2020...the year we all stayed home. I guess the pandemic gave us a little push to create our own backyard stay-cation oasis that we had been putting off for so long.

Our store-bought $399 fabric gazebo got completely pulverized by a storm in May (not the first time) and my husband and I were at the end of our rope when it came to gazebo's. This was our 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8th gazebo we had tried over our 16 years living out west and we knew that it was time to invest in something that the big bad wolf couldn't blow down on us little piggy's anymore ;). This turned into updating quite a few areas outside.

Here are the areas: I'll break up the blog post into three separate sections. The gazebo, the dining area and the shed. You guys saw the privacy wall back in June so I won't go over that again, but it is linked in this blog if you want to see it again.

Let's start with the shed. It's the cutest!!!

Backyard Oasis: The Shed WILL be the cutest...after we dress her in charming cedar shakes, paint on some black "eyeliner", add some "bronzer", and some "jewelry", aka -a light fixture and a new handle. As you can see here, she's a mess! But I could see her potential!! The first strokes of black paint made it 100% better already.

Side note: the previous owners used the shed for their dog and had a doggy door there. We had to fix that area to have it lay flat with the other board. We removed the piece and fixed it with wood from in behind.

I had always wanted to cedar shake something and this was the perfect thing to try it on.

The cedar smell in our backyard was unreal :)

My husband had to hand cut these boards down to 4, 5 ,6 and 7 inch wide slats because the store was sold out of the cut pieces. That was pretty time consuming. I recommend buying pieces that have already been cut, if possible.

We had a learning curve at first, trying to figure out how to get that first bottom line nice and straight, fiddling with the pressure of the nail gun and knowing where to nail the shake in so it wouldn't split plus be really strong too. It's kind of like wall paper that way. The first line is the most important. You start on the bottom and work your way up however, always laying the next row of boards on top of the seam below so that water can't get in. We used a chalk line to mark where we wanted each row of shakes to go. We didn't keep to any hard fast rule about patterns but tried to keep it fairly random.

Here it is without stain! I told you it would be cute!

We chose to stain it the same color as our deck.

Now for the barn light installation. Unfortunately, it's just for show because we don't have an electrical light hook up. I think we may get a remote battery operated puck light for it at some point if I can find one to fit. Here's a link for the light.

We removed the old latch and installed a new handle. P.S- I can't wait to stain that fence!

She's a cute little shed now! Check out my Instagram BACKYARD highlight for an in depth look at the process if you're interested.

Backyard Oasis: Dining Area

You guys saw my last blog post where we made the privacy wall around our dining area, but I haven't shown you the completed design look with the new dining set and decor!

We love our new teak set! It's modern and timeless all at the same time. I added a few touches of green around the walls and a floor plant as well.