Like any new house it takes time to move in and get your bearings. Still deciding on the feel for the interior, Brian and I decided to start by tackling the outside of our new (old) abode. We miss not having a front porch, so we decided to create a side patio, a place where we could gather with neighbors, have al fresco dinners and when the weather cools, Bri and I can have outdoor date nights by a fire. What we started with (photo above) was an overgrown mess, that meekly hid an ugly chain link fence. And what we ended with was this...
I'm in love with our string light patio! The river rocks add texture to the space and I'm obsessed with our super budget friendly solution to concealing that chain link fence (yup, that's right...that faux fence you see is hiding our chain link! And it cost less than $150 to make!) I've outlined the steps below, forgive the lack of progress photos, with two toddlers running around, Brian and I were more concerned about finishing the project rather than documenting.
First things first, we needed to remove overgrown shrubs and weeds to open up the space.
Our other big objective was to conceal the chain link fence. We weren't in a place, budget wise, to replace it entirely, so we were looking for a budget friendly way to hide it. We threw around the idea of planters, which I still think would have worked, but ultimately, we wanted a privacy fence to separate the front and back yards. So, when we came across raw cut cedar fence boards on sale at our local Lowes, we decided to try to build horizontal panels that we would attach to our current fence...think an accent wall for outside! We started by cutting off the dog ears on our fence boards, then attached each board using brass screws to two furring strips (this holds each panel together on the backside). We made three panels, each consisting of 15 individual cedar boards. Once the panels were made we attached the panels to our chain link fence using galvanized pipe grips. This is what it looked like then...
Also, one thing to note, the weekend before, we had removed all the weeds, hung string lights (similar ones here) and prepped and poured our river rock "floor". If you're doing the entire project I'd say this is a two weekend task. In the photo above you can see the seams between our panels, I wanted a more finished look, so we used simple trim (cost $1.25 a piece) to hide the seams and to frame the entire cedar fence.
We used Minwax Golden Pecan to stain and recommend sealing it with a protective clear coat to prevent fading. And there you have it, a side patio that's pretty, functional and budget friendly!
The table is one we already owned (similar one found here), and the directors chairs were purchased at a bargain at $25 a piece from World Market's end of summer sale (I did the happy dance when I found them, because I had been drooling over these, but could in no way justify the cost). If you're in the market for some, I like the price point of these and the bamboo look of these.
Now that cool weather is finally on it's way here in Atlanta, I think tonight calls for dinner outside! Wishing you a wonderful weekend friends!