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It’s been very exciting this past month as I have been focusing on the patio and deck area. What started out as an uninspiring, unfinished area that wasn’t much use to me is now one of my favorite places to eat, enjoy a fire and simply sit and enjoy the cabin.

There is a large concrete patio that extends from the driveway, along the deck and into this circular open area. I never liked it much as it looked so grey and institutional and seemed to be at odds with the surrounding wilderness. I decided to start last summer by staining the arbor a black-brown…

Hops grow up this arbor and here is a picture of how the arbor looks once the vines climb and grow over it.

Here is a before shot from behind…

And after staining. I find that this structure has much more impact now with the darker color stain.

Here is another structure that was never finished. I stained that as well…

And here are the two structures stained. This is as far as I got last summer. Note the circular concrete pad. It is the perfect spot for a patio set but I never used it as it was too hot and exposed with no privacy from the road.

Just this past month, I picked up where I left off with the project. B was a great help and had the creative idea of lifting the railing on two of the panels so that the trellis would provide more privacy.

What a difference!

I definitely have the privacy I was needing!

Here is the trellis all stained. It looks amazing now and adds to the comfort of the space as it provides shade and blocks the wind. B donated a small chiminea and we have been using it regularly for small fires.

This is still a work in progress. I would like to seal the concrete with a bit of a beige tint to warm up the grey. We are building a planter box to add even more privacy and I’d like to buy a bunch of large pots for flowers.

Last week I started staining the main deck and B added trellis, new railing and slats where they were missing and built a large planter box just above the herb garden along the deck. Everything is looking so elegant and I am impressed that such a low budget project could have so much impact and add to the curb appeal of the cabin. I just have a bit more staining to do and then I will post Phase 2 to share our hard work with you! In the meantime, I have a new cozy spot to curl up and simply enjoy life…

Click here to see phase 2 of the project.