Remember a couple weeks ago when I shared an exterior deck painting tutorial? Emmett and I decided to surprise our friends & neighbors by giving their back deck a little makeover. Today I’m back with the big reveal! After the fresh coat of paint, we swapped out light fixtures, and styled the entire space. It turned out SO beautifully and I can’t wait to share the complete tour with you. Click through to see how it shaped up and get the sources. It’s safe to say, they’re very happy with how it turned out (I’ll share their reaction on IG stories later today). Click through and check it out!
*This post is sponsored by Lowe’s. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we actually use & enjoy!
Obviously we always start with a before image. This deck had seen better days and was in desperate need of some elbow grease and paint…
Everything you’ll see in this makeover came from Lowe’s (excluding a few vintage items). It made things much easier sourcing items from a single resource, especially given we (safely) tackled this space during the pandemic. Lowe’s had everything we needed to turn their deck into the ultimate outdoor oasis, just in time for warm weather and summer entertaining. Ready to see the after image?
A thousand times better, right?! Although we didn’t paint the exterior of their cabin, the fresh coat of black Valspar Exterior Stain & Sealer made the entire exterior look fresh and clean. Paint is so transformative!
Our goal was to create a welcoming, functional, cozy outdoor area that was a true extension of living space for our friends to enjoy in the spring, summer, and fall months. I also made sure to floor plan accordingly for outdoor entertaining, grilling, and hosting.
Meet Arthur, the floofy Newfoundland. You might recognize him from my IG stories? I used to let him outside when he was a little puppy during the lunch hour for bathroom breaks while our neighbors were at work. Since I work from home, it was easy and fun for me to sneak over, help them out, and get in some puppy snuggles. Anyway- this beautiful cabin belongs to Arthur and his hoomans (that’s my doggo voice).
Are our friends not the most photogenic fam you’ve ever seen?! David, Angela, and Arthur have almost lived in our neighborhood for a year now and we’re thrilled they decided to move to the area. David actually helped us with our previous backyard, so you might recognize him if you’ve been following along for awhile. He offered to help during the *worst* part of that renovation (haha)… moving dirt in the dry heat of summer. You know you’ve found a true friend when they sign up for the most terrible job because you need another set of hands. It felt really amazing to be able to surprise these two with this deck makeover a few years after our backyard renovation. We wanted to return the favor!
The deck honestly had good bones, so we didn’t want to rework anything. It just needed to be updated, more comfortable, cozy, and functional. I added outdoor cushions to their existing bench seat, in an effort to make it more comfortable. I also added an allen+roth outdoor area rug and a real flame fire table to complete the inviting vignette. I have to say… that fire table is the real deal. It’s large enough to hide the propane tank (no cord hiding necessary), it’s heavy & substantial, and it comes with a center cover, so it can be used like a regular coffee table. Emmett & I were both very impressed!
Above, you’ll see how the outdoor area progressed over the course of the makeover. The allen+roth outdoor cushions really did make the bench seating so much more comfortable, and a place you actually want to sit now.
I also got crafty and inserted a fun outdoor DIY into the space! I wanted to stretch the budget and was looking for a cool outdoor side table for the deck. The pineapple “side table” pictured below is actually this $55 bird bath. I had a thrifted marble side table in my basement closet and the base was pretty much trashed. I had always intended to use the marble top, which was in pristine condition, for something cool… and this felt like the perfect opportunity. Doesn’t it look lovely against the black? I feel like it looks very expensive! Not bad for a quick $55 DIY. Sometimes you just have to think outside-the-box.
Even though the deck is on the smaller side, I wanted to find room for a table and chairs. David loves cooking, grilling, and smoking meats, so giving them a designated outdoor dining area (even a small one) was very important.
I found this wood outdoor bar table that was the EXACT height of the deck railing. We used a bracket to secure it the deck, and I added a pair of these beautiful polywood chippendale style bar stools. They are a gorgeous charcoal color and are SO heavy in person. Emmett actually requested we buy some for our own backyard when it comes time to add an outdoor kitchen someday. Ha! They really are great quality.
Ready for another before & after comparison? The little bar table fits perfectly into the corner of the deck that previously went unused…
I’m all about making things more beautiful, but most importantly- squeezing the maximum amount of function from a space. When floor planning this deck, the negative space worked out to perfectly accommodate the bar height table and two chairs. I love when that happens!
David & Angela actually have another deck that wraps around the front of their a-frame cabin that is three times the size of this one. However, the location of this small deck is very convenient because it’s located right outside a door that opens to their kitchen… which is optimal for entertaining, cooking, and sharing family meals outside. The large deck needs some serious repairs and most of the boards need to be replaced, but they said this makeover inspired them to tackle that project next. I’m sure we’ll be busting out our paint sprayer again soon to help them paint it, when the time comes (the two decks will match). Nothing makes me happier than inspiring friends to tackle their home projects. It’s so rewarding! Loving where you live is so important- especially now.
I adore how secluded and lush this outdoor area is. It’s privately tucked away amongst mature trees and feels like a total retreat, even though it’s close to the city. I’ll show you their incredible view later in the post (keep scrolling).
It’s no secret being outdoor enthusiasts, Emmett & I love our YETI products (we have more than I care to admit). When Lowe’s emailed me announcing they’d be carrying the latest YETI collections (with new colors), we knew we had to incorporate some items into the deck makeover for David & Angela.
These two are even more outdoorsy than we are, and the YETI tundra haul cooler (with convenient wheels) will be great for wheeling outside to entertain, or taking along on camping trips. Plus- I feel like YETI, cabin living, and outdoor enthusiast homeowners are kind of a match made in heaven. The tan color looks really nice with the color palette here… I’m digging the entire vibe.
Given David is also very into smoking meats, we thought the new Weber SmokeFire pellet grill would be the perfect addition to their deck. Emmett picked it out for him, but I love the way it looks with the design plan. It certainly fits from an aesthetic point-of-view.
Does a summertime hangout even count if you don’t have s’mores? I think not! I imagine our friends will make many s’mores, pour plenty of drinks, prepare lots of delicious food on the grill, and make wonderful memories out here for years to come.
I stuck to a tight budget for this project, so you’ll find most items in this makeover to be affordable and budget-friendly. I’m linking the sources for you below!
01: valspar tintable solid exterior stain and sealer (in color: darkest night) // 02: allen+roth outdoor pillow // 03: resin pineapple bird bath // 04: allen+roth outdoor seat pad // 05: real flame ventura fire table // 06: allen+roth neutral open weave outdoor rug // 07: altman plants succulent arrangement // 08: emerald aborvitae potted shrub // 09: polywood chippendale outdoor bar stools // 10: boston loft furnishings outdoor bar table // 11: kante 3-pack concrete planters // 12: YETI rambler can holder // 13: YETI rambler wine tumbler // 14: allen+roth seeded glass lantern // 15: YETI tundra haul wheeled cooler // 16: newhouse lighting 25 ft string lights // 17: portfolio dovray outdoor sconce // 18: weber smokefire black pellet grill // 19: matching grill cover
My local Lowe’s garden center had a TON of beautiful pre-assembled succulent arrangements. All of the plants in the space came ready-to-style… no planting necessary. I’d check your local store for those pretty arrangements. They had lots to choose from!
I was sitting out here after photographing the space, watching the fire, talking to Angela and I said, “This definitely has a secluded Napa winery kind of vibe to it in the evening, don’t you think?” Want to see their view? If you peek through the trees, it’s nothing short of stunning.
We feel incredibly lucky to have these two close by! Our entire family lives back in the south and midwest, so our close friends here in Utah have truly become our family these past five years. The next time you see Arthur, David & Angela’s cute Newfie, in my IG stories… you’ll know where he lives.
Lastly, I want to send a big thank you to my team at Lowe’s for allowing us the opportunity to once again surprise a deserving family with a #LowesStyle makeover! I appreciate being able to find top brands and beautifully designed pieces, that always fit the budget for outdoor living, in one easy place. What did you think of this makeover? Are you into it? Is it what you expected? Would you like to see more of their a-frame cabin? I’m going to do a tour on Instagram in a bit.