Saturday, 19 April 2014

Hopeless Backyard Makeover - part 1

As some of you already know - we moved.
Last year all our stuff was packed on a truck and taken from our apartment in Warsaw to the rented house in central Ireland. Huge step, great experience and - OMG - the biggest challenge ever.
We moved into modern, medium-sized semi-detached house and hey - it was a huge change - we never had so much space before! It really made me relaxed and more happy than before - finally space for living and working was separated and I could keep my bedroom just as a bedroom not extra storage space. There is a long list of advantages - and of course a similar list of surprises and unexpected circumstances you may name disadvantages (but I think being positive is always a better way!). Of course most of them appeared because we've never rented anything in our life - and we had no idea what are the standards in our "new" country. In the first months we had to learn a lot! :)
But - back to the main topic of the post - makeover!


Together with the house there comes the backyard: in our situation it was a hopeless piece of rocky ground covered with grass - you won't dare to call it a "garden" - no way! There wasn't a single plant in it: tree, shrub, nothing. Hopeless backyard in flesh. There was a special bonus though - shed in the beautiful, melancholic grayish shade you can basically call "weathered wood" and a piece of gray (of course!) wall to match it. Perfect view, right? The possibility of contemplating the structure of the wall and all the nuances of the inspiring color palette are just priceless!

The idea of the makeover came to my head when our friend told me there are some cheap pallets available for collection... that was what I needed! Inexpensive possibility to add some simple decking to our backyard and who knows what else... Uncle Pinterest is full of great ideas how to recycle these underestimated pieces of wood! Without hesitation I ordered a couple of them... and there is one thing I couldn't foresee: they came - all in blue. Of course.
I swallowed a dozen of impolite expressions that came to my mind and started to think: If I'm not lucky enough to get the pallets in nice, natural color I have to find a way to make it work somehow... and that's how we came with the idea of the shabby white. (OK, a bucket of white paint which I found in the shed helped me a bit too). We've started with a simple decking and soon covered it with white paint...




Of course I wanted it to look as old and distressed as possible so our painting wasn't perfect - we've just drybrushed the white on the top of the blue - and the effect wasn't bad at all! Of course it faded a bit later - but hey - we are going for distressed and weathered look, right?



Next step was creating a stand for my flower pots - of course I couldn't plant too much in the ground for 2 reasons: too many stones and rocks just under the surface and (what is more important as I'm not the one who would dig the holes anyway) I'd love to move with my plants if we'd decide to move someplace else.
Andrew made a quick plan and the flower stand was ready! ( Ira the Beagle was an independent consultant who apparently gave him some good tips and ideas...)




My job was painting of course - I took obligatory photo of my splattered crocks and I was ready to play with whites, blues and greens...





In the same time I my mind was  working on my secret plan... but I will tell you more about it in the next makeover blogpost!

In the end of the day we had our decking, flower stand and a couple of extras painted. I can't say I'm 100% happy with the effect but I like it far more than just empty corner and glass door - and I enjoyed that day very much :)
This spring I added flower pots, flower bed and we took out our old chairs and table and it is getting more and more cozy now: flowers are starting to bloom and all that colors simply make me happy!
Here is the effect - view from today:


You may not agree but I think it is better ;) Now I'm really tempted to paint the fence too. Another issue to discuss with the landlord :) Anyway, here is the flower stand in detail...


And opposite corner - small composition visible from my dining room. Still a couple of things missing. (I just couldn't resist and I HAD to get this old radio!)


So we are still miles away from the "gypsy garden" I'd dream of, but  it is definitely a progress and I hope it will get even better in the future. Fingers and toes crossed!

So now let me send you some hugs from my whitewashed, "artistically distressed decking"
and wish you all a great family time full of joy, love and blessings. Happy Easter!


25 comments:

Анна Немирович said...

Отлично получилось! Очень живо и весело! :) А ваши умелые руки и фантазия обязательно доведут эту идею до совершенства! :)

Lottie me said...

It is wonderful to see you both turning your rented house into a warm home. One, I hope, will bring you lots of pleasure and contentment.

If you can't get permission to paint the fence, then you can buy plastic 'hanging gardens' with pockets to put plants in, or make your own from all sorts of things - plastic milk/drinks bottles, those hangers that hold lots of pairs of shoes - I am sure that you will work wonders. I am so looking forward to your next post

Sharon Y said...

Looks like a great start! Thanks for sharing! Happy Easter to you.

butterfly said...

I think it's great what you did with those palettes, creating a lovely shabby chic area to sit - and the "composition" is gorgeous. So clever to stick to things you'll be able to take with you when you go too.
Alison xx

finnabair said...

Thank you so much!
Indeed it is not easy to be trapped between: it's temporary and I'd like to make it more useful and pretty. I try to keep in mind that next year or in 2 years I maybe in totally different place but looking at this flat piece of grass and gray and brow n walls was just depressing. Cheap, handmade solutions were the answer for now. I wish I could so more...

lilotte said...

I think it's just lovely ! Maybe with a little shimmer ? (just kidding).

Carol McCready said...

Looks beautiful, a great spot to waste the day away. Happy Easter to you and yours.

Helen said...

Love how you altered those pallets - you really couldn't have left them that blue!! The plant pots look great, hope they flourish this summer.

Krisha said...

Fantastic make over! Love how the blue, covered with the white gives it the weathered, distressed look.

Happy Easter

Lia said...

Looks fabulous Finn . . my daughter did exactly the same with her shed and we love it , it turned out a distressed white ..really lovely .

Jane said...

What a lovely idea and so well executed, your house has become a home. Happy new days there and happy Easter x

Kris said...

I think your back yard makeover is lovely so far. If you can't paint the fence maybe you could use cheap canvas drop cloths to make "curtains" that could be painted or dyed to your liking.

PetraB said...

Brilliant makeover! Happy Easter!

Carolyn Stephenson said...

The decking area looks great. Love how the pallets turned out after their makeover. Happy Easter to you.

Kim Kelley said...

I love it. I think it is a wonderful way to say "We are here and this is our home" renting or not! I like how the painting turned out...very shabby chic. And I love how your pup took charge and made sure everything was getting done to his specifications! Happy Easter and God Bless! HUGS Kim

Scrapalex37 said...

What a good idea ! Thanks to sharing this with us. And you are so beautiful on the last picture !
Have a good day.

Svjetlana said...

Fantastic makeover, love your distressed effect and flowers! Enjoy this glorious weather, Happy Easter!

Pistichina said...

Some.vers good idées!!! And à very good résultats!!! Thé flowers are so beautiful too!!! Joyeux week-end de Pâques !!! Hugs and kisses :)

Lynne J said...

I think you did an awesome job! Never heard of palletscoming in blue before but they look great repainted and it makes your backyard look so much homier-love all the flowers! Happy Easter :)

Licho_Nie_Spi said...

Radio świetne! A palety z tym niebieskim wyszły rewelacja!

rebecca doane said...

Uncle Pinterest?
hmmm...

I always considered it more of a crazy aunt. ;)

Allie Marie said...

Oh My what a great transformation, LOVE the way you used those pallets to make a deck, now that's given me ideas for the pallets my brother is stashing in my garage !! Hmmm maybe I might ask him.....NA!!! He'll want them!! LOL!!Enjoy your new home, wishing you all the warmth, love and great inspiration, the new stories it will bring in this new adventure of your lives!!

bamabo said...

Oj, jaki świetny pomysł!
Piękny portrecik na końcu, uśmiech jak wiosna:)

agnés said...

Jolie terrasse, bon repos.

Linda Donnelly said...

lovely work and a sunny day in Ireland , what joy!