Finally Finished: Our Deck Furniture In Action

Well, our goal was to get to enjoy our deck by Labor Day and we squeaked in with just a few days to spare. And in case you couldn’t tell, I’m jazz hands excited about it. Don’t ask me what this move is called. John just picked up the camera and aimed it at me and this happened. It’s a pose straight out of Kids Incorporated.

We probably would have taken a rickety card table and some metal folding chairs, so we’re psyched to have found actual end-of-season discounted furniture to put out there for the long haul – but we definitely have more in mind for finishing things off (more on that in a minute). Oh and we mentioned that we have to wait a bit to stain or seal this baby (more on that here) so that will definitely add a lot more richness to the wood so it looks a lot more polished.

As for the process of bringing furniture out there, first we plopped our freshly sealed World Market table down in the middle of the deck (centered between our two zippered seams, which will be a lot more obvious when the wood shrinks up a bit and gets sealed/stained so it’s a richer color). You can see from the pic below that there’s not a giant amount of room on each side of the table, but it’s almost three feet (on each side), which is thankfully workable for us. Each board is 6″ wide, so it’s around 32″ of clearance.

Now let’s fast-forward to the fun part. Not only did we add our acacia wood chairs from Joss & Main (which we think will be a similar color to the deck once it’s stained or sealed), but we brought in some pillows, a runner, and some other accessories. Come on, you guys know I couldn’t resist that stuff if I tried. It’s a sickness. I have pillow problems.

Let’s get close enough to lick that yellow chair, shall we?

On the table we have a runner we’ve had for about three years along with a yellow thrift store dish that I use to hold our napkins and some other outdoorsy items (like our yellow gurgle pot, a woven decanter, and some woven cups – all found at HomeGoods over the years). And as for the fun ikat-ish outdoor seat cushion, that’s from Garden Ridge. They have like three giant aisles full of outdoor seat cushions for anyone who’s on the hunt.

And although the space on either side of the table looks a little tight in the shots above, I was just cropping those tighter so my accessories could shine. Haha. And we’re back to pillow problems. Anyway, here’s a better shot from the side so you can see the room behind the chairs (which are pulled out a bit in this shot, but not all the way):

If someone’s in them it usually leaves around a foot and a half for scooting behind them (with someone in the chairs they usually bump out to the other end of the board that they’re on in the pic above, which leaves around 16″ behind them for scooch-age). It’s not enough room to do a pirouette, but it works for slipping by. Whew. We’ve also talked about pushing the table up against either side of the house if we ever want more clearance, but so far it has been all good. You know we’ll keep you posted if we rearrange things though!

But enough layout chitchat. Let’s focus on the important stuff. Like this yellow ceramic fish that makes my heart sing.

Oh yeah, and we still have those bird napkins from Ikea that we used for Clara’s party. They keep making them so every time we slip through we stock up on more. Can’t. Leave. Without. Bird. Napkins.

Here’s a little makeshift  just-for-now corner that I tossed together (mostly for Clara since it’s a nice little play-zone over there). Eventually we’d love to add a larger seat (preferably something plush) along with some large potted plants to lush up that hard little corner of wood and brick (and keep any children from trying to climb over the chair / hop that railing). And of course that woven toy basket does best indoors, so it’s something I just tote in at the end of the evening.

I borrowed the green drum stool from the guest room (originally from HomeGoods for $39), and actually found that rabbit at Marshall’s last week for $12. I think he’s thoroughly enjoying the new deck. Oh and that cactus thing is Clara’s toy but I totally play with it too (it’s by Plan Toys). And this outdoor pillow is also from Garden Ridge.

We set everything out on the deck yesterday afternoon while Clara was napping, so when she woke up we got to do a big reveal for her. Not surprisingly she said “ooh the pretty pretty deck!” and ran over to the little basket of toys that I had dragged out there and went nuts. That’s my girl. And Burger followed right behind her. See him lurking in the bottom corner? He’s just waiting for his turn with the giant orange ball.

Wait, how have we not talked about the yellow chairs?! They were my dream from the very beginning (back when I made this mood board) and although I heard a few tips that they sold them at Menard’s for something like $39, the best I could find (there sadly isn’t a Menard’s in our area) was $51 with free shipping through Joss & Main. But they came painted with outdoor automotive paint (read: durable) and were sealed and ready to be put out (wahoo! no additional prep work like the table and chairs!) so here’s hoping they hold up for a nice long time.

I worried they wouldn’t be comfy at the table since they might be too low or bulky, but with the added seat cushion they’re just the right height (they were a tad too low without it) and the arms actually tuck under the table, so they can even be pushed in. In the end, they’re the best seats in the house on the deck. Here’s Burger demonstrating their comfy-factor. Rough life he has.

Oh and remember how we mentioned that we were required to add a little extra railing to meet our county’s code? Well it’s actually super handy since Clara uses it to get up and down. Wahoo. Although last night we ended up digging out her old baby gate and setting it up in front of the stairs to keep her and Burger hostage on the deck instead of worrying about them running up and down while we’re out there. Worked like a charm.

 And as for our deck plans down the road, we’d love to:

  • add big bulb string lights draped overhead for the length of the deck
  • bring in a lot more planters/plants to soften the harsh angles and edges
  • add that big plush chair for the play corner that we mentioned, along with more Clara-friendly stuff like a sand & water table
  • paint that darn electric meter (more on that in a second)
  • build a small paver patio at the bottom of the deck steps for the BBQ (since it’s currently over on the patio where we play but never eat)
  • build a gate that’s prettier than the old baby gate we’re using now (we rented a beach house once with a deck gate and it was awesome for kids/dogs)
  • stain/seal the deck once the wood has dried out/is ready for it
  • we’d even eventually love to paint the siding a medium gray tone that’s in the brick/mortar so it feels more balanced someday

So there you have our freshly furnished deck (at this point the patio is totally complaining because he was completed last year but still only has two adirondak chairs to his name, haha). Someday we’ll get back to that side of the house again. In the meantime, let’s all just take a moment to soak up one universal truth. The weird little alley that we inherited with our house is no more:

Ding, dong, the alley’s dead!

Oh and see that ugly electric meter on the left of the shot above? Ugh. I’m totally planning to paint it to match the brick like we did back in our first house when something similar was cluttering up our patio. It seems like it wouldn’t make much of a difference, but it’s kind of amazing how much paint can help things like that blend. Check out this pic from this old post back in 2009. They’re not invisible, but they’re a lot less “look at me!” than they were when they were all gray. And in our county you own those boxes, so it’s ok to paint them (it’s always good to call your county and check if you can before you have at it).

Oh and since we’re on the subject of what once was, here’s the old view from the hallway off of the living room and kitchen before Project Deck The Alley began. A nice little rotting balcony complete with some weeds and a straight shot at the air conditioner.

And here it is now. Wahooo! No more weediness, rotting wood, or air conditioner in sight!

We’d love to switch those sliders out with french doors to swank things up – in fact we’re pricing out a few options to see if it’s something we can do now (whee!) or something we need to wait and save up a bit more for (womp-womp). Will keep you posted! And as for what big project we’ll be tackling next, we’re debating between whipping our crazy not-even-functional-anymore basement into shape or adding some wainscoting/board & batten to our yawn of a hallway (not our frame one, the one that leads to Clara’s room). We’ll let you guys know where we land as soon as we… land. Haha.

But let’s end this little deck dalliance with the what’s your favorite part game. I’m the most obsessed with the yellow chairs and the ikat cushions. John loves the giant table that he can’t wait to “fill with food.” Perhaps there are gurgle pot lovers out there? Or you’re like Clara and you’re the most into the $2 ball from Target?

Psst- You can see how we planned, sourced, and built this beast of a deck here and see how we planned to furnish things a while back in this little mood board post.


  1. Emily W says

    Looks amazing you guys! I’m so glad you’ll have some time to enjoy it before it gets too cold! Great job!
    ps. Those yellow chairs!!!!!

  2. Inguna says

    I read your blog 1/2 a year, (and have got a lots of inspiration from you and your ideas, thanks a lot), but it’s the first time I coment.
    Maybe it’s better to make some shelves, where to store little items like dishes, salt, and which would hide the electricity meter.

  3. Emily says

    Thank you for the idea of painting the electric meter! I have been trying to figure out what to do with ours for 3 years….don’t know why I didn’t think of that as a first solution! Thanks again!!!

  4. Cayce says

    Just a heads up, right now the Target’s here have all of there outdoor string lights on clearance 50% off. A friend of mine bought some 3 yrs ago and they are still working on her patio, although hers is covered. so check those out and see if it’s what you want.

    • says

      Thanks for the tip! We have some leftover from our backyard wedding, we just need an outlet to plug them into (and to devise a way to string them back and forth- probably with hooks)! Will keep you posted!


  5. says

    *squeals* I am soooo excited to see the deck finished and furnished! It looks great! I personally love the yellow chairs and fun accessories on the table the most. So bright and cheery. It really all looks great tho, great job guys!

    Are ya’ll gonna write a post for your first meal out there? That would be a lot of fun!

  6. says

    It looks beautiful!!!
    My husband and I built our deck from scratch too and it took 3 months when we planned 3 weeks. Your story was similar to ours in that regard!
    It is a great feeling to know all of your hard work payed off, now its time to enjoy many cold drinks and good times on your deck!
    We did a patio on ours too with the deck having as my 4 year old neighbor put it “Cinderella skirt stairs”; it was a project, and now I am just constantly taking pictures and trying “not” to forget all the hard work it took to get there!
    Congrats fellow deck building buddies!
    PS – obsessed with the yellow chairs!!!


  7. Liz E. says

    L-O-V-E IT!!! Wishing you all many happy days/evenings/whatevers lounging on and enjoying the fruit of your labor!

  8. Lisa says

    You should be able to find a set of French doors at one of the surplus building places….there is one in Stafford that sells them at a discount. Alos, if you get the energy efficient ones, you can probably get a tax deduction for it. We did when we put in ours.

    The deck looks great…I would love to see a shot of the table up against the wall though. In my mind, that is how I always pictured you doing it for some reason? I think it would just make the traffic flow smoother. The. You could always pull it out if you need more room. Either way, it is a huge improvement, good job!

  9. Jay says

    Looks Great.
    But – is it really almost 3 feet on both sides of the table? The photos show 4-5 planks on each side for the space and each plank is 5 1/2″ wide (2×6 lumber) so that only equals 22″ to 27 1/2″. What am I missing?
    And with the chairs there and pushed all the way in (nobody sitting in them) you only have what looks like maybe 3 boards (16 1/2″) which isn’t very much room to walk through especially considering that you have that electrical meter on the one side and vinyl siding protrusions on the other (around the windows, etc).

    • says

      The chairs actually aren’t pushed in all the way in the pics (they can go in one or two more boards) so maybe that’s what you missed? There are almost 6 planks each on each side of the table (5.5-ish) and the planks are 6″ each, so six of them would be three feet. It’s a bit short of that, hence us saying “almost three feet.” So far it works for us but we’ll keep you posted if we rearrange! You’re right about the electrical box jutting out, so everyone going around the right side seems to work since there’s more clearance there. It’s not spacious by any means, but it’s way better than what was there before!


    • Jay says

      I still don’t count the number of planks that you do (I only get 4-5 on either side, depending upon how much of afull board the outer ones are).
      But what I am wondering about is how you got 2×6 lumber that was actually 6″ wide – that type of lumber hasn’ been available in North America since the 1930s – all ‘construction’ lumber is nominally sized and the stated sizes are the dimension before the faces are planed. x4 lumber is approx 3 1/2″ wide, x6 lumber is approx 5 1/2″ wide.
      Regardless – I love the deck and it is great that you have taken the Alley into something thet your family can enjoy!!
      Well done.

    • says

      You’re right about 6″ being approximate for the boards. Each board is a little less but there’s a crack between each one so it’s all just a rough number (I always say “about” since I’m hardly an exact girl, haha). I think the answer is for you to come over and sit in the chair and I’ll scooch behind you. Haha. I promise it works! I can post pics of John sitting in a chair and me walking behind him in a future post for ya if you’d like :)


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