Thursday, July 2, 2009


For the last few days, Bill and I have been focusing on the front and back yards.

It seems that every Spring, we just don't wait long enough for the perrenials to start coming up, so we cover them with annuals. Then a few weeks later we see the previous ones coming up and have to do some transplanting. Thank goodness none of them have died, but that just goes to show what rookies we are.

Another thing I've noticed is that I am so much like my Mom when it comes to home improvements - meaning I will cut corners and reuse common household items to get something done. For example, the bottom right hand corner shows how we used old 4"X 4"'s to elevate the gazebo roof above the deck doors. They haven't been painted yet, but they are covered with another decorative piece on the outside, so no one driving past would notice.

I found the chandelier at Wal-Mart, but it was the last one and it was on display. Since the last two trips there have been like that, and since I wasn't able to get either thing I wanted because they were displays and there were no sales associates willing to help, I decided that this time I'd take matters into my own hands. First, I asked for help.

Ten minutes later when no one showed up to help me, I walked over to the hardware department and got a step ladder. Then I went back to the gazebo displays, moved a coffee table, pulled the long cord through the frame of the gazebo, got up on the step ladder and took it down myself. I love it! And it was very cheap. I have to admit, I felt a little cocky picturing a store employee finding that step ladder - but I figured it would take a day or two before anyone noticed.

The black filmy curtain is a basic $10 panel from Wal-Mart, which has been hung alongside a wide, taupe-coloured panel that I made from waterproof outdoor fabric and another black filmy curtain to balance it out.

They're all hung on a nine foot Bo Staff that belonged to my late husband, which is attached to the frame with black boot laces.

The cushion was $2 at Value Village.

Eventually it'll have a proper, $400 canopy, but for now this works so great. The gazebo keeps the sun from beating in the back door in the afternoon, keeping the kitchen cool and shaded. The BBQ is very convenient and we've used it several times in the last few days to grill veggies, pork chops and chicken.

Aren't our houses close together? That's the neighbour's deck only a few meters away. I like the privacy of these panels too.

It feels like Saturday every day.


  1. It looks like you've been busy (as usual ;).

  2. You sure get a lot done! Can you come by my place to decorate? You've got a good eye apparently!!

  3. OMG maybe you should just start a design business! Seriously, I love how you blended and repurposed items to get such a beautiful and function use... Really, design may be your true niche!

  4. I love when home is "home". Great job.

  5. Well done and maybe you should have asked for an hours wages for doing their job for them. I worked retail for a lot of years and never left someone waiting for help.

  6. Awesome job Kate - it looks really stylish.

  7. That looks great. And when you're done, I'll have you come right on over to my place and help me finish my back yard and house. LOL.

  8. I love you're sense of style. I find the same problem with Walmart every single time I go. I hate that I go back but they are cheaper than a lot of places.I guess they can get away with charging less since there's not a staff member to be seen in the store when you need one.

  9. hi kate, miss you!!! i had a similar story at target involving a gazebo, and no one to help me,...and than a small fight insued, again because noone was willing to sell me the floor sample because they where to lazy to take it apart...i told them i had a right to purchase it,and i was not leaving the stor without it,and i meant it...i did get the gazebo, and i left happy but aggravated...yours looks great!!! you should video how you did it and post it on youtube!!! xox

  10. I'm freaking jealous of your cute deck! Maybe you should go into design!

  11. ditto the above comments!

    Close decks/balconies like that are standard over here, too... some really too close for comfort.

  12. thought of you today, Kate and just wanted to send you my hugs.

    See that you have been busy with prettying up the house, huh? Nice.


  13. Thanks everyone. We've been using it a lot.
    Hi Silver! Thank you, *hugs* back.