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In our Style Challenge series, we ask some of our favorite bloggers from around the web to surprise us with their ideas for creating a stylish and functional space using Home Depot products as a starting point.
When we saw the incredible progress that Dana of the blog House*Tweaking and her family have made on their 1950s fixer upper (which they affectionately call The Underdog), we knew she would be the perfect addition to our Patio Style Challenge. She put together a gorgeous outdoor dining area that’s perfect for her young family and for spending quiet time with the hubby after the kids are asleep. Check out her clever way to hang bistro lights and the DIY art piece made from scrap wood, too.
Last year my husband and I spent most of our free time renovating the inside of our fixer upper just so it would be livable. With most (but not all!) of the major interior projects completed, we were really excited to finally show the exterior some TLC.
This eye-catching garden path is easy to build in just one weekend. It’s practical and pretty, too. Here are the step-by-step instructions. (No pun intended.) We have printed instructions that you download, too.
SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate
TIME: One weekend
TOOLS & MATERIALS
• 20 12-inch x 12-inch paver stones
• 20 bags of sand paver base
• 6 bags paver leveling sand
• 2 large bags of garden soil
• Ground cover of your choice
• Rubber mallet
• Shovel or tiller
• Measuring tape
• Soil scoop
Man caves are more than just places where men retreat to get away from the constraints of day-to-day life. They’re about a state of mind, too. And finding a space where you’re free to play, create or just do nothing often requires some magical thinking. It calls for a willingness to overlook spatial limitations, or in many cases, a temporary suspension of disbelief.
Take, for example, this unimaginably cool outdoor theater, equipped with a DLP projector, a Blu-ray player, a 40-foot screen hand-constructed from PVC pipe and fittings, and seating for about 400 of your closest friends.
Some might say you were dreaming if you proposed building a theater like this in your back yard. But it wouldn’t exactly be science fiction to conjure up a slightly less fanciful space.
So here are a few more outdoor man cave ideas for you to consider. We hope you’ll find that the man cave you plan to create for yourself isn’t so far-fetched after all.
For a calming, meditative spot to relax and enjoy some quiet time, it’s hard to beat the pleasures of backyard ponds. It can be a simple bit of water, some water plants and perhaps a fountain, or you can create an elaborate water garden.
Take a look at some of the backyard ponds — large and small — we thought really hit the spot. Plus, we’ll show you how to build your own backyard pond.
Guest contributor Jessica Bruno is the self-described “ring leader” of the Four Generations One Roof blog. It’s about life in, yes, a four-generation family living in one house in New England. The blog covers many of the DIY projects the extended family does together, and celebrates some of the chaos of having such a lively household.
Here, Jessica shares with us how the family got together for a fabulous makeover of their backyard deck.
Living with so many people can be challenging and personal space is the key to success! Therefore, we are constantly updating, remodeling and organizing/tweaking existing spaces to keep our sanity! Most of our home projects are done by myself, my dad and Gramps.
Our latest deck makeover was a challenge simply because of the size. As you can see in the prior picture, the pressure treated wood was old, weathered and was thirsty for some stain! We decided that the color scheme would be bright and warm, so we chose a natural cedar tone and linen/moon tan color.
Isn’t it amazing what some stain will do? This was a water-based stain so the cleanup was so easy! Adding a two-toned stain treatment to a large area can add tremendous depth and texture. “We” decided that “I” would be in charge of the overall color scheme when it came to creating a sitting area that would serve as our outdoor oasis. My dad can build a house, but when it comes to the aesthetics and decorating end of things, he leaves that to the girls in the house!
The Home Depot created quite a stir recently when it featured a DIY vertical garden project on the homedepot.com homepage and on television. We published a short article about the vertical garden project here on the Apron blog, and included a link to download the instructions.
We got a big response to that article, including some photos from Apron reader Peter Thunberg of Schaumberg, Illinois. Peter tells us he and his ten-year-old son Tyler completed the project as a Mother’s Day gift for Mrs. Thunberg. They certainly did a beautiful job on it.
Home Depot Forums associate ChrisFixIt tells you everything you need to know, including what organic materials to add to your compost bin. Items like lawn and grass clippings, green plant clippings, dried egg shells and old potatoes work great. But it’s best to avoid things like chemically-treated wood, fatty foods, bone and meat.
Chris goes on to explain that since organic matter can take awhile to break down, composting can take as long as eight weeks to a few months. He does, however, offer great tips on how to speed up the process. You can find ChrisFixIt, and all of our other expert Forum associates, on the How-To Community Forums when you’re looking for even DIY tips and information.