Rusty funky dreams for a patio

“Once upon a time, there was a girl that dreamed of…”

lounging like this… 

… on this. 

Fool hearted travesty this patio was! Oh the shame.

Failed and broken projects turned this space into a drafty workshop.

But alas… summer was to arrive and the desire to have a pretty outdoor space pushed the girl over the brink! (Ok, it really was because SNS’s theme is patio decor… but she really REALLY needed a pretty patio!)

The plan:

livingroom with coffee table

eating area with table

lounging area with firepit

laundry line area

cushions for existing furniture

BBQ area

Impossible! Or was it?

So she started to invent:

a cheater no sew cushion

A canvas material with grommets found at a thrift store was the perfect starting point. 4 bed pillows and a cat plunked on top later, there was hope!

Twine was threaded through the grommets, the backing was pinned and voila!

A cushion easy to dismantle, clean and could be anything else in a red hot jiffy was born! 

The accompanying chair got a pillow and case thrown into place and she called it done.

Fair enough. She made the seating area work. But what about a foot stool? What about a coffee table?!? *sob*

She wiped away her tears of fret and created

the sawhorse foot rest coffee table

The legs were cut down on the to-die-for dreamy sawhorses she had just picked off the curb recently. They received a sanding and a rough coat of paint for their new adventure.

A table top was created out of planks of cedar and thinner boards for supports on the back.

What was she up to… was she nuts?!?

Why yes, yes she was. But did it work?

Why yes it did! A low riding relaxing coffee table you could also use as a well pillowed footrest worked fabulously!

Until she ate dinner out there having to balance a hot bowl of soup in her hands. Not cool.

So she created…

a hack (aren’t they all?) eating table extension

The deadline of SNS rushed her so there’s abit more to add at a later date on this one.

But did it work?

Why yes, yes it did! Fabulously even!

And she pulled a fast one on you. There was a reason for these incredibly brain stormy like hackish table designs.

The table can completely collapse to accommodate…

… the propane firepit of course!

Propane firepits like this one can be lit anywhere off of any existing propane tank. The base gets hot however if you place the pit on it’s own lid, there is no base heat to worry about. 

But hey… she snuck some really fancy schmancy details in that there pic.

Let’s browse!

Desiring to bring a wooden beamed feel into the space to chime in with the willow furniture, cedar planks were screwed onto an existing roof brace.

A place of honor for her beloved rust was desired so a little somethin’ somethin’ was added for behind the central licence plate.

Fresh flowers were added to the picket toolbox.

(how to build the tool box is HERE)

“HELLO  hello  hello”

A thrift store search landed this brass trimmed light. A coat of white was added to the cord/chain and entire shade, then the sections were hastily wiped to allow the light to penetrate through.

Two simple sheets were thrown over the wood beam on both sides of the patio for curtains. (wash line is to the left, clothes pins are in the hanging basket)

She loves Flea Market Style so she had to put out the spring issue because she’s in it after all… (no hint there!!!)

Rusty chimes were hung to catch the wind with moody song. 

(that speak was a little too floral for me btw)

A beautifully fluted crisp white teapot serves as a vase.

The inspiration for the colors used came from the floral fabric to the left found at the thrift. It had a feminine vintage feel that prettied up the patio without creating fuss. Everything else was on hand.

From “The Patio Picture Show of Horrors” to…

“Hansel and Grettle’s Little Cottage Getaway” with a twist of “Farmer in the Dell Junk.”

Suddenly the blur and haze cleared and her dream became reality!

So she stretched and yawned, 

got comfy with her blanket,

and lived 




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54 thoughts on “Rusty funky dreams for a patio

  1. Donna it’s 2:34 a.m. where I am right now and this was the best post ever. If you can inspire me to wanna make a coffee table at this time, your my hero. I love your junk style and I love the way you tell a story.

    I wish you a the not so little anymore guy many relaxing afternoons and Smores sessions there.

    Lucky 7 Design

  2. Oh…this is all so pretty. Love the seat cover tied on through the grommets. That was really a find! This makes me wish I hadn’t sold and given away all my willow. But I didn’t have a covered deck for it. This is such a pretty space. Don’t you feel like you are on vacation when sitting out there?

  3. Woweee! This was fantastic! I really loved the covered pillows idea for your little bench. You have such a flair for turning ordinary into extraordinary.

    Thank you once again for the inspiration, and sharing the joy of creating with found objects and inexpensive finds too.

    Have a wonderful summer ~ FlowerLady

  4. I love it Donna! I especially like the light, the beam and the sheet hung over the beam! Beautiful! If I lived near you we would be friends and we’d share a glass of wine while sitting there talking about what to make next 🙂

  5. Absolutely gorgeous, Donna!! LOVE the cushion cover….what a fantastic idea!!! And the table that folds away is perfect! Thanks for an amazing post 🙂

  6. What a transformation. Turned out great! You always think of function too. Like that the table can be broken down. I can make that cushion cover! lol

  7. {{{sigh}}}What a dreamy porch!!! I love the cushion idea! Works great for me cause the dog likes to jump up there sometime. I may have to use some of that painter’s drop cloth stuff…what’s that called!? LOL Anway, I love all the details!!! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Ohhhhh my gosh !!! That is so beautiful! Girl your talent constantly amazes me ~
    I want cushions, pillows and a sheet hanging outside but I am always wondering how to keep it clean with the crazy weather and stuff ~
    What do you do ?

    Thank you for sharing with us !!


  9. I loved that tell a story and show pictures along with the story

    loved it all

    and Miss Katie Rose just throw your outside pillow covers etc in the washer every couple weeks (only if company is coming) LOL really that is what I do


  10. ahhhh, the sights and sounds of summer. you make them jump right off the page. love your patio junkified touch. i just gussied up our corn crib turned screenhouse for the summer and got creative too. posted it on authentic (donna)style…hopefully i did you justice.

  11. Gorgeous!! I need to do something similar with our screened in porch … it is on the nightmare end of things right now. Do you and your drill do house calls? 😉

  12. Love the relaxing vibe, and your clever use of thrift store finds. Seriously, if I wasn’t all the way out in SoCal, I’d be right over with some lemonade and strawberry pie, just for an excuse to kick my feet up on that patio.

  13. Whoa! I was wondering why you were so quiet lately. Miss Junk does a flower print! Bob’s Discount Furniture in Connecticut is a big cheaper chain. They have coffee tables that when you pull on the top, the top raises to eating table height and comes close to you. Think about it. Love all your innovations. I thought my favorite picture was Cody, can he stop getting cuter, the dog, and the propane fire pit! I never knew those existed. But I liked the one that shows the little white cross in the yard the best. Ann PS that table top looks awfully new and bare….

  14. You amaze me with your creativity! I was out garage saling today, trying to see things through your eyes, and price range… nothing!!!! I’m determined though!!1
    Love what you’ve done!
    Thanks for sharing!

  15. I love it! What a great makeover! The love seat is calling to me! I want to curl up on it with a cup of tea and a book. You have given me a simply fantastic idea – I have a chandy similar to yours and have wanted to replace it for a while now. I cannot believe I never thought about simply spraying it! If I get some time this weekend I am going to try that. Fingers crossed it comes out as well as yours did!

    Have a fabulous weekend!

    ~ Tracy

  16. Sweet, Donna! I love the floral on that pillow. Have you thought about the fact that you can diversify the look of your FANTASTIC sofa cushion cover…by covering the pillow inserts in pretty cases so that just a hint of their pattern peaks through the canvas. I think that would be fun, too. Enjoy your new comfy oasis! Thank you for sharing!

    : )

    Julie M.

  17. I love it all Donna, it’s fantastic! I’m totally smitten with the canvas with grommets tied with twine pillow cover, gorgeus.

  18. I will say it over and over again ~ you are brilliant! It all looks fantastic Donna ~ you need a big old bottle of wine now or I can come over with the blender…. Happy week-end!

  19. Donna your porch looks great. I was wondering what you would make with those sawhorses. Now I could kick myself for throwing away my dad’s.
    Who is that handsome young man enjoying that fire….any of this construction rubbing off on him. LOL. Love your porch, loved your post and the way you told your dream. I saw you in the Flea Market magzine, Congratulations.

  20. I came here after seeing your Elegant Junk Toolbox mentioned on Craft Gossip. I love your blog. So many great ideas here. I have been searching for something to use on my funky wood sofa frame and your pillow and canvas idea is perfect. Thank you. Count me in as a regular reader now! 🙂
    Wendy R

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