I wish I could say that we had more done on the deck this week for the One Room Challenge. Unfortunately, the cold/snowy/rainy weather in conjunction with our family schedule kept a whole lot from happening. Most of the last week was spent on cleaning up the existing spaces, planning what the updated space will look like and painting for planned projects. But not a whole lot was actually completed.
In the process of cleaning and prepping materials, I found myself stuck on decision-making for two big projects: the existing flowerpot benches and the planned privacy screen. So I figured I would let you decide for me!
Simple Potted Plant Benches
In my last post, I mentioned the potted plant benches that I made last year. I love those things so much. I used lots of the leftover deck boards to make very simple benches for our herb garden and flower pots that we put on our upper deck every year. All the boards were pre-cut to 35.5 inches long, and I did my best to saw (by hand) a few in half for legs. After a thin coat of leftover deck stain to achieve a white-washed look, I screwed them together with decking screws and was done! They’re crooked and splotchy and I love them.
But that thin coat of stain didn’t hold as well as I’d hoped. It’s starting to chip off of some of the potted plant benches and was stained by dirt runoff from the pots. I already gave the benches a good washing with a brush and a bleach solution, but they’re still clearly stained. I still have that can of white stain and could apply a new coat for the summer. Here are a couple shots of them as they are today:
Pros of not staining the benches:
- With two levels of deck to redecorate, leaving the benches as is would allow precious time to be spent on all the other projects that are planned.
- The chippy, stained look is hot right now, let’s just call this embracing that trend.
- When the benches are covered in pots again, the stains won’t likely be very visible.
- Because the stain is white, any new pots put on the bench this year will likely cause new dirt stains as well.
Cons of not staining the benches
- The privacy screen is freshly stained, and will be brighter than the benches, possibly making them appear dirtier
- New stain would provide extra protection against the full sun and rain that beats down on the upper deck
- Multiple layers of stains with new plants could compound how dirty the benches look over the summer.
You decide: New layer of stain or not?
DIY Privacy Screen: Single or Double Width
Second on my list of undecided items is the privacy screen that I’m creating. I can’t wait to tell you my secret source for this project when the full tutorial comes out. But in the meantime, I’m still trying to decide if I want it to be single or double width. The upper deck looks directly down onto our neighbors back yard, and let’s just say it’s not the prettiest sight. Our neighbors are nice enough, but their dogs have pretty much ruined their back yard. Putting up a screen will help to create the feeling of being in a completely private space. Here’s the rub: I only have 12 horizontal boards to work with, so the level of privacy will be affected by the width. Here’s a quick and dirty shot of what the screens would roughly look like (as photographed on our very dirty driveway):
Pros of a Single Width Screen
- The horizontal boards would be very close together, which would provide lots of privacy within that width.
- The materials are all pretty much ready to go, so there would be far less additional time needed for assembly.
- A single screen wouldn’t take space away from the potted plant benches on the upper deck.
Pros of a Double Width Screen
- A double width screen would be about 2/3 the width of the deck space, which would look more substantial than a single screen.
- The extra space between the boards would make it easier for hanging small pots and other items with hooks, or for using the screens as supports for climbing vegetables (we will be using the self-watering planters in front of the screen(s) this summer)
- If the gaps between the boards are filled with other items, the double width screen would actually do more to cover the neighbor’s yard.
You decide: Double or Single Width Screen?
Tell me in the comments your votes for both the potted plant benches and for the privacy screen. Based on the comments between today and Friday night, I will complete these projects before next Wednesday’s update.
Other ORC Posts: