The After After

A little while ago we did a little project.

That involved a massive dumpster, a team of 7 people, and four types of saws.

Remember that?

We ripped out a gift that the 80’s had left parked on our patio.

A massive eyesore of a hot tub.

A good reciprocating saw cuts through fiberglass like buttah.

And afterwards we had this vast, empty, dusty, dry-rotted space.

This is where Phase Two has to happen.

There was a period of time where I thought to myself…”What have we done?”

The space looked so horrible.

The back wall had dry rot.

The siding under the sliding door into our bedroom was in terrible shape.

The dirt that had accumulated under the hot tub was deep enough to plant crops in.

Despite all the room we now had, the patio looked unfinished, dirty, inhospitable.

I actually found myself wondering, “Maybe it would have been better to leave the hot tub there and just turned it into a giant beer cooler.” A fugazi approach to dealing with a massive red hot tub maybe, but at least it was practical.

But, hindsight 20-20 and all, and by this time the hot tub was in two very large pieces and had been hauled away to the local dump where possibly some other creative individuals had decided to join the halves back together with duct tape and turn it into a giant beer cooler.

So we had to deal with the space.

We replaced the siding that had been rotted. We sprayed an antifungal over everything. (And that stuff smells to high heaven.) We painted. We swept and we swept and we swept and we swept. We hosed. Then we swept.

I painted chairs.

I refinished our old patio table.

We bought new chairs to match the newly refinished patio table.

And now we have this:

Anyone who points out that we did not get a perfect match on the paint will find themselves docked 37 Martha Points. We’re working on it. I had a party to deal with. I am NOT defensive!!

The chairs were selected in part because they stack into a nice small footprint which will allow them to be stored over the winter in the shed.

The lanterns were purchased for our wedding last year. We hung them in the trees around the property (we were married at my mother’s house) and they fit beautifully with the Moroccan garden theme. And now they go beautifully on the patio.

A new wee froggy to adorn the wall. We have a bit of a amphibian/reptile thing. Frogs, lizards and turtles. Have no idea why that is. But maybe next week I’ll take a picture of Jake and Elwood.

And here are the lanterns as sunset was coming:

Life so doesn’t suck.

There’s more to do on the patio, we need to rebuild the steps from the sliding glass door, and replace a step we tore out on the deck. The concrete is pretty damned ugly, so it need some rehab although we don’t know what yet.

But those…those are NEXT year’s projects.

We’re done for this year.

Stick a fork in us.


    1. I am NOW ok that we didn’t keep the giant beer cooler (although, in part it was because I hadn’t thought to repurpose it that way yet…;)

      But for a while there I was convinced that I had made an egregious mistake. It just looked SO bad!

  1. Okay. First of all, the new stuff looks so lovely. Like a magazine. Put some big balls of twine on that table, and you could be in Catalog Living.

    However, if you WOULD have just turned your hot tub into a big beer cooler, I think that would have earned massive points. Repurposing is the Martha in-thing these days.

    I think.

    Or maybe just drinking a lot of beer is. I can’t keep up.

    1. I am good with the drinking lots of beer part.

      For a certain people of time I was thinking that I would have been okay with the massive beer cooler part.

      But now i am glad that that is not so.

    1. We are masters of the “bite off more than you can chew, then deal with it because you have no other choice” design philosophy.

      It’s the only way we’ve ever gotten anything done.

  2. It looks Fabulous! (I can’t believe no one has said fabulous yet!) I can’t wait to see what you do next!

    After that, you can help with my back yard next, yes? …A half acre of unmanageable forest that makes me cry at night.

  3. Oh, it’s just beautiful!

    I have a thing about turtles, too, thanks to my father in law. Sixteen years ago, my little family had gone to visit, and I was out fishing near his boat dock. I got a HUGE bite, finally reeled it in, thinking I had caught this monster fish—turns out that it a monster snapping turtle. Scared the CRAP out of me! I scream and drop my fishing pole, my husband comes running, I snatch up our little girl and take off for the house. My FIL nearly fell in the lake, he was laughing so hard.

    Guess what he gave me for Christmas that year? A lovely crystal turtle.

    And now the entire family gets me some turtle thing whenever they see something…. turtle-y.

    1. Now, see…this is this fear I have.

      As a young teenaged girl, I collected unicorns. Because I was a young, teenaged girl and vampire novels didn’t exist back then.

      It took me DECADES to convince my family that i no longer collected them. I was still getting unicorns as gifts after I had given birth to my son.

      So I’m a little afraid to mention the turtle/lizard/frog thing because I then worry that i will drown in turtles, lizards and frogs.

      But a crystal turtle?

      Hmmm…that might be nice.

  4. Holy Martha, Batman! That looks seriously awesome. I am so impressed. And would never have noticed the paint mis-match until you pointed it out. (Love the yellow. Yellow is such a good, happy color!) Also love the idea of stackable chairs, and their mix and match colors make me happy. My china is mix and match, and I like it so much better than matchy-matchy.

    1. Hey! There you are! Was just thinking yesterday…hey, where’s Angie, been?

      I am way in favor of mix and match. Matchy-matchty is for cheap motel rooms.

      Not that I have any experience there.


  5. Beautiful transformation! Please award yourself 52 Martha Points – 2 extra for lovely setup and photo shoot, which I’m sure took time and effort. It looks perfect for TGIF sunset cocktails – I will be over shortly.

    1. I had kinda maxed the scale out (almost).

      Sometimes I’m not very good at timing these things. I should have waited to post this after a horrific domestic disaster.

    1. I’m pretty ambivalent about the yellow house, actually.

      I always see myself in a gray house, or a cedar shingle house.

      I’m saving that second one for when I’m really rich.

  6. I think it looks great, the colors compliment each other well & I love the lamps

    A suggestion for the patio – concrete stain, you can get in an assortment of colors & apply it like paint but unlike paint it doesn’t flake.

    1. I’ve been thinking about that!

      Himself and I arguing – he wants those wooden decking tiles, I’m worried that we’ll have to sell one of the children to afford them.

      I think we should try the stain first. Much cheaper, then if we really hate it then we could sell one of the kids and get the tiles.

    1. Payment for all services rendered is due in trips to tropical locales and lots of chocolate.

      But for that, I would totally design a patio for you.

      As long as there’s not a hot-tub I have to rip out first.


  7. OK, major, major Martha points for this little renovation! It looks like a place I could sit and put my feet up…except my feet wouldn’t look nice enough without a pedi. Love the giant beer cooler idea, but then you wouldn’t have such a lovely place to sit and actually drink the beer….might have to sit in the cooler with the beers!

    Those lanterns are awesome! I love that look.

    1. I can imagine really NOT LIKING sitting a cooler full of beer. I’m a cold weenie. And by weenie, I mean, slap me on a bun and cover me with relish weenie.

      CAN’T. DO. COLD.

      I spent the entire time I lived in England whining. (or, whinging, as they say.)

      This is why I live in California, where the daytime summer average this year was 68 degrees.

      I am a little unclear about why I live here at the moment.

  8. How wonderful, you did a nice job. Worthy of a magazine cover or something like that!
    Nice color choice on the chairs. I love refinishing furniture. Sanding, in particular. Talk about swept, swept, swept… that dust gets every-freakin’-where.

    I have yet to make our backyard livable, right now it’s a mosquito patch. Next year maybe?

    1. I’m really good with “next year.” Lots of things are planned for next year.

      Of course, the discussion of “next year’s” plans started in 2006.

      “Next year” also has lots of flexibility built into it.

      Thank heavens!

  9. how gorgeous!! seriously. gorgeous. like straight out of a magazine!!
    off to try to win a mug… probalby have more entries than the first time i tried to win.

  10. Dude, it looks awe-some. I would also like to take this opportunity to tell you that I read an article that was like, “Top 10 house upgrades you don’t need” er something like that. Hot tubs was on the list. You love one, you want one, but then you tire of it. And I thought to myself, “I’ll bet Lori agrees with that one.”

    1. I SO agree.

      Truly, if it had been smaller and taken up less real-estate, I might have been okay with it. But it was HUGE and UGLY. We wouldn’t use it, because I felt so guilty draining and cleaning it. At which point, I was highly unclear on why we even had the damned thing!

  11. First up, I didn’t notice the paint didn’t match until you pointed it out and even then I had to look pretty closely. Maybe it’s easier to see in person. Your patio looks so awesome; way better than the big red tub. Love all the color!

    1. In person, the mismatched paint is almost driving me to drink. Although at EXACTLY the right time of day, the shadow line is where the paint line is and I can’t see it.

      That is now my favorite time of day, ever.

  12. DUDE! That looks like a photo from a magazine- gorgeous decorating lady!

    Personally though? I would have filled the tub with dirt and planted your crop THERE. How many people have a hot tub vegetable garden? You might have been able to sneak your way onto Ellen with a garden vegetable salad or something. Just think of the possibilities!

    1. LOL…I did not even think of turning it into a garden. Although, when Himself and I were house-hunting, we did find a property where someone had done that with their pool.

      It was…uh…unusual.

  13. We used to have a hot tub like that. I tried to give it away, but no one would take it, in part because a crane would have been required.


    The previous homeowners had bought the jacuzzi and then decided to build a 4 foot stucco wall enclosing the access point into the yard.

    So chainsaws were eventually required.

    There were black widow spiders living in the internal workings of the tub.

    Want to know how a chainsaw cuts through black widow spiders?

    To use your phrase . . . like buttah.


    1. There were rats under the deck. We know that because they would scamper out and steal the birdseed.

      We ended up having to put bait out for them. Because, a rat just won’t abide by the “Just stay OUTSIDE the house and you can have all the birdseed you want,” agreement.

      Dirty cheating rats.

      And believe it or not, I can deal with a rat far better than I can deal with a black widow spider.

      Although I probably would not have been able to take a chainsaw to a rat.

  14. And I still haven’t gotten my invite for dinner in the mail. It must’ve gotten lost. That’s okay, I’m comfy enough with you now that I’ll just invite myself over ;)

    It looks FANTASTIC!! Double the points for having the vision to create such a fantastic patio to hang out under!

  15. I’m now looking at disposing of an 80’s style hot tub myself as ours recently caught fire while we were in it. Your end result is certainly beautiful, but the beer cooler route is awfully tempting.

  16. Love me some fugazi fixes, but I think this is marvelous.

    As are those lanterns! Seriously, I am a bit of a lighting whore (err…among other things. *cough*) and these are FAB.

    Jealous? A bit.

    Damn you.

    – B x


    Sigh, I’m so lazy, I can’t imagine myself doing any of those things! And by the sound of it your wedding was beautiful! Now I’m all bummed I wasn’t invited.

    Wanna get married again and invite me?

    ‘Cause I’d come.

    I just wanted to let you’d know I’m free.

    In case that was what was holding you back.

    1. Have to admit that we had a pretty damned fun and lovely wedding.

      And I would so totally invite you if we got married again.

      Of course, we’d have to sell more stuff to do that, and we kind of ran out of things to sell LAST year.

  18. What a beautiful sight.

    Took guts and effort and belief and you did it.

    I don’t think I could’ve…no matter what I envisioned, it would’ve been too daunting.

    It looks wonderfully inviting…

    Just beautiful. Just give yourself all the points now.

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