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deck renovation

When I first moved into this house, the backyard was 90% dirt. I loved it anyway. The house felt like a home, and even though it’s centrally located, it feels a million miles away from the city. The neighborhood reminded me of my grandparents’ home in Mill Valley. And I fell in love with the potential of the backyard; when I went outside, I heard birds, the wind in the eucalyptus trees and the kids playing at the nearby elementary school – not the creak of the gate announcing that a stranger on drugs had wandered up the driveway to go for a swim in the pool next to the guesthouse I was renting before I moved here. I was excited to put my stamp on this patch of dirt; it was my own little corner of Los Angeles. And when Tony and I started dating, I finally did.

Our Deck Renovation

{Before}

Our Deck Renovation

{Before}

deck renovation

{AFTER}

It’s been a work in progress over the past few years; four years ago, we put the deck itself in (composite, not wood, so it will last much longer and withstand the wear-and-tear of our ever-growing dog family much better). And then, over the following years, I slowly added pieces of furniture when I found something I loved… Some, like the lounge furniture, has lasted beautifully. Others, like the indoor bed I thought I would just put outside because it was metal, did not… It rusted over, Tony deconstructed it with a chainsaw, and re-built it inside where it belongs. (I have no idea what I was thinking. I hate camping and have an intense fear of Stranger Danger, but for some reason was certain I’d love sleeping outside in my own yard. I did not.) But, ever since I watched the opening credits for Parenthood, I’ve been dreaming of hosting dinner parties like the Bravermans. And for a dinner party, we needed a table.

deck renovation

So, Tony and I enlisted our friend Ryan McCann, who I’ve written about before. He’s one of the most talented artists I’ve ever met, and a genius at building furniture that looks like art. We recently had to replace our patio, and we saved the wood that was torn out. We gave the old wood to Ryan, and he built an outdoor dining table for us. I trust him implicitly, so all I told him was to “make it look cool,” because I care very much what others think of me (obviously. Hello, this blog.) He had the brilliant idea to make one of the table legs in the shape of a T, the other in an A, and he blow-torched & on top of the table. (As in ourĀ initials T&A, not theĀ other kind. Get your mind outta the gutter!) He dropped it off shortly before our wedding, and we finally were able to have our first dinner party up there last weekend, and another last night. Even though it took years, the backyard is finally an extension of our home. And I am one step closer to my real dream… Becoming a Braverman.

deck renovation

{Don’t worry, I’m a germaphobe and Lysol the heck out of this table on the regular, in case any squirrels or girls have been sitting on it}

deck renovation

{We put in fake grass off the side of the deck, because it’s California and there’s basically no water left, and it made me feel like a good person. But we DO have a live lemon tree and fig tree that I love very, very much and don’t require much water, I promise.}

deck renovation

deck renovation

{Tony took the photos, like he does for 95% of this blog, and turned it into a fashion shoot}

deck renovation

deck renovation

{Home. I’m writing this from the deck right now.}


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