When The Home Depot asked us to be a part of their Spring Style Challenge, we couldn’t believe it. Mostly because it forced us to imagine a time where there wouldn’t be snow on the ground. C’est la vie when living in Chicago, right?
So what exactly did the project include? A sturdy patio set (we selected the color) and some Home Depot gift cards. Other than that, there were no rules…so we went no holds bar.
Most of the other competitors in the Style Challenge (#homedepotstylechallenge) were well-known interior designers, decorators, and bloggers – some of whom had tens of thousands of social media followers. In addition to that deficit, we also had one more handicap: space. While most of the challengers were outfitting decks and patios, we were working with our small city balcony.
Yet, in spite of our differences, we were able to completely transform our outdoor living space and create a humble outdoor abode. Here are some of the features to check out below.
• Herringbone wood deck
• Mason jar veggie garden
• Custom airplane trellis
• Skate-deck table with built-in Smokey Joe grill
• Custom CNC “Style” storage box made from old wine crates
• Skate-deck iPod speaker
• Home Depot bucket stool
Using our trusty old skateboard decks again, we custom cut shapes into the wood using the CNC machine. After that, we adhered a few pieces together to create a sound chamber. The last step was creating a slit at the top to slip our iPhone into and press play. You’d be surprised how much sound you get from this little guy, which makes it the perfect noise machine for our patio.
Mason Jar Herb Garden
With a small space, it’s difficult to rope in all of the qualities of an outdoor living space that homeowners are used to, such as a robust garden. But as people who like to cook, we couldn’t omit an herb garden. So, we quickly emptied our canning jars and filled them with soil, seeds, and fresh herbs. We then used zip-ties to adhere them to our balcony, where they would get plenty of natural light. Let it be known, the first dish we used our “garden” for was brown butter and sage mashed potatoes. Tomato basil pasta sauce is next.
Using our custom CNC machine, we loaded an airplane template into the computer and pressed “start.” The finished product were these perfectly cut trellis patterns that we sanded down, spray painted orange, and zip-tied to the side of our balcony, where we laced vines throughout.
Skate Deck Grill
What’s a patio without a grill? Alright, maybe it’s not this biggest or the baddest grill, but our little Smokey Joe does the trick. To save on space, we welded steel legs to two old skateboard decks and cut a hole in the top to custom fit the grill so it would slide right into the middle. Whether we are using it to grill burgers, roast marshmallows, or keep warm, the best part of the table is that there is still room for a glass of wine on the side of it. Cheers to that.
Our balcony flooring was originally just black rubber mats, similar to what you may find exercise equipment on in the gym. Not only were these mats unsightly, but they were extremely heavy. So we got rid of them and instead began to frame-out a deck. To make the most visual impact in this small space, we decided on a chevron pattern. With power tools plugged into our living room, this build-out took just a few hours total (even though our neighbors wanted to kill us every minute). In addition to its aesthetic quality, the deck also raised our view of the city by an extra four inches. Now, our unit officially has the best view in the building!