An Outdoor Entertainment Area

What a week or two it has been!

The ‘silly season’ has kicked off with a bang – the weather has been hot – too hot for me – the traffic has doubled and just when I was feeling quite smug because I had everything in hand YD decided she was going to create an Outdoor Entertainment Area [note the capitalisation folks]  and I was designated the position of chief adviser and consultant.

The down-side of having an unexpectedly Good Idea for an event that is alarmingly close is there is no budget for it.  There are other Good Ideas that were thought of a reasonable amount of time prior to the coming event and all spare monies have been allocated to them.

The event in question is something that occurs two days before Christmas and is down purely to very poor planning on my part, more years ago than any one cares to mention now.

It is YD’s birthday.

A plan had already been hatched for this momentous event, for the first time in over four years my daughters and I are having a girls weekend away.  [The last one was the celebration of my 60th and we went to Melbourne for 10 days – that was the most fabulous holiday of my life!]  This time we are staying quite close to home.  We are off to Queenstown [the stunningly beautiful tourist capital of New Zealand] for three days to stay in a posh hotel, undertake a few of the more sedate adventures on offer and to over indulge in good food and wine.

So, you may well understand how the latest Good Idea, whilst a very good Good Idea, raises a few issues around budget.

How do you turn a three-quarter enclosed carport into a stunning outdoor entertainment area in double quick time and with very little money?  YD had four days off in which to accomplish her Good Idea and my promotion was intended to ensure that she achieved her aim.

The lofty elevation in my status therefore involved three days of investigating what we might possibly get for as close to $0 as possible for lighting, covering the floor, how best to enclose the car-port that is being utilised for said Outdoor Entertainment Area – also for nothing – and the most cost efficient manner in which to decorate the enclosed space.

The starting place was lighting.  YD wanted to get some solar powered Christmas lights and we trekked around all the stores being shocked silly at the prices – then we happened upon Bunnings.  Bunnings had just the best and cheapest array of lights imaginable.  We got all kinds of lights, multi colours and white, balls, drops, dragonflies and stars and…..

We blew the budget.

Closing of all or part of the front of the carport became a big issue, we trekked, we talked, we thought, we debated – but everything cost dollars that we did not have.  Creative thinking to the rescue and a hunt through my fabric storage cupboard found a solution.  A huge piece of white cretonne once used as a couch cover was the perfect size for a fabric ‘wall’.

Flooring was the next issue – outdoor carpets, plastic grass [yech!] We considered fencing panels, laying them down would certainly be easy, but not that pleasant on the feet.  

We trekked and searched second hand shops for carpet off-cuts, old floor rugs – but there was nothing that we could even consider.

We were down to wondering could we get cardboard boxes, open them flat out, paint them and tape them down.  It seemed like a lot of work for something that would attract damp should it rain and become a home for a myriad insects and spiders over the course of the summer.  

Then we stumbled purely by accident on the Barbeque Mats.  Designed to stop the barbeque splattering and dripping fats over your lovely wooden deck and staining it – soft, latex backed and a nice big size.  Less than $10 each.  We purchased three with looks of triumph and raced back to the Outdoor Entertainment Area – Huzzah!  Perfect fit.  The latex grips the concrete and won’t move.  We taped the three mats together with duct tape to keep them tight and the floor was done.

A couple of tables were swiped  borrowed from my place, my spare art table has been called from retirement to became a side board and various plants, sundry paintings [all done by the clever YD], ornamental bits and bobs have been re-located to add beauty to the Outdoor Entertainment Area par excellance!

At this point in the post I was supposed to have a roll of photos showing before and after – but somehow that plan went awry and it appears a whole run of photos have gotten lost somewhere – there are only these which may give a bit of a hint, but nothing of the stunning ambiance…..

This is the early set up phase, YD has begun to hang the lights, moved a side table in and a pot plant……  look at that floor!

DR4

The old couch cover has been called from retirement and hung across the front of the car port, a second table, a vase of flowers and a long neglected bundle of curled twigs begin to fill the empty spaces

DR1

Coloured bottles, a couple of sandstone blocks and the BBQ mats complete the cosy corner

DR2

The lights on

DR5

DR6

This is where we will be partying celebrating the lovely Summer evenings of Christmas 🙂

I’ll post some photos later of the stunning Outdoor Entertainment Area when it is in full use.

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!   🙂