Up-chucked and Up-cycled terrace on a budget

When the extension was built we were left with a thin slither of ground between the house and the deck. I was a bit stumped what to do with it and we had run out of cash to get a brick wall and steps so needed to be creative with a budget of about £350. i am always keen to ensure the garden is suitable and accessible for the kids to play in, so it needed to be safe, pretty, fun and still grown up… quite a design challenge.



I ended up finding some great storage benches in ikea, they were perfect for covering the rough edge of the deck and gave us a lovely   seating and potted plant area.

The Applaro range is really adaptable, you can buy the bench, fence and shelves separately or as one.. They even have a little fold out table too.

Needless to say it was cheaper to buy a number of the modules than build a wall and step. So we fixed a number of them to the edge of the deck easily which covered up the mess behind. One of the benches was used as a container to house the pump for a waterfall and we used the fence parts to create a safe barrier for the kids falling off the edge of the deck. We got the matching fold out table and situated it between two benches to create a cute dining area.


My intended to put gravel down and wanted some kind of stepping stones so we didn’t hurt out feet on the stones.But we were struggling to find something that was colourful and didn’t dull down the effect.

By coincidence that week, Tobyn, from www.belltent.co.uk messaged me asking if I wanted some damaged Indian tables. They had been used in the glamping areas at festivals and although damaged , still had some life in them. Knowing we did festivals and used the bell tents, he knew low tables would be perfect for us.

They arrived! I’m expecting around 20/30 tables.. But no.. There must have been 200! The pallet was stacked to the top of the huge lorry, and as the builders were using the drive for skips and kit.. It was put at the end of my drive towering over the skip like a leaning tower of tables.

I needed to shift some quick! The neighbours were ( as always) rolling their eyes at our latest spectacle and they were blocking my drive. Many had missing legs and done had careers missing or damaged, but the patterns were beautiful and the table shape was sturdy and attractive. I put out a post telling fork to come and collect them.

I gave out some to the local school for kids to up cycle and gave a few out to neighbours and fellow festival workers.. I put some away for our own festival space too… But I also had a
plan!!!! Which was good cos there were loads left.


I took the more beautiful ones inside and painted them.. Absolutely covered then in yacht varnish. chopped off the remaining legs and left to dry.



We had cleared the ground on our new little terrace and put a level of sand down, I set the now square , footless tables onto the sand and set them by pouring the gravel around them!


We spread the gravel around and made sure there was enough stones underneath the tables to keep them steady too…I was an instant transformation.

(I have more set aside to create a little deck for Mr O’s BBQ , I’ll do the same but screw then together to create a platform.)

Tip: I mixed a little sand in the varnish to ensure the surface wasn’t too slippy and made sure the underside of the table was full of gravel to give in extra strength.

we still haven’t finished the terrace, but it’s coming on.. The colour scheme is Mulberry and grey but with the pops of colour from the tables aka stepping stones.. It’s really attractive along side the purple garage wall that I painted about 10 years ago!

I have the steps and banister in now, we used a couple of sleepers, cut three to size and screwed them together, much more attractive than the bring steps we looked at and only cost us £30! You can’t see on these pics but we have purple balustrades with a chunky rope  now too.

IMG_0778Because we create a garden at Glastonbury every year, I have been getting ready by working with a garden centre and taking all the plants they can’t sell. they just need some TLc and I get them all happy again and use them in my Garden at Glastonbury. Just as I was coming to the end of making my terrace, they called with a delivery…Not wanting to take the plants out of their pots I have just placed them around the deck, waterfall and terraced and it has suddenly become all lush and lovely.

I really love the high shelf on the fence part of the unit, it gives me a fence while still allowing me to add fairy lights and pots without taking any seating space away. The unit IMG_0761comes with hooks too, so you can hang your lights and lanterns easily.

Because the terrace is so close tot he house and very sheltered I can bring out my house plants too, which has given us a lovely tropical feel to the space.

I love stepping out of the house straight onto this little garden area. Our garden is wonderfully huge, but this can make it a little impersonal and less cosy. Having little areas like this really makes a difference.

I reckon the terrace cost me about £400 all together. I used a lot of recycled materials and we were lucky enough to have a stash of Yorkshire IMG_1381 (1)stone and an old pump behind the shed to make Kittys Waterfall and rockery on the deck, the little stream runs down the deck and land in one of the benches which has been lined with a plastic liner.

One of my other issues was the little bit of garage wall, the foundations were showing and i needed to cover somehow. Our neighbour had asked if they could put an old gate in the skip, I of course fished it out and gave it a coat of paint, a but of faffing around and we fit it, it works perfectly and the old hinges work as hooks for the little lanterns.

With my up cycled pallet herb garden blocking the ugly wall.. its really coming together. Kitty demands to eat breakfast out there every day anyway.. so it must be doing something right.

IMG_1073 (1)
Im going to be staining the deck this week and finishing off tying the rest of the garden together into the colour scheme.. so …..watch this space.

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