7th House on the Left

DIY OUTDOOR CURTAINS

posted by Greg  /  31 Comments

Last week, we posted about our new carport turned patio. We’ve been working on this space for what seems like all summer – or even longer – and we’re beyond happy that it’s finished.

Covered Patio Makeover // 7thhouseontheleft.com

One of our favorite features in our new covered patio are the outdoor curtains. They really make the outdoor living space feel a little more “indoor” and much less “carport”.

DIY Outdoor Curtain How To // 7thhouseontheleft.com

We started this part of the project with a set of beige Merete curtain panels from Ikea. They aren’t necessarily marked as “outdoor curtains” but we’ve talked to a bunch of people who have used them as outdoor curtains – including Ashley’s Mom. She uses these on her patio and they’ve held up great and are machine washable – which is really a plus. Instead of getting only four panels (two packages), but we decided to get two extra packages since the space was so large and we wanted the curtains to look as full as possible.

In addition to the curtains, we needed a nice, sturdy curtain rod that fit our outdoor rustic/industrial motif. After talking it over, we decided that using galvanized pipe would be a great way to accomplish both goals. We decided to use one-inch pipe since it looked “beefy” enough and would have no flex with the curtains hanging on it. Another plus, it was a lot more affordable than a massively long outdoor curtain rod.

DIY Outdoor Curtain How To // 7thhouseontheleft.com

In order to make this work, it required a trip to the plumbing section at our local Lowe’s. For the two end pieces of the rod, I bought two floor flanges, two nipples and two elbows (as pictured above). I waited to buy the pipe because I wanted to triple check my measurements before having it cut to length at the store).

DIY Outdoor Curtain How To // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Since our “window” is so large (about 18′ wide) we used a T-connector with a single floor flange and nipple in the middle for extra support. As for the rod, we used two pieces of unthreaded EMT pipe and had them cut to the length we needed at Lowe’s (for about 50 cents a piece). Since the pipe was unthreaded, I also picked up four EMT set screw connectors (those are the shiny parts with the screw in the top). Unlike the rest of the parts, which are found in the plumbing section, the EMT connectors and pipe were in the electrical conduit section of the hardware store. Luckily, I have a father-in-law who’s an electrician and could point me in the right direction.

DIY Outdoor Curtain How To // 7thhouseontheleft.com

After drilling the pilot holes and attaching the floor flanges to the “wall”, it was just a matter of screwing all the connectors together. It was kind of like putting together an easy puzzle.

DIY Outdoor Curtain How To // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Once we were sure everything was secure and fitting properly, we took the rods back down and threaded the curtains on. As it turned out, we really did do the right thing by buying two extra packages of curtains. Two packages would not have been enough to really fill up the space visually.

DIY Outdoor Curtains / 7thhouseontheleft.com

The curtains ended up being a little shorter than we anticipated. On one hand, we think if they were hitting the floor it would be a perfect place for bugs and frogs to hide out – which we definitely don’t want. On the other hand, they could stand to be about 10 inches longer. We can easily add more length to them by adding a strip of fabric to the bottom using some Stitch Witchery. However, Ash’s mom mentioned that after it rained the first few times, the fabric shrunk a few inches in length. That being the case, we’ve decided to wait a while before adding any extra fabric to the ends.

As it is, we’re really loving how much more complete the whole look is. The curtains are the next best thing to a privacy fence. When we first started this process, I wasn’t sure the curtains would make that much of a difference, but Ashley insisted they would really bring everything together. I guess that proves why she’s in charge of making things look good around here, haha.

We still have a few projects to share the details about, but couldn’t wait any longer to show the photos we took right before I left for LA. Before we get to what the area looks like now, let’s take a stroll down Memory Lane and look at what it looked like before…

Carport Before / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Since we have ample driveway space behind the house for parking cars, we rarely parked in the carport simply because it made things feel more open and gave us a sense of an “outdoor entry”. The problem was the space was far from inviting and completely lacking personality.

Carport Before / 7thhouseontheleft.com

As we rolled ideas around, we decided to turn the carport into a bonafide covered patio. We love hanging out outside (especially in the Fall) and we thought with a moderate amount of TLC we could get this space fixed up enough to feel like we had an extra living area. For starters, we gave our patio furniture a facelift with a few many coats of primer and paint, brought in an outdoor rug to section off a seating area and spruced up a roadside find to use as a large console table. Once “Phase One” was complete, we were for sure convinced that we wanted to plunge right in and turn it into a dedicated covered patio. Here’s what things are looking like now after “Phase Two”…

Covered Patio Makeover // 7thhouseontheleft.com

We planked the ceiling, painted the floor, replaced the lighting and installed patio lights around the perimeter of the ceiling. Then came the fun stuff: decorating! As a part of the Target Inner Circle, our friends at Target hooked us up with a gift card for this part of the project. We’ll get to all of those goodies in a minute, but let’s show you around our new outdoor digs…

Covered Patio Console Table // 7thhouseontheleft.com

If I had to pick a favorite part of the covered patio, this would be it. I think the same would go for Greg because the SemiDIY console table is his pride and joy, haha. The artwork, pops of color and marquee letter add the personality and color we were looking for from the beginning.

We added some needed storage on the bottom shelf of the console table by adding two lidded baskets. This has proven to be great storage for grilling essentials, extra citronella candles and outdoor toys for when our friends’ kids are over at the house. (We learned to have these on hand after having 6 kids under the age of 7 in our house at one time one afternoon!)

Covered Patio Console Table // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I’m pretty much in love with the giant red marquee letter. It’s actually a SemiDIY project and we couldn’t be happier with the results. We’ll be posting more information and a how-to for you guys later this week.

Covered Patio Console Table // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I love how the finish of the Threshold Metal Lanterns tie in with the overhead light fixture. It really helps bring everything together without looking “matchy-matchy”. We filled the lanterns with battery operated candles. Now, I’m normally not a fan of faux candles, but these little guys really look real. Another perk is that you can turn them off and on with a tiny remote control. Oh, how technology spoils us.

Covered Patio Makeover // Indoor Outdoor Curtains // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Now over on the other side of the patio – the sitting area. This area has come a long way since we first brought in the patio furniture (and gave it a makeover). The furniture has been good to us, but we’re keeping our eye out for a good conversation set on sale over the next few months. Maybe something like this.

Covered Patio Makeover // Indoor Outdoor Curtains // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The DIY sunburst mirror still looks great out here – and we’re in love with it even more now that the whole area has been “prettified”. I really like how the plank ceiling ties in with the color of the mirror. Hooray for Special Walnut stain!

The first thing that probably sticks out as different – and make the area look much less “carport” – are the outdoor curtains. My dad and Greg rigged these up using pipe from the plumbing section at the hardware store and we were able to put it all together (including the curtains) for about $160 – which definitely isn’t bad for 19 feet of “wall-to-wall” curtains. We’ll have a post for you with all of the information on what we did and the breakdown of the parts and pieces next week. We love how they add an element of softness to all of the brick and concrete. They’re going to be great for privacy, and they’ll help keep the heat in when we use our table-top heater in the Fall and Winter.

Target Outdoor Pillows / Covered Patio Makeover / 7thhouseontheleft.com

These pillows are the very first things I picked up for this patio makeover – way back even before the ceiling was done! I remember standing in Target for at least twenty minutes trying to put together the right combo. I love how the Dahlia pillow really pops against the cool blue and green pillows.

Mosquitos are in full force right now in Virginia (unfortunately, they love me) but we couldn’t help spending a few evenings out here at night. Thank goodness to citronella candles, right?! The soft glow of the patio lights and the coziness of the planked ceiling and soft curtains really makes for a nice, relaxing evening outside.

Overall, Greg and I are both extremely happy with how things turned out. We’re so glad that this project is wrapped up just in time for Fall – with the exception of maybe finding some new patio furniture. We can’t wait to spend countless evenings out here eating dinner, watching the squirrels, playing cards and relaxing with a good book or magazine. Ahhh, finally!

Because we normally get a lot of “Where did you get that?” questions, we went ahead and put together a source list (with product links!) for your reference: Ceiling Light (Bellacor), Tandem Wall Art (Pottery Barn), Ice Cream Soda Sign (Pottery Barn), Console Table (SemiDIY), Curtains (Ikea), Sunburst Mirror (DIY), Planters (Target), Baskets (Michael’s), Blue Outdoor Pillow (Target), Flower Outdoor Pillows (Target), Green Button Outdoor Pillow (Target), Succulent Dish (Target), Outdoor Rug (Target), String Patio Lights (Target).

targetinnercircledisclosure

As I mentioned in the last post, we’re busy putting the finishing touches on the covered patio makeover. We’re going to be so, so excited when it’s “done done”, as Greg always says. We have a few little projects to finish up before we can share the “after photos” and right now, I’m going to dish on one of those little projects…

How to Turn Craft Paint Into Spray Paint // 7thhouseontheleft.com

We picked up a few of these planters from Target a while ago to go on the table under the new artwork. They were the perfect size for the table, but as things started coming together, we realized they weren’t quite the right color (they’re a much darker red in person). The obvious makeover method for a project like this is spray paint. The only problem was that I couldn’t quite find the perfect color spray paint. Everything was just a bit too “primary” looking. In walks my favorite new DIY trick, like… um, ever.

Martha Stewart Craft Paint // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Let’s back up a bit. I have a great, massive love for Martha Stewart Craft Paints – and Martha Stewart for that matter, but that’s for another time and place. Not only are the colors super yummy, but the paints are also durable, outdoor safe, dishwasher safe and can be applied to pretty much any surface. I’m pretty certain I have every color available stashed in my office. Basically, in my book, there is no other craft paint. There, I said it. And no, this isn’t a sponsored post, haha. Even if it was, I’d still be saying the same thing.

How to Turn Craft Paint Into Spray Paint // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I was in Michael’s a few months ago and spotted Martha’s Gloss Spray Paint Kit. Basically this kit turns any Martha Stewart craft paint (except for the glitter versions and there’s a separate kit for stain finish paints) into an aerosol paint. At the time, I had no idea what I’d use it for, but I had to pick it up just in case an opportunity arose. The kit was $20 (plus the cost of paint). I ended up getting it 40% off with my Michael’s iPhone app. Two points for technology. Also, you can get it here on Amazon for $11. Oh, and as for the paint color for this project I used Beach Glass – which in my opinion is the perfect “Martha Stewart Blue”.

In walks the planters and where we are now. The large, smooth surface of the planters were the perfect surface to try this baby out.

How To Make Martha Stewart Spray Paint // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I followed the directions carefully and combined equal parts of the medium and high gloss paint in the paint bottle. I gave it a good shake and reconnected the contecter thingamajig to the paint bottle. The above image is from here (I just added the writing) because I was too excited and forgot to take a photo. #badblogger

This next portion of the process doesn’t have any photos – which will be self-explanitory in a minute.

Spray painting is totally a solo project, so I was working on this while Greg was at work. Here’s how it went down: I’m all ultra-excited to get this show on the road and go outside to paint. Our next door neighbor is outside tending to his totally-awesome flower beds, so I’m trying to not look like a DIY idiot (as much as I could, anyway). I set the first planter up on a brick in the grass and start to paint. Two seconds in, paint starts spewing out of the connector thingamajig. Someone didn’t read the directions carefully enough. I’ve got paint all over my hands and face, in my hair, in my eyes, and on my brand new shirt. Yeah, I know, ya’ll are probably thinking what Greg asked: “What were doing spray painting in a new shirt?” I don’t know. Remembering that craft paint normally comes out easily if you put water on it immediately, I put down the paint and walk over to the water hose. I turn on the water hose and, knowing that the sprayer was broken, I twisted the sprayer off. All of a sudden, a high-powered stream of water aimed directly at my face comes flying at me. My clothes are drenched, along with my hair. Everything. Is. Soaked. Let’s just say I’m pretty sure I gave my green-thumbed next door neighbor a good laugh. Oh happy day.

If that debacle already wasn’t enough, I had to “unclog” the nozzle a bunch of times and my hands (and hair… and clothes…) were a mess by the time this process was over. But, I didn’t care because I was going to have fancy shmancy “Martha Stewart Blue” planters.

How To Make Martha Stewart Spray Paint // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Just when I was about half way done with the larger planter, the paint sprayer can ran out. Needless to say, I had to capture this moment on Instagram. #sadtimes So… the only option was to go back to Michael’s to get another kit.

How To Make Martha Stewart Spray Paint // 7thhouseontheleft.com

When it was all said and done, the finish is flawless. No streaks, no splatters (well, on the planters anyway) and no bubbling. I’m so glad I decided to go with the glossy paint rather than the satin because the glossy finish makes it look like a glazed pot.

How To Make Martha Stewart Spray Paint // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Moral of the story: read the directions twice. Also, this isn’t the best method for medium to large spray paint jobs. The spray paint kit really does work great – despite my mishap (I think I just didn’t have the two pieces connected tight enough). Word on the street is that Lowe’s now can mix custom spray paint (though we haven’t tried it yet) and there’s this contraption that “turns any paint into spray paint”. The reviews weren’t too hot for that one so, I decided to go the Martha route – and because I was dead set on having “Martha Stewart Blue” planters. ‘

Now I have them, and I’m happy.