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Jun 01

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Mud Pit to Built-In Bench

The transformation of this mud pit to a built-in bench on our deck is incredible.  When I was pulling all of the pictures together, I still couldn’t believe the before and after.


Built-In Bench on the Deck by




When I said that the “before” was a mud pit, I was not exaggerating.  Not even slightly.




It needs some love, don’t you agree?




Thanks to our Property Manager, Chris, and his group of talented men, it looks a little different now.  Oh and BTW – one of my biggest pet peeves with looking at before and after pictures are when they are from different angles.  With me, you will get the same angle so you can see the difference, but also some other angles too.  Do you have the same pet peeve about before and after pictures?


It’s a pretty amazing transformation, don’t you agree?


Built-In Bench on the Deck by


This became the “conversation area” of the veranda.  The original deck remained the “dining area.”  Instead of continuing with the wood deck, we went with the brick to create a visually distinct area.


Built-In Bench on the Deck by


The Sunbrella cushions and pillows came from everywhere.  I mixed and matched from Pottery Barn, Orvis, Gardners, Plow and Hearth, and Grandin Road.  Throughout both sides of the veranda, blue is the primary color of the decor, and lime green (or citron) is the secondary color.  We wanted the ottoman to be a place where drinks can be served, or we can kick our feet up at the end of a long day.


Built-In Bench on the Deck by


Do you see the blue bench in the corner of the picture below?  Remember how my Father re-built it – it was my GREAT-Grandfather’s bench.  Click HERE for the full story.


Built-In Bench on the Deck by


The garden stool came from One Kings Lane.


Built-In Bench on the Deck by


This area gets sun in the middle of the day, but shade in the late afternoon.  The umbrella can be moved around to provide shade if needed.  See the wisteria growing up the pergola?  Next year, I have a feeling it will have grown enough to provide a little shade.


Built-in Bench on the Deck by


Are you ready for one last look of the before and after?




Here is the same angle of the before and after so you can see the transformation.





Built-In Bench on the Deck by


Be sure to follow me and subscribe to my blog so you can see the big reveal and transformation of the entire veranda.


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Sooooo…. what do you think?


Love, hugs, and kicking my feet up.  Finally.




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  1. laura

    Looks Aaaamazing!!!! Great job! laura

    1. Holly

      Thanks so much Laura! Hugs, Holly

  2. lisa@hooplapalooza

    holy cow what an awesome job you did Holly!! :)

    1. Holly

      Hi Lisa – Thanks so much! It was a lot of work, but well worth it. Hugs, Holly

  3. Marti

    Holly, this looks fabulous! And I am sure the wisteria will provide tons of shade. Please make sure it is trimmed every year and kept away from the house and roof area. Wisteria is aggressive and invasive and will destroy your roof and house, if given the opportunity.

    1. Holly

      Hi Marti – Thank you so much for stopping by to comment. Right now it’s very far away from the house, and I will definitely keep my eye on it as we try and work it around the pergola. Hugs, Holly

  4. Susan

    I lo-oove it! So cozy and inviting. But I have to ask, do you put away the cushions or leave them out? I put mine away and it’s a bit of a pain when you have to drag them all out before you can enjoy the space.

    1. Holly

      Hi Susan – All of the pillows and cushions are either Sunbrella or a very tough outdoor fabric, so I will be keeping them outside all summer. I paid $5.00 extra (soooo worth just a little more money!) for the upgraded cushions that have a special material on the bottom to help with keeping them dry in the rain. I don’t expect them to last forever, but hopefully through a few seasons anyway. Come over and join me sometime! Hugs, Holly

  5. Carmody

    Well Done!

    1. Holly

      Hi Carmody – Thanks so much for stopping by! Hugs, Holly

  6. Christine McCombs

    Looks great, but did you another deck beside the old one and then lay bricks on top of it?

    1. Holly

      Hi Christine – They filled it with dirt, leveled it out, and then laid the bricks down like stones, and filled it with this sand compound that hardens like cement. It’s a pretty cool concept and easier than paying a mason for the job. Hugs, Holly

  7. Mindie Hilton

    It turned out awesome!

    1. Holly

      Thanks so much Mindie! Hugs, Holly

  8. Rachel Kathyg @ onlinesisterhood

    You did a fabulous job on the mud pit:) I love your new outdoor space—perfect for relaxing, having guests over…My favorite part is how you utilized the corner and now it is a cozy couch. Nicely done! found at inspire me monday linky. Have a great week Holly!

    1. Holly

      Hi Rachel – Thank you so much for your kind words and for stopping by. Hope to see you again soon! Hugs, Holly

  9. Robin @ Redo It Yourself Inspirations

    I love this transformation. You must be enjoying the new “level” of space :) It looks fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Snickerdoodle Sunday! Have a great week, Holly~


    1. Holly

      Hi Robin – I am still in awe when I see it. We really do love it. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Holly

  10. Megan @ C'mon Get Crafty

    I could happily prop my feet up there with some refreshments and enjoy the breeze! Great transformation!! (And yes, the angle thing is totally one of my pet peeves as well.) Popped over from the Feeding Big party! :)

    1. Holly

      Hi Megan – So glad I found some before and after solidarity! Thank you for your sweet words and come on over any time and prop your feet up! Hugs, Holly

  11. Katie @ Upcycled Treasures

    WOW, this looks absolutely amazing! What a beautiful transformation and a fun place to hang out during the summer. Thanks for sharing it at The Makers! Pinned :)

    1. Holly

      Hi Katie – Thank you for pinning and thank you for your kind words. We really do enjoy the new space. Hugs, Holly

  12. Alexis @ Persia Lou

    Wow! What a great before and after! Such a great spot to hang out! Thank you so much for sharing with us at The Makers. :)

    1. Holly

      Hi Alexis – Thank you for stopping by. We love our new space. Hugs, Holly

  13. Stacy Risnemay

    Amazing! I want to come over and hang out there. What a nice space!

    1. Holly

      Oh my goodness… THE Stacy Risenmay commenting to little ole me on my blog? I am so honored and thank you for your sweet words. Next time you are in the DC area, come on over and join me! Hugs, Holly

  14. the cape on the corner

    oh man, that looks amazing. my favorite is the built in bench and the ottoman/table. and i totally agree with the same angle pics-it’s how you truly realize a before and after!

    1. Holly

      Hi Cape on the Corner – Yay solidarity! Thank you for your sweet words and thanks for stopping by. Come back again soon! Hugs. Holly

  15. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life

    Oh My Word, this is fabulous. I love this space, what an amazing transformation. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

    1. Holly

      Hi Marty – You are so kind, thank you so much! Hugs, Holly

  16. Cynthia L

    you would never know that this was the same space! Love the furniture and the colors you chose! Just fantastic!

    1. Holly

      Hi Cynthia – I’m still in shock, trust me! Hugs, Holly

  17. Shari Eckstrom

    Strong work, the area turned out beautifully! Thanks for linking up at the Wonderful Wednesday blog Hop. We are so glad you came by!

    1. Holly

      Hi Shari – Thank you so much for visiting! Hugs, Holly

  18. kristi@ishouldbemoppingthefloor

    Beautiful, Holly!! Thank you bunches for linking up and partying with us!

    1. Holly

      Hi Kristi – Thank you so much! Hugs, Holly

  19. Bobbi

    Awesome job…bet you’re loving it!! I would be out there all day if I could.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Holly

      Hi Bobbi – I will not confirm or deny how many naps I’ve had out there already! :-) Hugs, Holly

  20. Carrie Groneman

    WOW, WOW & WOW is hardly a description for that transformation. Thanks for sharing. Stopping by as co-host from Wonderful Wed Blog Hop. Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow

    1. Holly

      Hi Carrie – Thank you for your kind words! Hugs, Holly

  21. heidi

    Wow, what a transformation. It looks great. Hope you have a fantastic day!

    1. Holly

      Hi Heidi – Thanks so much! Hugs, Holly

  22. Zografia @ Bisozozo

    Great job!!!! I hope you enjoy a beautiful summer there!

    1. Holly

      Hi Zografia – Thank you so much for visiting! Happy summer! Hugs, Holly

  23. karen

    what an awesome transformation, what a great place to sit and relax. GREAT WORK. Happy Saturday SHarefest.

    1. Holly

      Hi Karen – Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. Happy Summer! Hugs, Holly

  24. Jenna @ A Savory Feast

    Wow! This turned out great. I want to have a beautiful outdoor living area like this for relaxing in the summer or having friends over.

    1. Holly

      Hi Jenna – Thank you for stopping by and your kind comments. Hugs, Holly

  25. Kristina & Millie

    totally loving it!! I am showing hubby, I have been asking for a patio area and this will be great inspiration!

    1. Holly

      Hi K&M – It really was two years in the making (and still working through my comments to see if you made it to the entire transformation yet). Even though we had help, it was a lot of work but well worth it in the long run. I still can’t believe it. Hugs, Holly

  26. Sherry

    Great redo! Aren’t you glad you have photos! I wish I could come and enjoy it with you.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a beautiful weekend on your new patio!

    1. Holly

      Hi Sherry – It was before I was blogging that I took the pictures, so I’m very glad I did. Thank you for stopping by! Hugs, Holly

  27. Michelle

    That is fantastic. What a transformation!

    1. Holly

      Hi Michelle – Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope to see you again soon. Hugs, Holly

  28. Karren Haller

    Well my goodness what a great makeover, it looks so inviting and comfy, I hope you will enjoy lots of time in your new out living area!!! Thanks again for sharing!!

    Hugzz Karren

    1. Holly

      Hi Karren – Come on over any time! Hugs, Holly

  29. Stacey Keeling

    I think that is one amazing transformation! What a great place to hang out and have a glass of something cool. :)

    1. Holly

      Hi Stacey – We really do love our new space. Thank you so much for stopping by and hope to see you again soon. Hugs, Holly

  30. Jeanette

    That is just gorgeous! What an amazing space!

    1. Holly

      Thanks so much Jeanette! Hugs, Holly

  31. Allie

    Love the transformation. You guys did a fantastic job! Love the colors and that stool too! Want!
    Thanks for sharing on Worthwhile Wednesdays!

    1. Holly

      Hi Allie – Thank you so much for your kind words, we are very pleased with how everything came together. Hugs, Holly

  32. Dee

    omgsh! How beautiful!! So love your transformation! You did good!!

    1. Holly

      Hi Dee – Thank you so much! Hope to see you again soon. Hugs, Holly

  33. Mila

    Wow, this is awesome!

    1. Holly

      Hi Mila – Thanks so much for visiting! Hugs, Holly

  34. Mari Corona

    Great work!!!

    1. Holly

      Thanks Mari! Hugs, Holly

  35. Natasha in Oz

    I’ve just pinned this-what a transformation! Thanks for joining the Say G’Day Saturday linky party. Hope you can join us again this weekend.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

    1. Holly

      Hi Natasha – Thanks so much for pinning! G’Day! Hugs, Holly

  36. Lisa Dunaway

    This transformation is absolutely gorgeous!! Is there instructions on how to make the corner seating area? Love this area so much!!! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Holly

      Hi Lisa – Thank you for your kind words! No instructions sorry, our PM Chris built it from scratch. Hugs, Holly

  37. Lulu

    Wow, what a transformation! You must love using the space and I hope you do every day.

    1. Holly

      Hi Lulu – Thank you so much for your kind words and for stopping by! We love our space! Hugs, Holly

  38. Anna

    We are in the beginning stages of building a deck of our own. I was just wondering how tall it is from the ground to top of patio? Ours will be very short and I like how you did not put a railing around it.
    Thank You

    1. Holly

      Hi Anna – I want to say it’s about a foot? The original deck never had steps or a railing and it was a bit of a jump, and we added the long risers as you can see in the after. When we had our party for Memorial Day, there were folks sitting on the steps for extra space and it was pretty awesome to see it all being used. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Holly

  39. Connie

    It appears that you covered up a crawlspace vent. Do you still maintain adequate ventilation under the house?

    1. Holly

      Hi Connie – Good observation. We also lost a gutter in the reno too. Both were re-directed so all is well. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Holly

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